THE BLOG
08/11/2011 16:10 GMT | Updated 08/01/2012 05:12 GMT

A Letter to Obama and Sarkozy

Dear Sarko and Barack, I know you're both having a bad day, what with people talking about how you badmouthed a fellow world leader when you thought your microphones were off and all, but I wanted to tell you that last week, on a train, I spoke to my boyfriend about someone I know. And I wasn't very nice.

Dear Sarko and Barack,

I know you're both having a bad day, what with people talking about how you badmouthed a fellow world leader when you thought your microphones were off and all, but I wanted to tell you that last week, on a train, I spoke to my boyfriend about someone I know. And I wasn't very nice.

This was not an isolated incident; in fact there are uncountable variations of time, place, and listener which could be inserted into that sentence. And I know I'm not the only one, because I listen to people slagging off their friends, colleagues, lovers, brothers and mothers every time I take public transport. I'm just letting you know you're not alone.

Luckily for me, on last week's train, the person I was speaking about wasn't there. But they have been. And so I know how you feel. It's always the same - the moment when your listener's eyes widen and you carry on with renewed vigour, convinced it is a sign of endorsement, only to realise they were warning you the person you're talking about is now standing next to you. Or that what you've said was just broadcast to lots of journalists.

Then you change the subject clumsily, talking too fast, voice slightly too high, while your face, chest and stomach move into panic mode, cringing, tingling and yelling "awful, awful, awful" over and over. (You will behave similarly next time you see Binyamin.)

And all the time you'll be trying to justify yourself. Not to them. You're still waffling about how pointless the new McDonalds advert, which just reminds us that they're everywhere, is, as if everyone didn't already know. Haha. But your brain is telling you they didn't hear, you weren't talking that loudly, they don't read newspapers. Or that what you said wasn't that bad. And they probably needed to know.

Then you'll leave, quickly. Or pretend it never happened. Or continue to refuse to comment. Wise moves.

But does it matter if people hear what you say about them? Probably not. The person you spoke about usually gets over it or you don't care that they don't, whether you and they control countries' budgets and bombs or are mainly concerned with keeping clear of urban foxes.

Whether you think countries get on because it's mutually beneficial or you think how leaders relate to each other matters, these jibes change nothing. The former clearly isn't altered by them, and Netanyahu must have cottoned on to the fact that you, B.O, find him annoying - Israel/Palestine is a major headache, especially the year before an election.

N.S, your comment is similarly unsurprising; France's recent pro-Palestine vote at Unesco means Israel can't really be in the dark about your general feelings. And to put things in perspective Netanyahu probably cares more about that than about you thinking he's a liar, and you did that publically on purpose.

I hope you feel better.

Caroline

P.S Gordon (Brown. You've met) did something similar once and that all died down pretty quickly.