Making Foreign Policy by John Coles - review by Christopher Patten

Christopher Patten

Laying out the Choices

Making Foreign Policy


John Murray 224pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

In his commendation on the cover of this book, Lord Butler (the former Cabinet Secretary) salutes the passion with which it is written. Perhaps five months in Brussels have raised my passion threshold, but, whatever its other virtues, this modestly useful book does not quicken the pulse.

Nor was it meant to do so. Beginning with a long footnote apologising for the use of the abbreviated term ‘Foreign Office’ (the customarily appended ‘Commonwealth’ has been excised), Sir John – the recently retired Permanent Secretary in the amputated Office – goes on to eschew anecdote and judgement at

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