The Constant Diplomat: Robert Ford in Moscow
When he was sent to Dublin to conduct secret negotiations with the Republic , he was given a choice of travelling under his own name and being met by an armed escort, thus signalling his presence to the IRA, or travelling as an anonymous visitor. He chose the latter, but used a passport under an assumed name, a cloak-and-dagger element that delighted him. During the Falklands conflict he was joint secretary of the War Cabinet. He was at lunch at Chequers on Sunday May 2 when the decision was taken to attack the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano.
He passed the instruction to the Admiralty, and minutes later it was sunk.
He always believed it was the right decision. Later he negotiated the agreement with the Americans to replace the Polaris missile on Royal Navy submarines with Trident.
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He admitted that he knew very little about India, but quickly put that right by escaping the confines of the diplomatic round in New Delhi and travelling throughout the country. He was quickly on terms with Indira Gandhi, the prime minister and a fellow Oxford graduate. But the climate was not easy.
India was still, in , a leading player in the Non-Aligned Movement with a tilt toward the Soviet Union. Much of the Indian economy, to the frustration of British business, was in state hands and tied by regulation. Then, as now, visa issues loomed large. Only a decade earlier, the Indian education minister like Wade-Gery a fellow of All Souls , when visiting Britain at the invitation of Mrs Thatcher, then education secretary, had been detained and searched at Heathrow. The biggest thorn in relations, however, was the Indian belief that the British government was soft on Sikh separatists, headquartered in Britain, who wanted an independent state in the Punjab.
There was constant pressure to outlaw their activities and arrest them, which did not fit with British law. Many Indian officials remembered the days of the struggle leading to independence in and liked baiting British high commissioners about their imperial past.
25 No. 2 - The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers
Wade-Gery, who could be grand in both intellect and manner, relished these encounters. The Wade-Gerys entertained vast numbers of British visitors. On one occasion Sir Robert memorably gave lunch to Norman Tebbit and Rajiv Gandhi, their wives and no other guests, knowing that they were probably the only two senior politicians alive who had begun their professional lives as airline pilots.
He watched with mischievous fascination as the two talked throughout lunch about their former careers. Wade-Gery loved elkhounds and kept a succession of them. He even took one to India, which is not a natural climate for the hardy breed.
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The image appeared on the cover of Radio Times, and the splendour of the scene, complete with silver and turbaned servants, caused fury in London, where the diplomatic service was under attack for living too luxuriously. The thrusting milieu of the post-Big Bang investment banking arena could hardly have been a greater contrast to his life in Delhi, but he threw himself into it with alacrity — and his new colleagues soon discovered the shrewd intelligence behind the elaborate courtliness.
Taiwan was an early prospect, and Wade-Gery was indefatigable in pursuit of connections at the highest level. In London his analytical mind was applied when necessary to ethical issues, and as a vice-chairman of the bank from until his retirement in he was a wise presence during repeated bouts of management turmoil. For their honeymoon they drove from Gloucestershire to Jerusalem in an open-top Triumph Herald. And one of the things that I learned was you can't generalise at all about a woman in a veil.
You can't think you know her story, because she will confound you over and over again. She may be an engineer or a diplomat or a doctor. Or she may be an unbelievable babe with bleached hair down to her waist. I wrote 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' at the age of 30 under intense, unshared personal stress and in extreme privacy. As an intelligence officer in the guise of a junior diplomat at the British Embassy in Bonn, I was a secret to my colleagues, and much of the time to myself.
Brilliant diplomat and fellow of All Souls who was High Commissioner to India and then a banker
I've worked as a diplomat before I became a politician. Born Berlin , Germany, father a British diplomat , mother an American artist. Educated at various schools all over the world. A diplomat is a man who thinks twice before he says nothing. It's a necessary quality of a diplomat or a politician that he will compromise. Uncompromising politicians or diplomats get you into the most terrible trouble.
While my father was a diplomat rather than a business person, I count him as a critically important formative role model. He was comfortable living and working all around the world, wherever he was assigned. For more than 15 years, Ross was a British diplomat on the frontlines of numerous international crises, including the war in Afghanistan. Victoria Montes offers this story of her life growing up in Pakistan as a diplomat's daughter. David Henry Burton, In my eighteenth year an elder brother brought home from Mudie's Library the Sir Ernest Mason Satow, American diplomat George Platt Waller s memoir of his experiences in Luxembourg from reveals the plight of a small neutral country invaded by Nazi Germany.
How diplomats really shape world politics as seen through the working life of verteran diplomat, President of the United Nations General Assembly, and former Swedish Ambassador to the U.
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The Constant Diplomat uncovers the experiences that informed Ford's capacity to understand the Russians and provides a clear picture of the evolving Soviet domestic, political, social, and cultural scene from the late Stalin era through to