TWELVE SUCKERS SHIV’RING,
ELEVEN CAMERAS ROLLING,
TEN ISLANDS SINKING,
NINE RUMOURS SPREADING,
EIGHT MINISTERS MILLING,
SEVEN SONGS A-SINGING,
SIX HEADS A-HURTING,
FIVE BOLD TEXTS,
FOUR CALLING NAMES,
THREE LONG MINUTES”
If you give the floor to a head of state how do you keep him or her to their allotted 3 minutes? You don’t. So who’s idea was it to give the last slot before lunch to Mr Chavez? There must have been some rumbling bellies in that plenary hall when he finally came to the end of his rambling diatribe. As the big chief addresses keep rolling day and night, the real work goes on in the background as the negotiation limps towards its deadline. This stage of a COP should really be reported on day and night as separate installments, and I would except that it would mess with the rhyme – they just didn’t work these kinds of hours at the time of the Epiphany.
Tuesday night saw Mr Tickle leading his troops into discussion late into the night as the LCA struggled to reach some kind of conclusion to its two years of work. As discussion broke down again with red Mr Strong leading the G77 into a walk-out meeting, delegates were to be seen literally doing cartwheels down the aisle of the plenary – presumably to keep themselves awake rather than express any kind of joy. By 7am even Mr Tickle was struggling to find humour as the startling conclusion had been reached that there was no conclusion and that the working group would report “unfinished business”.
Meanwhile the process resumed at a more civilised hour on Wednesday morning with the resignation of Mr Rush’s chief Danish representative, being replaced by her rushing Prime Minister, amidst rumours of rifts in Danish politics. Mr Rush was at the centre of controversy all day as speculation about whether the COP could negotiate on new “Danish texts”, in place of the hard-fought but inconclusive working group outcomes, was widely debated by delegates.
Out in the street, the market for secondary badges developed into an even more accurate metaphor for global emissions trading. Mr Greedy and Mr Nosey turned up on Wednesday with their badges proudly displayed, only to be told that the UN had decided to change the rules behind closed door and that their currency was now worthless and an afternoon out in the cold beckoned. Mr Greedy immediately began to complain to the UN but found they had very little voice in the matter. Some of Mr Nosey’s angriest followers were seen marching on the centre and rumours were that they would try to storm the building with the help from those inside – but the Danish heavy artillery on the perimeter put paid to that idea. On a more peaceful front, a line of long-faced protestors were set for a sleep-in at the heart of the centre in protest to the access arrangements – though they may in fact end up getting more sleep than the negotiators.
And so the final two days – and nights – begin. As Mr Fussy makes a further impassioned plea for national survival, rumours start to abound that Mr Perfect may not, after all, lend his weighty influence to the deal. We can only hope that they are indeed nothing but rumours…