Being in Berlin and finding myself in the Reichstag (as one does), I took the opportunity to chat to my old friend Matthias Machnig, German state secretary for the Federal Ministry of the environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety.
Matthias spent some time kindly talking to our little group, outlining his views of the world of communications. His stance was broadly that only people who belong in, and therefore understand, the corridors of power should have the right to access those corridors and the grandees contained therein. The egalitarianism of the Internet and the wacky world of Web 2.0 was certainly something that Herr Machtnicht wasn't going to take seriously.
Challenged on this view, he became somewhat defensive and arrogant, instantly losing the sympathy of 180 communications professionals from around Europe. Having been charged with a certain degree of arrogance, his response was "If I was arrogant, I wouldn't have given up my valuable time today to talk to you!"
His valuable time, as a consequence, was invested in creating a most definite feeling of irritation and even alienation amongst his audience.
A lesson in communications, indeed...