Opinion / Balkans, former Yugoslavia

Being Honest With Your Boss

A really difficult and sensitive issue in ‘management’ and ‘leadership’: how do junior colleagues tell senior colleagues that they’re (perhaps) not getting it right? One of my own most powerful life lessons on this came back in the early 1980s when I was a mere Second Secretary at the British […]

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Negotiating Brexit: May v Corbyn

Responding to my post on Craig Murray’s footling criticism of Theresa May’s negotiating capabilities, reader Benjamin writes: You note the importance of a clear plan in long-term negotiations. Is anybody aware what May’s plan is, or whether she even has one? You mention that different cultures call for different negotiating […]

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Theresa May – Brexit Negotiatrix

Can Theresa May expect to be good at the Brexit negotiations? Not according to our old friend Craig Murray: In fact she would be an appalling negotiator. She becomes completely closed off when contradicted. She is incapable of thinking on her feet. She is undoubtedly the worst performer at Prime […]

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Sharing Intelligence

Eeek. Disaster. Scandal. President Trump personally shared highly classified intelligence information with the RUSSIANS! Thus: In the meeting last week, Mr. Trump told Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, details about the Islamic State plot, including the city in Syria where the […]

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Tottenham Shed Spursitude

My new piece for The Spurs Web on how Tottenham have moved on to a completely new level in the past two seasons. Nothing like this since 1961. A LONG time ago. Look at the season goal difference stats: In the first sixteen years of the Premier League era Tottenham […]

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Negotiating with North Korea

I’ve written here previously about the issues of negotiating with North Korea. See eg this. Or this. Things have moved on. President Trump appears to be keen not be seen as ‘diplomatic’ as President Obama. Can containable military action be taken against North Korea to stop it developing nuclear weapons? […]

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Serbia Kangaroo Party

It seems that I have never here satisfactorily explained why exactly (and how) I produced a wallaby at a reception in Belgrade when I was Ambassador there. Basically, Foster’s Lager looks mighty Australian, but it is also in its European form a fine UK export. So when they wanted to […]

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Why Must Assad Go?

Nigel Farage poses an interesting question: if Syria’s President Assad ‘goes’, who or what replaces him? Could the next Syria leader or ensuing chaos be even worse than what we have now? This takes us straight to our old friend Bad Leaders: Other Bad Leaders, such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, […]

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Trump v Putin: Negotiation in Action

Yesterday’s meetings in Moscow between US Secretary of State Tillerson and President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov were a front-rank example of top diplomacy in action, the more so as while that was happening intense discussions continued at the UN over a new (doomed) Syria UNSC resolution that Russia duly […]

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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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