Examination of witnesses (Questions 95-119)|
TUESDAY 24 APRIL 2001
95. Sir John, may I welcome you and your colleagues
to what is likely to be the last formal session of the Foreign
Affairs Committee in this Parliament. We welcome too your colleagues.
We have Mr Collecott, the Director of Resources, we have Mr David
Reddaway, the Director of Public Services, we have Denise Holt,
the Director of Personnel Command and Mr Matthew Kirk, the Head
of the IT Strategy Unit. We welcome you not only, as it were,
as Chief Executive of the Foreign Office to examine with us the
Departmental Report but also as the principal policy adviser.
It is the managerial role that we would like to question you on
in particular today, Sir John. We notice with gratitude that the
Foreign Affairs Committee is actually mentioned in the Report
on this occasion on page 71 but not, alas, in the index and we
notice a number of omissions in the index. It is a detail but
I hope that you and your colleagues will perhaps look again at
the quality of the index to what is an improved report on the
past examples. Sir John, I would like to begin by looking at some
of the personnel matters, the staffing matters. I recall, what,
30 years ago, critics referred to the Foreign Office as the apotheosis
of the dilettante and claimed that other foreign services, notably
the French, had far more training and were far more flexible in
movement from the public to the private sector. Can you help us
on this: what in your judgment are the obstacles to the greater
use of appointments from and secondments to the private sector
which happily has developed over your period very substantially?
So what are the major constraints which you see?
(Sir John Kerr) I think we are a much more professional
service than we were 20 years ago, 30 years ago, that is correct.
I do not think we were dilettantes then but I think we have improved
our professionalism. That means that for some jobs we now do look
outside. It also means that those who come to us from outside
have to bring something to the party because those inside are
more professional than they were. One of the main uses, for example,
that we have made of the additional resources we have secured
in the last three or four years is on improved training. We are
determined to go on being the only major diplomatic service which
always has Japanese speakers at the top of the embassy in Tokyo,
Chinese speakers at the top of the embassy in Beijing, Russian
speakers in Moscow. Linguistic skills are really very important.
96. That has always been the case?
(Sir John Kerr) That has always been the case, but
with slightly more resources to devote to training, and to devote
to staffing us up to our approved establishment, we are now able
to release people to do more training in languages and in other
professional skills. I think that BTI is a very good invention.
I think BTI will improve professionalism in commercial work and
inward investment promotion. I think it is highly desirable, and
I think it is bedding down well. There are jobs, not just commercial
jobs, for which we should be testing the market. We should be
attracting people from outside. In the memorandum that I sent
you before this hearing I gave quite a long list of jobs that
have gone to people from outside.
97. Mostly on the commercial side.
(Sir John Kerr) Mainly on the commercial side, though
also inside the Foreign Office on the IT side, and also from NGOs,
a very desirable recent development. I have been struck how when
it comes to an open competition for a job like the head of the
trade office in America, which is in New York, or the trade office
in Canada which is Toronto or the one in Brazil which is in Sao
Paulo or India which is in Mumbai, the private sector does not
always produce quite as strong a field as I had hoped. Of these
four competitions I mentioned only one was won by someone from
the private sector.
98. Viscount Weir, who we met this morning,
perhaps gave us a part explanation for that in that industry/commerce
is unlikely to release their first eleven.
(Sir John Kerr) I think that is the case. I think
there is a danger in getting rejects and retreads and those who
are for some reason not making it to the top of their company.
Another reason is that we do not pay as well as the private sector.
On the other hand, I have to admit that we do not have a great
retention problem now. Morale is rather high in the Service and
the retention problem that we had in the 1970s and 1980s, when
we lost, including linguistically very well qualified people,
large numbers in mid career to go off to the City or merchant
banks, that has almost stopped. We do not have retention problems.
I would like people to be better paid obviously. I do not have
any difficulty in retaining extremely good people at the salaries
we do pay. I think that when bringing in people from outside one
needs to strike a balance, is there a particular quality that
we need at the price we would pay for an insider? I do not think
we should have a two tier salary where in order to attract somebody
from outside we pay twice as much to an outsider as we would to
somebody from inside. I think the Diplomatic Service has accepted
that we need to test the market against outsiders. I think it
would be less happy about it if we had differential pricing, if
people from inside were automatically paid
99. Not even in specific areas like IT?
(Sir John Kerr) We may have to. IT experts are an
extremely expensive commodity and we may have to think about extra
allowances or additions or some sort of recognition of the qualifications
that they have or gain while with us. In principle, I think the
grade of the job should be set by the weight of the job.
