Gaza: Turkish mediation?

23 November 2023. The reasons for supposing that Turkey might emerge in pole position to mediate an end to the Israel-Hamas war should the opportunity ever arise.

Gaza: Turkish mediation?2023-11-23T09:07:16+00:00

China’s embassy in Ukraine

10 August 2023 Considerable attention has been focused on China’s participation in the Saudi-hosted talks at national security adviser level on Ukraine in Jedda over the weekend 5-6 August 2023, while Russia was not invited.

China’s embassy in Ukraine2023-11-16T10:39:35+00:00

‘Agri-food-and drink attachés’ for endangered seats

23 July 2023 The crisply styled Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has rediscovered and, in the modern way of things, rebranded the agricultural attaché. First installed in diplomatic missions after the First World War, not least those of the United States, this officer has re-appeared in some British missions abroad [...]

‘Agri-food-and drink attachés’ for endangered seats2023-07-23T18:22:34+01:00

Email crash

20 July 2023 My old Virgin Media email account has crashed yet again, so - like many others - I have given up on it. Anyone wishing to reach me who has not received a change of address message can do so via the CONTACT form, at the right-hand end of the top horizontal [...]

Email crash2023-10-23T17:13:28+01:00

Fleetwood Mac, ‘Perfect’ surprise

12 July 2023 About a week ago my friend and close neighbour, John Sandford-Smith, turned up at my door. In one hand he held a large tool I had lent him some time ago (he had forgotten I had told him I no longer needed it) and in the other [...]

Fleetwood Mac, ‘Perfect’ surprise2023-07-19T13:51:12+01:00

New START Treaty on embassy life support

February 15 2023 It is a defining feature of the permanent embassy that – in contrast to the special mission – it has general responsibilities, and these might cover almost any subject. Although I’m guessing, a recent and extremely important case in point appears to be the role of the [...]

New START Treaty on embassy life support2023-02-22T18:32:26+00:00

Corrupt honorary consuls exposed

28 November 2022 It has long been suspected that governments riddled with corruption have allowed this reflex to extend – for a fee – to appointing rogues of all sorts to represent them as ‘honorary consuls’ in foreign states that permit them, as the vast majority do. Read more.

Corrupt honorary consuls exposed2022-12-23T12:54:20+00:00

How your country voted in UN debates on Ukraine

3 March 2022 Check how your country voted in the UN debates on Ukraine in the last few days, or found that, regrettably, its permanant representative had pressing engagements elsewhere and failed to vote altogether. Read more.

How your country voted in UN debates on Ukraine2022-03-06T12:01:33+00:00

America’s headless embassies

11 October 2021 Astonishing to report, almost nine months since the inauguration of US President Joe Biden in January, a huge number of ambassadorial positions at US embassies and key bodies such as NATO, the EU, and the OECD, as well as senior positions in the Department of State, remain unfilled. Why has this happened [...]

America’s headless embassies2021-10-11T20:38:29+01:00

‘Buy, buy (not bye-bye) Mr Ambassador!’

26 June, 2021 In a blog dated 16 June 2021, Dominic Cummings, until recently British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top adviser but now his most trenchant critic, let slip a morsel of information of considerable interest to students of diplomacy. Read more.

‘Buy, buy (not bye-bye) Mr Ambassador!’2021-06-27T06:06:00+01:00

Embassies and transnational repression

25 May, 2021 If the vicious authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus, now a Russian puppet state in eastern Europe, will force down an EU civil airliner in order to seize, imprison and torture an opposition journalist, it seems to me that we are entitled to ask: To what lengths will this and any [...]

Embassies and transnational repression2021-05-25T20:49:39+01:00

Boris Johnson: the charge sheet

1 May 2021 I’ve blogged very little of late, being taken up with spring gardening jobs and wrapping up a new book but I am forced back to it by the need to sound off yet again about that ‘greased piglet’, Boris Johnson, who still seems able to get away with murder – or at [...]

Boris Johnson: the charge sheet2021-05-01T08:31:00+01:00

‘Brexit: a tragic national error’

1 January, 2021 Thus the headline on The Guardian’s eloquent editorial today, New Year’s Day 2021, the day on which the UK starts life outside the European Union. I have nothing to add to it – except be sure to click on the link ‘led by journalists’ (hell, there it is, I've provided it myself) [...]

‘Brexit: a tragic national error’2021-01-21T08:34:33+00:00

Boris Johnson takes UK down

11 December, 2020 Brexit head-banger in chief, first liar of the United Kingdom, and second-rate comedian, Boris Johnson, is primed to lead the UK, with sickening relish and grinning the while, into the abyss. Read more.

Boris Johnson takes UK down2020-12-29T07:37:50+00:00

Diplomats at US intelligence hub in UK lose immunities

1 December, 2020 Recent official revelations about the ‘special arrangements’ governing the diplomatic status of the US intelligence hub at the Croughton airbase in the English Midlands, which were provoked by the Sacoolas affair, raise important questions. Read more.

Diplomats at US intelligence hub in UK lose immunities2021-03-28T07:19:09+01:00
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