Later, as darkness and drizzle fall, and a general meeting of stupendous, award-winning tedium gets under way, I am reminded of that forgotten horror of the Sixties, the ‘teach-in’.
The people’s representatives (if that is what they are, as they don’t represent me) take an unbelievable amount of time to approve a bland statement about Egypt.
They are, it turns out, in favour of democracy and against repression.
But this process has a new variant. The old show of hands has been replaced by a strange finger-wiggling gesture, like a guilty mother waving goodbye to her toddler at a day-care centre.
People do this without seeming to be embarrassed, or giggling. It is a bit like a cult.
They’re all terribly sweet. Most of them know that I am an evil Right-winger, or if they don’t know, someone else tells them. But they still cheerfully engage me in yet more long, earnest conversations from which it is hard to escape.