Bit of rock 'n' roll glamour turns mandarin central into mardi gras
THE hall was going about as balubas as a hall-full of polite, earnest, sober, industrious non-Irish members of a centre-right, conservative Christian Democratic party could possibly go.
There was a standing ovation even before he opened his mouth. The room was a forest of glowing mobile-phone cameras held aloft. They laughed at his jokes and cheered every pro-Europe pronouncement. As pizzazz and razzmatazz go at the EPP congress went, this was as rowdy as Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
No doubt about it – Bono was box-office. The U2 frontman was present to add a bit of showbiz sparkle to the running-order of the list of heads of government and EU high-ups speaking at the final session of the congress. And he damn-well near got top billing as support act for the final two performers, Angela Merkel and Enda Kenny.