When Gordon Brown was chancellor he used to make a habit of disappearing whenever Tony Blair was in trouble, which was sometimes called his "McCavity act" - a reference to a children's poem about a master criminal called McCavity who always managed to be elsewhere when a crime was discovered.
He's still trying this one on occasionally as Prime Minister but it doesn't work.
The attempt to avoid being photographed signing the constitutional treaty with other European heads of government is a case in point.
Has this in any way placated the Euro-sceptics who don't think he should be signing the treaty? Absolutely not, they're even more cross because they think they are being taken for suckers.
Has it pleased the pro-Europeans? Absolutely not, they think it shows lack of courage.
Has it pleased the leaders of other EU member countries? No, they think it makes Brown look indecisive and it starts off the summit by reducing Britain's prestige.
All three groups are right. Brown's behaviour is the worst of both worlds.