“…and this week on global affairs we look at …..”

“Yes hi, can I speak with Paul McMillen please? …… it’s Tim…Mallory….. yes I’ll hold…..”

“……just the latest split in the eastern Euro Zone ……”

“…that’s ok, I’ll wait – it is important…..”

“…the once united country with its recently chequered past will ultimately become two smaller autonomous republics…..”

“Hi Paul…yes, it’s about these settlement papers you sent through…… look you’ve got Sal down as taking entire ownership of the house, and the lion’s share of my ongoing royalties, but……..no look this….this wasn’t what we agreed………it seems you’re taking her side all of a sudden……legal advice?………you are my legal advice!…….I know you’re her lawyer too, but………unethical?”

“…..initially amicable talks recently broke down between government ministers over boundary divisions ….”

“…..oh…I see…so you reckon she’ll end up with the biggest slice of the pie, so therefore…good god man! I’ve paid you enough over the years!..so what?…..that’s it…..that’s all you have to say on the matter……you treacherous little…..Paul?…Paul?………bastard!”

“….following on from an unpleasant exchange in Brussels this afternoon….”

“Hi Diane, it’s Tim, is Sal there? Yes I know it’s just one of those things I guess…thanks for your concern…..yes, I’ll hold….”

“…..while many commentators had been predicting a healthy rise in GDP on both sides of the split…”

“Sal….yes, I……I got the papers…….Sign them? You’ve got to be kidding me!….where did all this come from……………….? Oh…? ‘Paul’ advised you? Slimy little…. I bet you were sobbing on his shoulder at the time…… Now don’t start! ‘You’ were the one who had the affair! ….oh god, you didn’t …..? Not the family lawyer!??!! You bloody slept with him as well?!?….Sal?…..Sal?………..bugger!”

“…many are saying that there will undoubtedly be an unequal distribution….”

“Hello? ….Oh, hi Martin……look……I’m sorry I haven’t been able to get round to finishing this draft ……what with the divorce and everything……”

“…with concerns for the more agricultural eastern side’s earning potential in the 21st century….”

“..you’ve got some good news?…… yeah I could use a bit of that right now, go ahead…..Paramount? seriously?…..for that much?! A complete buyout?! No royalties? Well for that price I’m not complaining, look….. yeah I’m free Tuesday? Your offices? Great! Thanks again. That’s brilliant!”

“…but then so many times in recent history we have seen remarkable turnarounds in the fortunes of often marginalised smaller countries whose true potentials were only ever glimpsed when they were left to run their own affairs without outside interference.”