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DC Confidential: The Controversial Memoirs of Britain's Ambassador to the U.S. at the Time of 9/11 and the Iraq War
Publisher: OrionFormat: Hardcover
'We want you to get up the arse of the White House and stay there'. So spoke Tony Blair's Chief of Staff Jonathan Powell to Sir Christopher Meyer on his appointment as Ambassador to the United States in 1997. Anal metaphors aside, it was clear the Prime Minister's office, and not the Foreign office, would control relations with Washington. Meyer shows in close-up how he helped facilitate the so-called Special Relationship. Previously, Meyer had been Ambassador to Germany and Press Secretary to a Conservative Prime Minister, John Major, and Foreign Secretary, Geoffrey Howe. Despite Meyer's considerable experience of politics at both ends of the party spectrum, some might approach these memoirs in the awareness that a civil servant has to be politically neutral. It will surprise such readers that this book is so rich in personal anecdote and sophisticated insight. There are close encounters with Blair, Robin Cook and Peter Mandelson; KGB honey traps in Russia; a major row with Bill Clinton; inside stories on Number 10 and the Foreign Office; and of course life behind the scenes with Blair and George W. Bush.For five and a half years at the Embassy residence in Washington until 2003 - a period that included 9/11 and the war on Iraq - Christopher Meyer's cast-list featured Margaret Thatcher, Bob Hope, the Clintons, Steven Spielberg, John Prescott, Condoleeza Rice and Jack Straw. For anyone whose definition of a diplomat is someone sent abroad to lie for their country, Christopher Meyer's memoirs are the perfect rejoinder.
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