To elegant Square Ambiorix this morning, to the annual brocante, where a friend, Jo Wood, is ‘leafleting’. Commendably, said friend (one of several) is standing as a candidate in the forthcoming Belgian local elections, hence the leaflets. Belgium is often teased for excessive levels of governance but Belgian local democracy is admirably vibrant and dynamic and very, very local. Maybe it’s to do with the scale of the country and its towns and cities. This is a country where you can frequently bump into ministers and mayors in the local supermarket and where you can take them to task and they will happily engage in debate with none of the looking-over-the-shoulder tight-lipped approach that can occur in more media-intensive societies (such as the UK, where an ill-judged comment or moment, recorded on a mobile phone, can do disproportionate damage and hence discourage open debate). The wandering brass band in my picture gave a Fellini-esque air to the proceeedings.