Opinion / The Art of Diplomacy

Assange is Not a Diplomat (2)

Craig Murray (of course) weighs in in favour of Ecuador’s apparent claim (or at least request) that J Assange is now an Ecuador diplomat entitled to diplomatic privileges and immunities in the UK: Ecuador cannot tell the UK who may or may not be a British diplomat, and the converse […]

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Assange is Not a Diplomat

He’s still there. An increasingly greasy Julian Assange lurks on in the twilight world of the Ecuador Embassy in London. Along comes a new idea for Ecuador to try. Make him an Ecuador citizen and appoint him an Ecuador diplomat, then the Brits will have to allow him to leave as […]

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Poland v EU (Continued)

Poland continues to Stand Alone (or not, as the case may be) in its arguments with Brussels over different Polish rule of law issues. Here is a handy summary by Aleks Szczerbiak on what’s going on and what it means for Polish politics: At the end of December, in a […]

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Do You Want Our Money?

Back in November I wrote about the logic and reality of sanctions: One last genre of sanctions is ‘conditionality’. Yes, we’ll give you development assistance, but on conditions. One of which is that if you use our assistance to promote extremism we’ll stop supporting you. This issue comes up periodically […]

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#IranProtests – How to Respond?

What is President Trump to make of this latest turmoil in Iran? He looks at how the new President Obama responded to a wave of protests across Iran in 2009: Huge crowds in Iran are demanding minimum standards of transparency, fairness and democracy.  You know, the sort of thing we in the […]

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Iran’s Democracy

Happy New Year! Great news from Iran. Many people there have Had Enough. In these circumstances where else to start but World Bank graphs? This is GDP per capita since 1970. Note how under the clueless rantings of successive Ayatollahs Iran has managed to spend the nearly four decades since […]

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How to Prepare and Practise a Speech (2)

Continuing our preparation of an important speech/presentation on Migrants and Borders. You’ve already spent a slice of your 600 minutes – probably at least an hour – working out what’s going on for this speech and how in broad terms you tackle it. Now – what to say? Let’s start […]

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Slobodan Praljak

Slobodan Praljak today killed himself by taking poison in the dock at ICTY as his sentence was delivered for war crimes 24 years ago. His Wikipedia page gives the basics, including the interesting factlets that (a) he was a prominent Croatian TV and theatre producer in Yugoslavia, and (b) his […]

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The Logic of Sanctions

My latest piece at DIPLOMAT looks at sanctions. Crime? Punishment! Thus: Back in the day when I was paid to do diplomacy, it was a refreshing if not a bracing bucketful of icy water to hear Russian diplomats talking about their professional discipline. I remember one telling me about a […]

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Catalonia and First Principles

As one might have expected, the Catalonia problem is getting problematic. Spain HQ aka Madrid is gearing up to take away Catalonia’s powers in some sort of direct rule power-play. No rebellions allowed! After an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday morning, Rajoy said he was invoking article 155 of the […]

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