Opinion / Poland

Writing in English

One of the absolutely hardest things to do is write flawlessly and well in another language. It’s one thing to speak a foreign language to an astonishing level of accuracy and accent, to the point that even native speakers might think you’re one of them. It’s quite another to write […]

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Poland Stands Alone

Remember the noises emanating from Brussels and Warsaw last year over concerns that Poland was slumping away from core European democratic rule-of-law principles? Help! The (sic) Polish Threat to Europe! The European Commission threatened to ‘take action’ against Poland because Warsaw under the Law and Justice party was changing the […]

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Interfering Ambassadors

Trump! Russians! Russian ambassador! Trump! In all this hubbub about who did or did not ‘meet the Russian ambassador’ in Washington and when and why, let’s look at what diplomats actually do before an election in a country to which they’re posted. When an election looms, diplomats get a little […]

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Oscars Fiasco? Details!

NOTE My first version of this post had an irrelevant and (it turns out!) wrong explanation of a protocol calamity perpetrated by the British Embassy in Warsaw during The Queen’s State Visit. That passage now removed! + + + UPDATE + + + More gory details are emerging. Never underestimate […]

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Russia and Montenegro: What’s Ours?

My latest piece for the Telegraph (££) opines on the startling news that Russian intelligence agents have been found to be implicated in a plot to kill former Montenegro Prime Minister Milo Djukanović last year: The Kremlin has strongly denied any involvement, and the Montenegrin special prosecutor has publically stopped […]

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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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UK Foreign Policy – Gnawing Prometheus

Here is my piece in the Telegraph (newspaper and website hurrah) on the glum state of the UK’s foreign policy machinery: What does it mean for a nation to exert “influence”? Partly it’s about attitude: the confidence and determination to push hard and long for national objectives. But it’s also […]

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Yugoslavia – Heavenly Boarders

Here’s a grim article by one Phil Butler blaming everyone but the Yugoslavs for the collapse of Yugoslavia: It is a fact, that after World War II, socialist Yugoslavia became something of a European success story. Between 1960 and 1980 the country had one of the most vigorous growth rates in […]

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Warsaw NATO Summit

Here’s my Telegraph piece on the NATO summit in Warsaw. Thus: Poland’s President Duda wonders what President Obama will say to him privately about Poland’s constitutional wranglings. President Obama has his mind on yet more ghastly shootings back home. France’s President Hollande eyes his horrible polling numbers and wonders whether […]

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