100. Yes. On this question of human resources,
Sir John, it has been suggested to us that the glass ceiling that
exists on the progression of locally employed staffI am
thinking here particularly of the relevance of linguistic staffis
unnecessarily low in our Diplomatic Service when compared with
others. I wondered if you would like to comment on that, the reasons
for it, and whether there are opportunities for raising the levels
of seniority that locally engaged staff could reach within the
(Sir John Kerr) Yes, there are Mr Chidgey, I agree
with you but the premise of your question is wrong. The proportion
of our staff in our Embassies and High Commissions abroad that
is locally engaged is far higher than in the French or the German
or the American counterpart.
101. The question was the seniority at which
they can reach rather than the principles engaged.
(Sir John Kerr) It is also true they reach a far higher
level in ours than in the French or the German or the American
counterpart missions. But I agree with you, I think there is no
reason why they should not in some cases go further. When I was
lucky enough to be Ambassador in America I had 600 locally engaged
staff working for me in 14 posts across America. I did feel that
localisation could be taken further. The ratio of locally engaged
to UK based staff was already changing. It had been in the mid
1980s two and a half locally engaged to every one UK based, by
the mid 1990s it was three and a half to one and by the time I
left Washington it was four and a bit to one. We were localising
more jobs including obviously more senior ones. I think that you
are quite right that is a trend which we can take a little bit
further. But we discussed this with the Committee two years ago,
or was it three years ago, there is a limit. There are a number
of jobs which have to be done by people based in London, people
who are Official Secrets Act cleared, people who have a professionalism
which includes experience of Whitehall and what Whitehall wants.
You cannot go all the way.
102. I appreciate that. My supplementary question
in fact was to try and get a little more detail about the levels
at which non UK nationals locally engaged could reach compared
with locally employed UK nationals? There would be a distinction,
I imagine, I wondered what it was?
(Sir John Kerr) Not really, to be honest.
103. No security problems?
(Sir John Kerr) Not really, certainly not as a global
concern, there might be in a particular country.
104. The nationality of the locally engaged
member of staff is not an issue in terms of their promotion prospects?
(Sir John Kerr) No.
Sir John Stanley
105. Sir John, in our 1999 Report we gave your
Department a wonderful gift ball to hit back to the Committee
to tell the Committee and, therefore, the wider world what outstandingly
good value for money was provided by the Foreign Office. We said
in our recommendation 17: "We recommend that the FCO take
more positive and more specific steps to set out to Parliament,
to other Government Departments and to the public at large the
benefits achieved by the FCO in relation to its cost. Whilst we
agree with the Foreign Secretary that any cost benefit analysis
will require some subjective judgments, we consider that this
perspective is so important to a proper understanding and assessment
of the FCO's performance and value that a cost benefit section
should be included in the FCO's Departmental Report each year".
To which your Department replied "The FCO agrees with the
Committee on the importance of the cost benefit perspective in
assessing performance, and will include an analysis of costs and
benefits in its Departmental Report." Now having offered
you this wonderful opportunity I have to say I remain extremely
disappointed with the response coming from your Department. We
pursued this in a further supplementary question, to which I hope
the answers are available in the Committee room and you gave a
detailed illustration, for example. You said that: "The costs
of Invest UK (table 9 on page 43) can be compared with the results
listed on page 40 and the specific successes noted in figures
1 and 2 on pages 41 and 42." I have to say to you, Sir John,
any reader who is going to be able to find their way through this
thicket to establish the cost benefit of the FCO is going to be
in great difficulty. I must come back to you again, can the Foreign
Office not in a single section or in a single chapter really start
setting out its stall and indicate, recognising there are subjective
judgments, what is the totality of the benefits which the UK is
obtaining from the relatively extremely small amount of public
expenditure going on your Department? I have to say I take the
view that you are not beginning to do yourself justice.
(Sir John Kerr) Naturally I am very grateful to Sir
John and to the Committee for their ceaseless efforts to publicise
the competence and effectiveness of the Foreign Office. It pleases
us greatly. I am extremely grateful for the series of recommendations
in the Committee's reports over the four years of the Parliament
on areas where we ought in the view of the Committee to be investing
more; they have been valuable in our own resource allocation internally,
and valuable in obtaining more resources for the Foreign Office.
