Sometimes you just know something is going to go wrong. Greetings from the Aer Lingus lounge at Heathrow, where I am waiting for the next flight to Dublin, the one I was on having been cancelled.
I didn’t know what it would be, but on the way to the airport I was sure things would not go according to plan. I had checked in online, so had my boarding pass and headed all the way to the departure gate before getting the bad news that would have been available to me had I bothered to look at a departures board. So having negotiated security etc once, I had to go out again, change flights and come back through. Moan, moan, moan, though at least it is fairly quiet, though probably for bad reasons, like the economy is not picking up as it was meant to under Plan A.
The TV in the corner of the lounge keeps telling me it could be Departure Day for Mubarak in Egypt. They could be right. But given all we have seen of President Mubarak has been an address to the nation a few days ago, and a few staged pictures since, we have very little way of knowing his thinking, and establishing how much domestic carnage and international pressure he is prepared to tolerate. A lot, I would imagine.
The TV also keeps showing front pages with pictures of Sally Bercow, aka the Speaker’s wife, draped in a blanket. There will be much spluttering by Tory MPs over their front pages.
The flight has just been called so with a bit of luck I will get there just an hour or so behind schedule, before a day of interviews, a reception to launch Power and the People in Ireland – the peace process is a dominant theme – and then The Late Late Show.
Last time I appeared on it, I received a text as I arrived at the studio from Irish lock forward Donncha O’Callaghan. Everyone in Ireland watches the Late Late, he said … Don’t fuck it up. I’ll try … And same to him in the Six Nations.