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No, ambassador

Aside from the gossip, does Christopher Meyer's Washington memoir tell us anything useful about British foreign policy? A former Europe minister considers

By Denis MacShane   January 2006

DC Confidential by Christopher Meyer (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20)

Leaving aside the snobbery and sneering of Christopher Meyer’s now infamous Washington ambassador’s memoir, it is difficult to find in the book any serious points about the conduct of foreign policy. He protests, for example, that the foreign secretary and senior ambassadors were kept out of key decisions by Downing Street. But prime ministers have always controlled foreign policy. It is the chancellor of Germany and the president of France who take all key foreign policy decisions, not their foreign ministers. In his new book on François Mitterrand, Jacques Attali describes…

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