Rent-a-quote

Boarding the Eurostar for Brussels, I had a chance encounter with a sort-of-journalist acquaintance of mine who is a mine for pithy quotations on EU affairs. He was had a bedraggled Christmas-party season air about him. We reconvened in the buffet car and he delivered one of this year’s more memorable lines when I asked him whether, given his success in social settings, he enjoyed working the room.

‘I don’t work the room anymore,’ he answered. ‘The room works me.’