On numerical cost benefit analysis, Peter Collecott is a great
believer, Sir John, he believes entirely with you that we could
do an awful lot more to put a numerical value on the things that
we do. I admit that I have some conceptual difficulties with putting
numerical values on quite a lot of foreign policy. How is one
to express in numerical terms the extremely important aim of the
enlargement of the European Union or the enlargement of NATO?
What number shall we set? What is the correct target, a NATO of
23, 24, 25, an EU of 18, 19, 20, 27? You have to make qualitative
judgments. You have to bring in judgments which cannot be reduced
to a simple cost benefit calculation. I find it very hard to put
a pound value on the optimum enlarged EU. We know it is a benefit,
to have avoided damage, to have improved these institutions that
are important to us and to have improved relations with the countries
that are joining, and we hope with minimum damage to relations
with the countries that are not joining; but to translate that
into a cost in order to do a cost benefit analysis is very difficult.
I know that the staffing of our posts in the aspirant countries,
the countries that want to join the EU and want to join NATO,
are worthwhile, I know that. I am grateful for the help of the
Committee in arguing that we should increase the size of these
posts. They are not as big as their French and German counterparts
but they are bigger than they were four years ago. But I cannot
prove to you in a numerical cost benefit analysis that that is
the optimum use of the money which you gave us to which we decided
to devote to that. I think you have to have a qualitative cum
quantitative analysis. On some things you can do it all
with numbers and I think in the BTI area David Wright is developing
tools which will enable us to do that. I think you are probably
right also in your general point, Sir John, that we do not do
as much domestic PR as perhaps we should, I think that is probably
correct. On the other hand, I think it is a bit of a mug's game
if you go out to slap oneself on the back too visibly and audibly,
it can do harm. I am very struck that among the young people in
final year at university courses we are told that the Foreign
Office is, for the first time ever, their number one career choice.
5,500 undergraduates filled us in the forms and made us their
number one choice in a survey that is done every year and appears
to be a perfectly legitimate exercise. It used to be the BBC that
was always first, we are now first. Recruitment is still astonishing.
We get 100 applicants for every vacancy at the policy level. Young
people clearly do think that it is a worthwhile career and perhaps
they think that it gives adequate benefit to the country for the
money that is put into it. I agree with you on everything except
trying to reduce benefits artificially to numbers.
106. Without getting into an academic debate
about cost benefit analyses can I just put the thought to you
that it is commonplace in various forms of cost benefit analysis
that not all benefits are subject to quantification. For example,
in road schemes you cannot quantify the environmental benefits
but there will be environmental benefits, and perhaps the Foreign
Office might like to look at that. Could I just ask you one further
thing again in the general theme of reader ease and access. The
Foreign Secretary, as you know, announced with major publicity
the 60 measures for change and the Committee asked for the 60
measures of change to be included in the report. I wonder if I
might ask you, for the average reader picking up your report for
the first time, how long do you think it might take the average
reader to find the location in your report of the results of the
60 measures for change?
(Sir John Kerr) I have to pay tribute to you, Sir
John, because they would not be there at all this time round but
for your insistence that they should be.
107. The question I asked was how many minutes
or hours do you think it might take a reader to find them?
(Sir John Kerr) It would depend whether, like me,
he tends to read things from the back or, like you, from the front,
108. It would depend how long it takes to read
151 pages because the 60 measures for change do not feature in
any of the contents.
(Sir John Kerr) It would depend on his diligence and
109. And your appendices have no headings whatever.
I am sure you will bear that in mind for your next edition.
(Sir John Kerr) I would say that on the 60 measures
for change, when you finally reach the text quite a lot of them
are in fact overtaken, we have done them, we have moved on. The
IT programme, which is the most exciting thing we are doing and
which I hope we may talk about in a moment, that is there but
it is only the germ of an idea there in that 1998 text; by the
time we get on to 2001 we are doing some quite exciting things.
