Tatyana Deryugina (Twitter: @TDeryugina)

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Diplomacy v. kindergarten

Posted 28 Apr 11 by Tatyana

I have to admit, I know very little about the "rules” of diplomacy, if there are any. So this story seemed very strange to me. Here’s the rough timeline:

  1. British high commissioner in Malawi calls its ruler "intolerant of criticism” in a diplomatic cable.

  2.  Wikileaks publishes cable.

  3. British high commissioner is expelled from Malawi (for "undiplomatic language”).

  4. Malawi high commissioner is expelled from Britain.

I hope you’re happy, Wikileaks. Is this what you were hoping to achieve by releasing these cables? I also wonder how expelling the British high commissioner could have helped Malawi’s ruler in any way, shape, or form, given what the accusations were. Does anyone realistically expect the language in internal diplomatic cables to be "diplomatic”? And event 4 just sounds like kindergarten. But then again, I’m not sure what these commissioners were doing in the first place – maybe this will help the countries cut unnecessary spending.

By the way, one definition of diplomacy is "The art of dealing with people in a sensitive and effective way” (from Google dictionary). So maybe this isn’t diplomacy after all.


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