A few weeks ago Simon Anholt told the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee that he didn’t expect the 2012 Olympics to have much of an impact on the reputation of the UK. Why? Because the UK was thought of as a developed country so actually managing to stage the Olympics wasn’t such a big deal. We’re in the middle of travel chaos in the UK for the fourth time this year. Lots of foreigners trapped at UK airports for days on end…because of a few centimetres of snow – this is really going to improve the image. It looks like running the Olympics might be more challenging that Anholt expects.
PS Robin’s travel tip – If you are coming to see us in Leeds don’t waste your time on British Airways and Heathrow. KLM fly into Leeds Bradford Airport and you go through Schiphol rather Heathrow. Much Nicer.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the cables that are being released by Wikileaks. I haven’t seen a huge amount of specifically PD related material so far but the cables do give a sense of diplomacy at work.
The cables database is searchable by the State Department Tags. Here are a few that might be relevant but I would expect that tags are not applied consistently across time or across different posts. The official handbooks on the tags are here.
For anyone else who is following the releases here are a few of the tags to watch
KPAO – this is the main public affairs tag but is also used for PD. This is used quite a lot.
OIIP – International Information Programs – this doesn’t seem to be used too much
SCUL – Culture and cultural diplomacy
KMDR – Media reaction
ECPS – Communications systems and regulation
KISL – Islam – this is the major tag for discussions of engagement with Islamic communities
OEXC – Exchanges and associated operations
Most of the readers of this blog will know the work of Phil Taylor and many of you know him personally or have exchanged e-mails with him or used his web site.
Phil has been ill for the past few weeks and he died yesterday.
We knew that he was terminally ill but the end was much more sudden than we expected.
He will be missed.