Sir Christopher Meyer
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Sir Christopher Meyer was almost 40 years in the British Diplomatic
Service. His career culminated as Ambassador to the United States
during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies. His five
and a half years in Washington, which made him the longest-serving
Ambassador to the USA since the Second World War, coincided with
9/11, the war in Afghanistan and the preparation for war in Iraq.

Before then he was Ambassador to Germany and had postings to
Russia, Spain and the European Union in Brussels. He was also Press
Secretary to Prime Minister John Major, Foreign Office Spokesman,
and speech writer to three Foreign Secretaries.

Sir Christopher was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 1998.

After his retirement from the Diplomatic Service in 2003, Sir
Christopher chaired the Press Complaints Commission for six years
until March 2009.

Sir Christopher is now a regular television, radio and newspaper
commentator on international affairs and the media. In 2005 he
published DC Confidential, a memoir of his time in the Diplomatic
Service. His latest book, Getting Our Way: 500 Years of Adventure
and Intrigue: the Inside Story of British Diplomacy, was published last
year and accompanied a three-part TV series for BBC4. He has also
recently broadcast a documentary series on the Press for BBC Radio
4, called the The Watchdog and the Feral Beast.

Sir Christopher is an Honorary Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, and
a visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina. He is a non-
executive director of the Arbuthnot Banking Group; a member of the
international advisory board of Fleishman-Hillard; and a member of
the executive committee of The Pilgrims. He is a Freeman of the City
of London and member of the Worshipful Company of Stationers.

Sir Christopher is married to Catherine, who is Chair and Chief
Executive of the international children’s charity, PACT (Parents and Abducted Children Together). They have four sons between them)

Entries by Sir Christopher Meyer

Iraq: Cameron's Contradictions

(11) Comments | Posted 19 August 2014 | (17:02)

The charges against David Cameron over his Iraq policy are well founded. But there are extenuating circumstances.

One accusation is that it makes no sense for him to emphasise in such stark terms the danger presented by IS and then rule out so categorically the UK's taking...

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Juncker's Revenge

(4) Comments | Posted 2 July 2014 | (10:11)

The last time a British government was alone in trying to veto a candidate for the presidency of the European commission was in 1994 under the Conservative prime minister, John Major. There are several similarities with the Juncker affaire - and one big difference.

Major, like Cameron,...

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A Shadow of War Over Europe

(24) Comments | Posted 18 March 2014 | (23:00)

There is a book to be written about the role of humiliation in foreign policy. It can be a sour and corrosive force, propelling the aggrieved nation to try aggressively to remedy the wrongs, real or perceived, inflicted on it by other powers. We have seen it in the foreign...

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The Sovereign's Dilemma

(11) Comments | Posted 29 April 2013 | (00:00)

Soon, Her Majesty The Queen will have to decide between two rival drafts of a Royal Charter. Could this be a first in our ancient history?

We are talking, of course, about press regulation. In the red corner, there is the grubby deal, cooked up in the early hours of...

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Leveson and Britain's International Humiliation

(26) Comments | Posted 20 March 2013 | (23:00)

It could hardly be worse. The system of press regulation cobbled together by the Coalition and opposition in the wee small hours on Monday is, to borrow the Leveson jargon, neither voluntary, nor independent, nor self-regulation. Never mind that the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Igor Judge - who put forward...

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Obama and the World, Part Two

(2) Comments | Posted 22 January 2013 | (15:24)

Back in the bad old days of the Cold War, the US and the Soviet Union deterred each other from nuclear attack by something called the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. The idea was that neither side could eliminate the other's nuclear arsenal in a pre-emptive first strike and would...

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Leveson's Fatal Contradiction

(5) Comments | Posted 2 January 2013 | (15:00)

The holidays began with the follow-up to the publication of Sir Brian Leveson's report on press regulation drowning in a sea of confusion. This was predictable. The problem went deeper than a struggle between those for and against statutory 'underpinning.' It sprang from a fundamental contradiction within Leveson's recommendations. He...

