David's Musings


How to negotiate

“Back in the Moscow Embassy in 1994 or thereabouts a bizarre telegram arrived from London. The EU had to negotiate aluminium trade quotas with the new Russia and the EU team was coming to Moscow to do so. But, unusually, the EU aluminium boffins in Brussels had failed to agree a starting-position for our side of the negotiations. So under an obscure provision of the Treaty it was up to those EU member states Embassies represented in Moscow to do so for them! Get on with it. In vain our remonstrations that we knew nothing at all about aluminium, let alone trade quotas therefor.” (Emphasis mine)


And thus are trade agreements (and, no doubt, treaties) signed – and careers (both diplomatic and political) made.


4 Responses

  1. BJ says:

    I’m amazed – no mention in Crawford’s piece of Deripraska, Mandelson, Osborne, and trips on yachts.

    I agree with you David – it seems that our aluminium manufacturers can go to the wall, victims of these incompetents.

    • david says:

      And when I spoke about careers:


      He is without doubt an educated man, but……….

      Richard North is not a fan either:


      From which:

      “But then, we have a lot of people in the “stupid camp”, some like Charles Crawford who are so keen to parade their own ignorance that nothing is going to save them. They have worked hard for their exalted positions, and they are not easily going to yield to lesser mortals.”

      Oh – and he lives in the next village to me. Once asked for a meet – nothing, but I suppose I am not one in an exalted position…………

  2. cosmic says:

    Back in the days of butter mountains the EU was completely crapped on in negotiations with the Soviets.

    This was the same thing I’d say, People with no interest in the negotiation, and no knowlege of the subject, going in to bat. Worse, maybe people with a different agenda (or agendas) to the obvious, stated ones

    This is part of the reason I think a European defence force is such a daft idea. Huge armed forces on paper but completely ineffective and with no clear EU foreign policy either.

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