Opinion / Libertarian Ideas

Amazon Space: Trust Between Strangers

When I rebooted my website a while back, I took out my 2008 thoughts on Amazon Space and the human and operational limits to Trust. Let’s get it back here. It still reads nicely enough (Wait … huh? What’s a PDA?). The screams of Aleppo are now coming directly into […]

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From Kaliningrad to Mladićgrad

DIPLOMAT has my latest article, featuring the final cable I sent to London from Warsaw as I ended my FCO career in autumn 2007. Once upon a time there were Valedictory Despatches. The Despatch was an interesting diplomatic genre, an extended essay sent by an Ambassador that looked more deeply/thematically […]

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Crawford on Delingpole

Back from our USA summer holiday. While I was away my podcast discussion with turbo-polemicist James Delingpole appeared. Here it is. Or via iTunes. James is good at being beyond provocative. Here is his book Watermelons (Green on the outside, Red on the inside haha) attacking all sorts of different […]

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Social Europe

A doomed moth to a flame, I swing past the website of Social Europe. You just know that anything with the word ‘social’ in the title is all about supposedly progressive but basically bossy collectivism, and if progressive bossy collectivism is what you want, Social Europe delivers bigly. In their parallel […]

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President Trump: New World (Dis)Order

Well. As soon as my back is turned in The Hague it all happens. Here is the piece I wrote for PunditWire on the eve of the US presidential elections: Maybe as a former ambassador myself I am over-sensitive when it comes to what our political leaders say when standing […]

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Bad Leaders

My latest piece for DIPLOMAT mulls over the problems the world faces in dealing with Bad Leaders. Some of them contain their Badness within their own borders, thrashing their own people because they can. Others spread their badness and create havoc for others. Thus: The last century gave the world […]

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Peak Craig Murray in Uzbekistan

Former UK ambassador Craig Murray too has a sharp new website look. He goes from strength to strength despite some sad family news, and credit is definitely due: We seem to be hitting peak Craig Murray. Before the hiatus of the last month or so, 40,000 people were regularly reading […]

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European Borders Come and Go

I volunteer to give a talk at Crawf Minima’s school on International Organisations and suchlike. Which takes us towards a familiar theme here: Integration v Disintegration – what happens when international borders melt? It turns out that European borders have melted and re-formed and then re-melted and re-formed quite a […]

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Big Data and Betrayal

DIPLOMAT magazine has a snappy new website, and as if by magic my latest piece makes the front page. It looks at diplomacy in the Age of Big Data: Back then, industrial scale betrayal took commitment and discipline, lasting for years. The betrayer needed to take some interest in individual […]

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Run! Hide! Cower!

Remember the magnificent ambassador scene from 300. Superb on so many instructive levels simultaneously: First, it’s a masterclass in bad diplomatic negotiation technique by the arrogant ambassador of King Xerxes, who makes scarcely veiled threats in demanding just a small ‘token of submission’ instead of patiently exploring King Leonidas’ interests and […]

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