Opinion / Men, Women, Gender

Building Peace in Bosnia

Right. Here is a major contribution by me to the oral history of the modern Balkans, in the form of a discussion with Susan Coleman of The Peace Building Podcast. Susan and I met when we did some training workshops for senior Afghan women in Tajikistan last year. Susan is […]

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Diana, Princess of Wales: Bosnia

As we approach the twentieth anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August and the world pores over its memories, it becomes appropriate to describe what happened during her visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina if only for the sake of historical exactitude. Let’s set the scene. […]

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The Diplomacy of Ghost in The Shell

Ignore the new version. The 1995 anime Ghost in the Shell is the real thing. See this extended sequence of wonderful drawing and colour, included for no obvious reason other than to show wonderful drawing and colour: The ‘star’ is Major Kusanagi of Section 9, a special police unit. Kusanagi is a […]

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Theresa May’s Philadelphia Speech

Here is the official text of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s well received speech to senior Republicans in Philadelphia. And, if you want to see how she delivered it, here she is: This speech has had unusual profile. Mrs May is the first foreign leader to meet President Trump at […]

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Back in the NHS (3)

Happy New Year to one and all. I have been busy trundling to and fro to NHS hospitals. My mother is not so well. See earlier accounts here: Above all, I am humbled by the diligence shown by the nursing staff as they try to keep their designated batch of […]

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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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#ScienceMustFall in South Africa

South Africa has a mighty tradition of Defying Reality. Some might say that that was what apartheid was all about: its pernickety, cruel, insane attempt to draft laws defining useless racial distinctions, then building a whole society around those distinctions. But before that came the startling Xhosa Cattle Killings in 1856-57, […]

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Jo Cox and Binary Politics

Here are two strong pieces on the appalling killing of Jo Cox MP and what (they say) it tells us about other things, including ourselves. They are by some chance related. The first by Alex Massie at the Spectator: So, no, Nigel Farage isn’t responsible for Jo Cox’s murder. And […]

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Alyson Bailes Remembered

My former FCO colleague the legendary Alyson Bailes alas has died, at the age of 67. Here is her Guardian obituary quoting Sir Kim Darroch: Her flair for languages was remarkable. She spoke and read French, Hungarian, German, Mandarin Chinese, Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish at what she herself described as […]

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UK Diplomacy: Ukraine and Gay Rights

Here is an interesting piece about Judith Gough, HM Ambassador to Ukraine, who is accompanied on her posting by her female civil partner: “the first full discussion with a member of the press about life as an out-and-proud ambassador”. Note the desperate improvisation of the FCO scouring its sprawling building […]

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