NOW THE CELEBRATIONS for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday have passed, I write on the eve of another momentous event in the UK: the European Referendum. One hundred years on from the Battle of the Somme, will the UK choose to stay part of the European family? We will know by the time you read this. Former UK Ambassador Charles Crawford tackles the subject of data transparency in this month’s cover story. He recalls his fellow student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University selling US military intelligence material to Israel back in 1978. (The man was caught and sentenced to life imprisonment.) Following the release of the ‘Panama Papers’, Crawford asks what does all this mean. Is all this brutish transparency and ‘leaktivism’ good? Democratic? Fair? Or is it selfish, subversive and essentially chaotic? Also in this issue, we are pleased to publish contributions from Heads of Mission including the Ambassadors of Austria, Hungary and Equatorial Guinea, along with the High Commissioners for Cyprus and the Seychelles.
On 11 April, we hosted the Tata Diplomat magazine Awards Ceremony in the Ballroom of The Langham, London. As we’ve done annually for the past 8 years, we handed out ten awards to the leading figures in London’s diplomatic community. These are awards for diplomats, nominated by diplomats, and we include a full account of the evening’s events here.
As always, Diplomat reviews the Credentials of new heads of mission to the Court of St James’s, this month meeting with the Ambassadors of Argentina, Gabon and the Kyrgyz Republic. In the lifestyle section, Diplomatenjoys a stay at the newly renovated The Lanesborough hotel, and dinner at Blakes Restaurant in South Kensington. Readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice in our book and arts reviews, including the David Hockney exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts or The Switch Houseat The Tate Modern.