Dinner in the Reichstag

Yes, the Reichstag; last Saturday. Apparently the parliament had to take a vote to let us in (‘us’ being the World Congress of Science Producers). The whole experience was a tad surreal, but somehow very moving too. As a building it’s such a symbol of democratic rule that it’s hard not to be impressed by the German peoples for managing to put it to its intended use – albeit a century after it first came into use. That alone is impressive.

But somehow, it’s even more surprising to be there as an Englishman. Sixty years ago, our fathers’ generation was bombing the crap out of the place – that I can now stand in the rebuilt (by a British architect, even!) parliament building, with nary a hint of that being remarkable in itself, is a huge achievement. Europe has come a heck of a long way, and that progress honestly gives me hope for the future. Sure, it took some time, and we’ve not solved everything yet by a long stroke, but hey – we’re mostly not killing each other still.

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