We have also developed inside the Foreign Office, with the Committee's
encouragement, our Foresight consultation mechanism, which is
son of the 1998 exercise. Foresight is very good, with 1,500 young
people across the service all contributing their ideas on how
we can increase efficiency, and job satisfaction where possible,
and that links very closely into the IT on which Matthew Kirk
is our biggest investor. I would say that the 1998 exercise was
a very important exercise, the 60 measures for change, but it
is an historical event now. I personally would prefer to drop
it from the Departmental Report. It is there as a tribute to Sir
Sir John Stanley: I trust it is not a tribute
to me, your Foreign Secretary has the authorship of it, but perhaps
it might have been easier for everybody if it had been easily
accessible from the front of the report. I am sorry you are going
to drop it but if that is your decision the Committee may wish
to comment on it when it makes its report.
Sir David Madel
110. You have laid great emphasis, Sir John,
on linguistic skills and then you told us that the Foreign Office
now is the number one career choice for so many people. Is this
because from all you hear the teaching of languages in schools
has greatly improved and that careers staff, recognising this,
are tilting young people towards applying to join the Foreign
(Sir John Kerr) To be honest, I do not know. Maybe
Denise knows what motivates the young people. I think it is partly
adventure. I think it is partly the fact that we are widening
our network and opening posts in very exciting places. I do not
know that there is a higher proportion of good linguists joining
us. We are perfectly happy to take brilliant people and teach
them languages, we do not insist as much as the French or the
Germans do, to be honest, that new recruits come with very good
languages. Denise, do you want to address this?
(Mrs Holt) There are a couple of other things I could
say on it, if I may. One is that we do not insist on languages
but we have increasingly emphasised in our advertisements and
our publicity material that we would particularly welcome people
with certain languages where we find that there is never enough
to maintain supply. For example, Chinese would be one of those
languages where there has been a considerable growth in our requirement
for Chinese speakers, so we have sought to recruit people with
ready made Chinese as well as grow our own. We do test all applicants
for their hard language capability and then we train them, so
there is not a strict correlation between the quality of language
teaching in schools and the number of people applying to the Foreign
Office; I am sure there is not. What I would say, having just
come from a couple of weeks interviewing final selection board
candidates, is that the main driver that I detected, and a number
of my colleagues would have found the same, was a real interest
in the world beyond our shores, which is extremely heartening,
a real interest in the issues of the day, and a real interest
in the moral issues underpinning those. So there was considerable
interest in the ethical dimension as well as in the foreign policy
itself. These are young people and, as you would expect, these
are the things that motivate them when they are 21, 22, 25, 26.
They are motivated by the things you would expect young people
to be motivated by, I think.
111. Is there a real interest in Britain playing
a greater role in Europe?
(Mrs Holt) All of them had read the website and the
mission statement so they realised that the correct answer to
the question is to promote British interests in the world, so
if you asked them the question, yes. I did detect a real interest
and enthusiasm in Europe and in the world. We did have people,
for example, of British-Asian origin or Caribbean extraction,
so their focus was not in every case on Europe, it was also on
other parts of the world.
112. Can I ask a question about management of
your resources and the way that has changed. On the question of
United Kingdom election observers, some are now recruited with
selected NGOs, so in a sense you have left the day-to-day management
of how it is done to NGOs whereas before it was done much more
centrally by the Foreign Office. Are you satisfied with the way
that is developing and the way that is being carried out? Does
the Foreign Office have regular checks on whether the NGOs are
doing it in the way that you would expect them to?
(Sir John Kerr) Yes, I think we are satisfied, Sir
David. The usual check is the post in country which has a look.
Election observers, of course, come in different categories. Some
come from this Parliament, some come through the OSCE, some come
from the EU. It is something to which we attach considerable importance.
We probably finance more observers than most countries do. Yes,
we have found with particular NGOs that a degree of subcontracting
has worked very well.
113. Sir John, a question which has often caused
us controversy within the House relates to entry clearance posts
and the cost of visa applications. As you know, the Committee
has gone out of its way to visit entry clearance posts on as many
occasions as we can on our visits abroad and it is one issue that
is quite often put to us, particularly in poorer countries where
the proportion of the cost of the visa application is quite high,
for example Pakistan and India. In the Annual Report it states
that receipts from visa fees have been subject to real term cuts
and that they are now static at £95 million. I just ask whether
the Foreign Office can continue the improvements within the entry
clearance field whilst maintaining visa fees at that level, or
do you anticipate that perhaps there will be increases in the
future? As a follow-on to that, is it likely to continue the policy
that each post will be self-financing in terms of visa fees or
could there be some differentiation between more wealthy countries
and perhaps the poorer countries in terms of the level of fees?
