Opinion / The Art of Diplomacy

COVID-19 Unmasked

How to tell if the state compelling us to walk around wearing moist unhygienic masks looking like muzzled dogs makes a scrap of difference in ‘fighting’ (sic) COVID-19? Here’s a study (via a piece posted by Robert Zimmerman) that had unusually controlled conditions (US marines). His piece suggests that masks […]

Continue Reading

Last Night of The Proms

Back in 2014 I briefed readers on my interpreting adventures addressing the tumultuous mainly Polish audience for Last Night of The Proms in Krakow: This is a jolly annual gala occasion where Krakow Poles gather en masse lustily to sing Land of Hope and Glory and wave Union Flags and generally have […]

Continue Reading

Much More EU: That 2020 Budget Negotiation

Surely the EU was going to use its massive new COVID19/Budget negotiations to spank ill-behaved Hungary and Poland for their persistent rule-of-law failings? After all, surely you don’t get lots of EU money without sticking tightly to basic rules? Seems not! Hungary and Poland arguably emerge as the biggest winners. […]

Continue Reading

The Queen’s Speeches

Following the Channel 5 programme on the public words of Diana, Princess of Wales, the companion programme on the speeches and statements of HM The Queen has appeared. See it here on the Channel 5 catch-up for a few more days (after you’ve picked your way through all sorts of […]

Continue Reading

Hungary v Brussels

Veteran readers here (if any such still exist) will recall my Basic Theory Of Explaining Almost Everything, namely that for any issue only two questions matter: Who decides? Who decides who decides? See eg this DIPLOMAT article looking at Bosnia, Brexit, migration, UN Security Council reform and other big topics […]

Continue Reading

Bosnia – 25 Years On

Here’s a discussion on TRT World (Turkish World Service of sorts) on Bosnia, 25 years after the Srebrenica massacre. I’m one of the pundits, joined by Denis Dzidic and Florian Bieber both making plenty of sense: The sub-questions included: Is there peace in the Balkans? How long will the Dayton […]

Continue Reading

Consular Work

My latest piece for DIPLOMAT (now in groovy online format) looks at Consular work. Thus: The world is a big place, replete with unexpected problems. Tsunamis, earthquakes, avalanches, terrorist or criminal attacks, robberies, lost passports, aircraft/train/car accidents, sex-traps, arrests, illness, poisonous spiders, unrest at football matches, kidnappings, coups d’état, drug-smuggling, […]

Continue Reading

Diana’s Own Words

Channel 5 has shown a rather good programme about the life of Diana, Princess of Wales as revealed by her public speeches and interviews. Here is the link – it no doubt will fade away from the Internet soon. I was interviewed for this and for a companion programme on […]

Continue Reading

History and Diplomacy

My latest piece at DIPLOMAT looks at history: … After you’ve made your weary way around planet earth for some six decades, you start to grasp that beneath the torrent of events, there lie deep trends and rhythms. Take, for example, those YouTube videos of the changing map of Europe. […]

Continue Reading

Brexit and Speeches

Here is a quite splendid and magisterial view of the rise and rise of Brexit as seen through many different speeches down the decades, written by John O’Sullivan. John has been tackling this question ever since the UK joined the EU. He has form: I first became a Brexiteer (or, […]

Continue Reading
Older Entries