Diplomacy

Portrait of Talleyrand by Ary Scheffer

What Theresa May could learn from Talleyrand

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Talleyrand was 76 when he took up the post of French ambassador in London in 1830. Linda Kelly deals only…

What No. 10 has learned about dealing with the Donald

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Imagine if Donald Trump declared that Islam had ‘no place’ in his country, or proposed banning the burqa ‘wherever legally…

‘The Cheesemonger’ by Eric Ravilious.

Round and ripe: the role of cheese in global history

3 December 2016 9:00 am

‘Blessed are the cheesemakers.’ The line from Life of Brian is followed by: ‘It’s not meant to be taken literally.…

Of course Tony Blair made a ‘secret deal’. That’s what good PMs do

23 July 2016 9:00 am

As a founder member of the Guild of Blair-Bashers, someone who reacted strongly against him from our first encounter at…

The Bridgeman Art Library

Laurence Oliphant: oddest of Victorian oddballs

12 March 2016 9:00 am

As an erstwhile obituarist, I pity the poor hack who had to write up the life of Laurence Oliphant —…

Gorbachev and Reagan sign the historic treaty on 8 December 1987 eliminating Soviet and Us intermediate-range and short-range nuclear missiles

The four men who averted the Apocalypse

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Robert Service’s account of the greatest turning point in modern history is unlikely to be bettered, says Sherard Cowper-Coles

Charles Moore’s Notes: Who’d be a diplomat now?

14 November 2015 9:00 am

The other day, a friend told me, he had been chatting to an old friend of his who has spent…

Letters: In defence of SNP Scotland

24 October 2015 9:00 am

Scotland isn’t failing Sir: It will take more than Adam Tomkins descending from the heights of academe to persuade the…

Letters

24 October 2015 9:00 am

Letters: In defence of SNP Scotland

Nixon with Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld in 1969

Niall Ferguson's biography of Henry Kissinger is a masterpiece

19 September 2015 8:00 am

I have met Dr Kissinger, properly, only three times. First, in Cairo, in 1980, when, as a junior diplomat escorting…

Spectator letters: Cutting the Lords, and a defence of Edwin Lutyens

29 August 2015 9:00 am

Trimming the ermine Sir: I am a new boy in the House of Lords compared with Viscount Astor — though…

John Freeman: polymath or psychopath?

15 August 2015 9:00 am

They don’t make Englishmen like the aptly named John Freeman any more. When he died last Christmas just shy of…

All might have been well had Nicholas II only listened to a tiny cosmopolitan elite

30 May 2015 9:00 am

The veteran Russian historian Dominic Lieven’s new study of Russia’s descent towards the first world war is deeply researched, highly…

Faisal’s dark, liquid eyes and distinguished bearing caused a sensation at the Paris Peace Conference

The enlightened king of Iraq

15 February 2014 9:00 am

Alan Rush admires the humane, enlightened Faisal I, who fought with T.E. Lawrence and devoted his life to Arab rights, independence and unity

A Strong Song Tows Us, by Richard Burton - review

12 October 2013 9:00 am

How minor is minor? ‘Rings a bell’ was more or less the response of two English literature graduates, now successful…

Does the EU really need 32 diplomats in Mozambique? And 44 in Barbados?

20 July 2013 9:00 am

The Prime Minister recently professed himself shocked at waste in the European Union. In particular, he was incensed by an…

Why Russia’s diplomats should learn swimming-pool etiquette

4 May 2013 9:00 am

In foreign policy, Russia thrashes about like a badly socialised swimmer

Dear Mary

9 March 2013 9:00 am

Q. Every morning I walk to work and stop to pick up a cappuccino from a local café outside which…

Of course diplomats are frank in private – but not, I fear, for much longer

4 December 2010 12:00 am

It can be a diplomat’s duty to be undiplomatic.

Leader: Less heat, more light

4 December 2010 12:00 am

We have heard surprisingly little about the climate change jamboree currently underway in Cancun.

China’s spy network

4 December 2010 12:00 am

We are at war online – and we are losing

More than politics

13 May 2009 12:00 am

A Fortunate Life, by Paddy Ashdown

Challenging Zeus

28 January 2009 12:00 am

Titan at the Foreign Office: Gladwyn Jebb and the Shaping of the Modern World, by Sean Greenwood