(Sir John Kerr) Thank you, Mr Illsley. Could I also
say thank you very much for visiting our new Joint Entry Clearance
Unit on the Embankment. Your interest in going to see the new
operation was much appreciated. I think it is a very good idea,
that new joint unit, which is Home Office/Foreign Office jointly
staffed, and now which directs the operation. Mr Illsley is quite
right, the operation is meant to be self-financing. We are not
trying to make a profit out of entry clearance but we are trying
to cover the costs of the operation. It is not meant to be self-financing
post by post or officer by officer, it is meant to be self-financing
in aggregate. I cannot make a sensible prediction, I do not think,
subject to correction from David Reddaway, because I do not know
whether the demand will go on rising. If the demand goes on rising
it is possible that the costs will rise and the fee will have
to rise. Demand is rising rather steeply and the costs have been
held down rather well. David, would you like to pick that up?
(Mr Reddaway) The objective remains not to increase
the fees, but the fact is we have faced 7 to 8 per cent growth,
and in some of the posts, 20 of the posts, we have had growth
of over 20 per cent in demand. So there is tremendous pressure
on the operation.
114. This is at the same time as there is continuing
pressure to improve the quality of the service offered in terms
of time taken to deal with a particular application.
(Mr Reddaway) That is right. The story so far, since
JECU has been set up, has been a very good one of doing both those
things. I think the performance has improved.
115. I wonder if I ask you to go into more detail
about the structure of the Foreign Office organisation. I suppose
traditionally one looked at the Foreign Office in geographical
terms but more recently there are thematic issues which cross
national and even regional boundariesterrorism, the environment,
water resources, weapons of mass destruction, ethnic conflict
is an obvious oneit is not just the Balkans or East Timor
or the Great Lakes of Africa, yet I notice of the 13 commands,
seven are geographical, four are what one might call internal
and actually only two, Global Issues and International Strategy,
seem to deal with the thematic issues in the way I am describing
it. Am I right in that? Do you think these thematic issues are
dealt with in a transregional or non-geographical worldwide way
in the way they ought to be within this structure?
(Sir John Kerr) We have a degree of creative tension
quite deliberately between the man responsible for the delivery
of one of our central objectives, the objectives which are set
out in the central nine chapters of this Report, and he is a Deputy
Secretary and can be found in the middle of the chart on page
10, and the Directors who are listed round the perimeter of the
chart. So if the issue is Human Rights, there is a man in the
middle who is responsible for that and who is in a way the sponsor
of the Human Rights policy Department which comes under Ms Brewer
and Global Issues at the top of the page. If it comes to a conflict,
say with international security policy, which it could doa
clash with those working to Mr Ehrman on the left of the pageor
with somebody responsible for good relations with Ruritania, who
would be a geographical director, then conflict resolution should
take place in the office of the Deputy Secretary. So that is the
role of the guys in the middle of the chart. That is a static
analysis. Long term, Mr Maples, I think you are absolutely right.
I think long-term we are moving away from a Foreign Office which
was basically a geographical structure to one which pays more
and more attention to thematic issues and cross-cutting issues
and which involves itself more and more in the business of other
bits of Whitehall as well. As more and more of Whitehall becomes
international the Foreign Office ought to be there advising them,
targeting them, helping them. So in recent internal resource allocations
we have not been increasing the size of the geographical departments,
we have been increasing the size of the science and technology
staff or the human rights or the environmental policy staff. Global
Issues Command, Miss Brewer, at the top of the page, has risen
by 26 officers in the last three years and will go up by another
eight this year, whereas the geographical departments if anything
are contracting slightly. If I bring in the way technology will
take us, I think that this contraction will continue because,
once we have a global network on line, the geographical expertise
more and more will reside in the post and will be instantly tappable
by anybody elsewhere in the network. The geographical department,
when I joined it ages ago, used to correspond with the post and
build up a library in London and a store of knowledge about the
country and the region which was tappable when required for a
policy decision or advice. I think we have moved away from that.
When it will be possible to press a button and get the advice
on the country, its politics, its economy, its prospects, who
is rising, who is falling, instantly from the post, the
role of the geographical department will contract further. So
if you take a long-term trend, you are absolutely right, already
we are moving in that direction. We will still need to have some
regional and geographical expertise at headquarters but we are
moving in a more thematic direction.
