Troubador Good Manners and Bad Behaviour

Released: 22/05/2008

ISBN: 9781906510305

eISBN: 9781783065981

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Good Manners and Bad Behaviour

The Unofficial Rules of Diplomacy


Most people have only a vague understanding of what diplomats actually do, except that they seem to belong to a privileged caste, and lead lives governed by arcane rules of etiquette and convention. However, beneath the veneer of exquisite diplomatic manners and immaculate dress, all human life is there, and much of it is entirely reprehensible. Since Diplomatic Services dislike disorderly lives, it was decided, between 1949 and 1974, that guidance was necessary, and the Foreign Office published a series of helpful little booklets on How to Behave Abroad. Unfortunately, much of the advice put forward so confidently may only have served to reinforce outsiders' worst fears about the Foreign Service. Over recent years, an enormous cultural shift has taken place in what diplomats do and what they are for, and the idea of a foreign service as a specialist caste is fast vanishing into the mists of time. The Foreign Office always thought that it was stronger than the Ministers who ruled it. This book just goes to show how wrong they were.

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Candida Slater

1968 joined FCO as desk officer UN department, then moved to Private Office of Minister in charge of Britain’s entry into EU. 1972 married fellow diplomat, Duncan Slater (d. 2002). Resigned 1973 when husband posted to Brussels. Subsequent postings Vienna, Lagos, Muscat and Kuala Lumpur. Three children, Ian, Nicola and Christina. 2003 – 2007 returned to FCO. Now editor of

Candida Slater

Good Manners and Bad Behaviour
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