For me? Oh, how unexpected, merci…
Nauseous euro-love-in for Reuters bureau chief send-off
Farewell, then, Paul Taylor.
The man who, over the last eight years at the helm of Reuters’ Brussels bureau was referred to lovingly by his adoring staff as, variously, ‘the kebab salesman’, ‘the walrus of love’, or chubby moustachioed porn legend ‘Ron Jeremy’, is leaving town.
And what a touching orchestrated send-off he received on his final day.
Conspicuous by his presence at the European Commission’s daily briefing today, Taylor was clearly expecting a valedictory from the spokesfolks there, as is customary for long-standing pillocks – er, sorry, pillars – of the press room.
Although just to sure he was noticed he sat near the front, plumb in the sightline of the deputizing headspoke, Amadeu Altafaj Tardio.
And to be extra sure of eliciting some last words of praise, he asked a sitter of a question on the commission’s position on sovereign wealth funds, and chose sycophantically to ask it:
“… dans la langue de Molière, par amour du français et respect du multilingualisme …”
And he was not to be disappointed.
As the briefing drew to a close Altafaj Tardio read from a prepared statement, drafted ‘in the language of Shakespeare’ but translated on the hoof into French.
The commission paid a “sincere tribute” to Taylor’s “work and professionalism”, hoping he would “continue to inspire” in his new role as Paris-based columnist for the newswire.
The old spirit of Baron Reuters, who in 1849 dispatched his news with carrier pigeons – waxed the spokesman further – “remains thanks to journalists like you.”
The pair of them skipped off towards the parc du cinquantenaire, sweetly crooning Charles Aznavour’s ‘For me, formidable’ to each other … (click here to help set the scene).