Opinion / General Interest

Brexit and Putin

My latest for the Telegraph: if V Putin would enjoy #Brexit, does that mean that it’s a bad idea? The end of the Cold War was the moment of moments for radically restructuring Europe’s economic and strategic architecture. Europe’s then leaders blew the opportunity, choosing instead to stick with their […]

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Brexit v UKinEU (2)

Here’s a link to the original documents comprising the UK/EU ‘settlement’ that are the basis for PM David Cameron now campaigning for a Yes vote. So, question. Is the settlement ‘legally binding’? Yes! says Mr Cameron. No! says the Brexit tendency. A highly simplified analysis of this question is given by the BBC: The Vienna Convention on the Law of […]

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Interview Techniques

Most people at some point in their lives face a daunting moment when their presentation skills will be tested as never before: a job interview. This is not ‘public speaking’ in the normal sense, but all the same principles and techniques apply. Being clear and convincing. Maybe a bit firm […]

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Security v Chaos: What a Joke?

Here’s my latest piece for DIPLOMAT magazine, on global security or not. It starts with a quote immediately familiar to diligent readers here: WHO SAID THIS (the answer is at the end of this piece)? “Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos … Oh, and you […]

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Hillary meets Stickerkid

One of the worst parts of public speaking for a speaker is not knowing what else is going on while you orate. My book on the subject Speeches for Leaders talks about the perils of e-heckling: It gets worse. Imagine a woman leader giving a serious, substantive speech about global inequalities […]

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Speeches for Leaders

Here it is. The hardback version of my book on leadership and public speaking. Speeches for Leaders. As with the earlier ebook edition, this has been published by Diplomatic Courier in Washington, one of the world’s best magazines for diplomats and diplomacy. As a result the book is available via […]

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President Putin’s UN Speech

Let’s look at President Putin’s UN speech, as given by the Kremlin website in English here. For public-speaking fanatics it’s interesting to compare the Kremlin English version with a version as it came through the interpreters – here. He quickly gets into his stride, explaining why the veto power of […]

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President Obama’s UN Speech

Here is President Obama’s speech at the UN. Too long and in places even rambling, but it makes a broad cogent case for intelligent realism. On style, the speechwriters as ever strain for over-obvious rhetorical effect and drift into fatuous mixed metaphors. Look at these awful lines: Today, we see […]

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Srebrenica: Serbian President Writes to The Queen?

The 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacres during the Bosnia conflict is prompting renewed interest in what happened and why. To mark the occasion the UK government has tabled a draft UN Security Council resolution on the issue. The current UK Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Edward Ferguson, explains the […]

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Poland Votes Again

On Sunday Poland votes in the second round of the 2015 presidential elections, with current president Bronislaw Komorowski fighting to fend off the challenge of a younger Andrzej Duda. My account of the first round is at Poland presidential elections 2015. On Sunday evening I’ll be at the excellent Topolski Bar […]

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