116. Some of those things you can do with telephones
and e-mails and you can do a lot of this tapping of local knowledge
already. What I was interested in, if one looks at the post-Cold
War world the potential sources of conflict are about these things,
are they notethnic conflicts, fights over water resources,
environmental issues, national and economic issues. You mentioned
human rights and I thought the way you dealt with that was interesting
but could we take something like ethnic conflict? When Kosovo
blows up or when East Timor blows up, in the Global Issues section
or the International Security section is there somebody who looks
at ethnic conflict as a discrete discipline or subject or area
of knowledge which would be drawn on by people who are trying
to frame the Balkan policy or policy in Indonesia where an ethnic
conflict looks as though it might blow up?
(Sir John Kerr) The crises tend to be handled by the
Political Director or the geographical Director for the area where
the crisis occurs. Static analysis. Dynamic analysis, yes, that
is exactly what we want to be able to do, and one of the good
things IT will give us more and more is the capability to call
on the man who dealt with a particular issue during the Kosovo
crisis and apply it in next year's crisis. He may by now be in
Chicago but we will be able to tap his expertise on how such an
issue was dealt with, getting this right is the knowledge management
aspect of new IT. We need to change our working practices to enable
us to do that. We have tended in the past to be a bit departmentalised
in the way we handle a crisis. We get together a brilliant crisis
management team, they do brilliantly, as they did over Kosovo
or East Timor, and when the crisis is over with a bit of luck
we remember to get one of them to write down approximately what
they did and how they did it, and they disperse; and then another
crisis arises and we create a new team. We have not had on the
whole what you are talking about, ready access to people experienced
in ethnic conflict reconciliation techniques. We do not necessarily
need to have a lot of them at headquarters all the time, they
may be better deployed using their expertise dealing with some
conflict on the ground, but we need to be able to draw on that
expertise in future crises, which is one of the great virtues
of our wonderful new IT investment.
117. Do you think in five years' time, if we
were having a similar meeting, this structure chart would look
(Sir John Kerr) As I say, I think we shall always
want to retain some geographical expertise at the centre. Knowledge
of countries, the knowledge of their languages, knowledge of how
an idea will play there. That is what the Foreign Office brings
to the party in Whitehall policy formulation. Although a lot of
it can come online, you need to have somebody who visibly knows
what he is talking about, to turn up at meetings in Whitehall
and present it. I do not think this will change enormously but
I think behind it there will be the same sort of continuing adjustment
of staffing which I described at the start, the extra 26 people
in global issues command.
118. So International Security and Global Issues
will become more important during this process, will they?
(Sir John Kerr) They will; and so also I think will
David Reddaway's Departments, which lie in between the two of
them on the chart, Public Services. We have a growing customer
base. There is a 9 per cent a year increase in demand for our
consular services around the world. We have talked about the 8
per cent increase in demand on our entry clearance procedures.
David's job has grown enormously and will go on growing.
119. As preparation for this session we decided
to subject ourselves to a couple of witnesses who are producing
alternative views about diplomacy. We started this morning with
Mr Mark Leonard, who I suppose you are familiar with, he is on
the Task Force. He has a pamphlet on going public in the information
society, in which he says the nature of global communications
matters as much to foreign policy as talking to governments, and
he elaborated on that theme by saying that through the internet
and the amazing information technology scene it is reaching beyond
governments to publics, and that is going to be more and more
the nature of diplomacy. At one moment he said almost there could
be a case for virtual embassies. How much have you taken on board
or rejected Mr Leonard's view about the nature of your Foreign
Office diplomacy in the information society?
(Sir John Kerr) I think it is a very elegant re-invention
of the wheel. Embassies have always had such a role. While they
exist to talk privately to governments, they also exist to talk
to people and populations at large, and that is probably the modern
ambassador's principal function, to be on television, to be on
the radio, to accept all the platforms. Our website in posts abroadabout
90 posts abroad nowhave an enormous interest and it is
very, very important. There is that audience out there. I do not
think there is anything terribly new in this and if anything the
moral I would draw is that we need to develop in our people, if
they do not have it when they join us as a professional skill,
not just the ones we have been talking about but platform skills
and communications skills. We are not shut away but we never really
were. Talking to the world was always part of the job of the diplomat
abroad. Of course at home he is self-effacing, quiet and well-behaved.