Now, you can parse this a couple of different ways. The EU Reform Treaty is somewhat contentious. Its opponents say it's actually an EU constituion by the back door, and Gordon doesn't like to be associated with unpopular causes. So he claims he's being a good Parliamentarian, misses the party and all the embarrassing EU superstate photographs, and pops in later. Maybe he's hoping that if the Treaty goes tits-up he can claim his late attendance was because he knew it was a bad idea and he was signing it unwillingly.
Another way you can parse it is Gordon striding into the spotlight rather than signing the Treaty with the common herd. He's like the diva arriving at a party long after all the other guests have got there, and hoping everyone will spot him.
Now, I listened to The World At One on Radio 4 this lunchtime and they had a couple of members of the Select Committee on. One member said it was Gordon Brown being a good Parliamentarian, the other said there had been a couple of dates available for his appearance before them, the implication being that if he'd wanted to Gordon could have gone to Lisbon and signed the Treaty with everyone else.
Myself, I think this is Gordon once again distancing himself from what might be an unpopular thing, and as I said at the beginning I'm rather embarrassed by it.
Finally, before I drag myself to bed, I want to put in a word for Vince Cable, who will be reaching the end of his stint as stand-in leader of the Lib-Dems soon and who had his final performance at Prime Minister's Questions this week, and he stuck it to Gordon again. Whether the Lib-Dems eventually choose Huhne Major or Clegg Minor as their leader, he will have a hard act to follow, and I think party members may one day wonder whether Vince Cable was the best leader they never had.
Is it too late to start a write-in campaign?
Edit - sorry, I forgot to post a link to stuff by real journalists about Gordon and the Treaty. Here it is.