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A good idea from Norway

From Aftenposten:

"Norway’s Foreign Ministry has decided that the best diplomats should be sent to war-torn or tumultuous places like Afghanistan, Pakistan or Sri Lanka, instead of the coveted, cushy, and prestigious jobs in London, Paris and Washington...The Foreign Ministry feels that many of the undesirable posts are actually more important than the more prestigious ones, and wants to reward those who take on such challenges better".

Absolutely, and I would like the F&CO to take note and follow this example.

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Blogger Umbongo said... 10:40 am

So the "good" diplomats see which way the wind is blowing and adjust their conduct accordingly. For this drop in standards they are rewarded the plum posts. The "bad" diplomats who - if the good ones know what they're doing - turn out according to the internal rankings to be "good", get sent to the "important" posts. Brilliant - you get a diplomatic service which under-achieves everywhere.

Mind you does it matter whether the FCO has good or bad diplomats in post? Since WW1 the skills of the FCO have been at the disposal of and appear to represent the interests of foreigners rather than British interests. This has been even more marked since the 1950s, when representing (or, to be accurate, misrepresenting) the European "project" to the UK has been its primary function.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 10:47 am

You think - gasp - they would be that cynical?

I would think that our embassies fall into three categories - prestigious, important, and there for the sake of it, and anyone on the fast track for Baghdad / Tehran etc who acted up would then get sent to Ulan Bator / Quito, not DC or Gay Paree. Maybe.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:47 pm

An ex-diplomat who read this commented: He ascribes far too much intelligence to the shambolic bid-for-jobs-in your-current-window FCO merry go round posting system. The well-connected, right school tie etc get the plums, the run of the mill oiks get the rest. But oddly enough, many dips seem to prefer the "unimportant" outposts as they at least get to be and do something other than just be a mouthpiece or messenger for Whitehall.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 3:38 pm

An interesting comment, for which thanks. I imagine that a posting to Astana or Tunis allows a diplomat rather more room for manoeuvre than a G7 etc posting.  



Blogger Novlangue said... 10:57 am

What difference have Norse diplomats ever made? Including Trygve Lie.

They were supposed to have brought peace to the warring vegetarians of Ceylon (sic). Like f@@@.

H. Ibsen  



Blogger Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said... 11:13 am

Absolutely, and I would like the F&CO to take note and follow this example.

[Chuckle] Just imagine it.  



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