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Leveson: Over the Regulatory Cliff?

(13) Comments | Posted 12 November 2012 | (14:30)

The pips are squeaking. As the deadline approaches for Lord Justice Leveson to make his recommendations on press regulation to the government, the public debate gets more strident. Rumours abound that he will recommend a role for the state. The chairman of the Press Complaints Commission urged him in a...

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Divine Intervention and the US Elections

(30) Comments | Posted 3 November 2012 | (23:00)

On the eve of the US presidential elections, plenty of Democrats in this deeply religious country will have seen Hurricane Sandy as a sign from heaven that God backs Obama.

You can understand why. Sandy was a God-given opportunity for Obama to display the power of incumbency. He seized...

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More Royal Lessons for Leveson

(7) Comments | Posted 17 September 2012 | (00:00)

It will be no consolation to the Royal Family, but the photos of a topless Duchess of Cambridge and a naked Prince Harry have helped point the way to the future regulation of the British press.

The ironies abound. We are told that Lord Justice Leveson is much tempted...

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Prince Harry's Lessons for Leveson

(16) Comments | Posted 26 August 2012 | (00:58)

Unlike phone hacking, a criminal offence for investigation by the police, the Prince Harry affaire is stuffed with pertinent issues for Lord Justice Leveson as he ponders the future of press regulation. Two things should strike him forcefully. Firstly, press regulation is becoming more complex by the day as the...

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The Sitting Tenant From Hell

(131) Comments | Posted 17 August 2012 | (13:26)

Before I am accused of a colonialist, neo-imperialist mentality, may I be allowed to point out that the term 'banana republic' is a precise and literal description of Ecuador? It is one of the largest banana producers in the world and it is a republic.

But, its insertion into...

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Tired of London, Tired of Life

(7) Comments | Posted 14 August 2012 | (00:00)

How long before we all lament the loss of the spirit of the Olympics? Of course, we will all have to come down to earth sooner or later. But, there is bound to be some event which will spoil things and have us saying to each other, "that didn't last...

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What Problem Is Leveson Trying to Solve?

(23) Comments | Posted 27 June 2012 | (08:02)

Had the Guardian not reported - erroneously - that voicemails had been deleted by News of the World journalists from the mobile phone of murdered schoolgirl, Millie Dowler, Downing Street would never have set up the Leveson Inquiry last year. David Cameron must have thought that by bringing Leveson into...

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The Euro-Crisis: Apocalypse Soon?

(11) Comments | Posted 22 May 2012 | (00:00)

The endless eurozone crisis provokes a despairing weariness. It suffocates almost every international meeting like a damp, grey blanket. The G8 has come and gone in Camp David, bringing, so it seems, a solution no nearer. Yet another EU summit will gather later this week. No-one is holding their breath...

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The Euro - Going From Bad to Worse

(96) Comments | Posted 27 April 2012 | (00:00)

The markets have steadied a bit after their loss of nerve on Monday. But you can't help feeling that it is a bit like a climber, sliding down a glacier to his inevitable doom, who breaks his fall for a while on a crumbling ledge that soon will give way.

...
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God and the American Elections

(85) Comments | Posted 8 January 2012 | (23:00)

In 1849 a Scottish traveller to the United States, Alex Mackay, observed that "English names are plentiful around you, and many objects within view have an English look about them. Yet, when the Englishman steps ashore, it is on a foreign, though a friendly land."

This was an insight...

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Cameron in Europe: The Return of Pavlov's Dog

(6) Comments | Posted 8 December 2011 | (23:00)

To quote the very great Yogi Berra, "it's déjà vu all over again".

"Cameron isolated!" screamed the headlines in the morning's press on the eve of yet another 'make-or-break' European summit (how many of these have we had this year?)

You can almost hear the licking of lips and...

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Europe and the Nation State

(6) Comments | Posted 5 December 2011 | (23:00)

The eurozone has had more drinks this year in the Last Chance Saloon than George Osborne's had hot dinners. Here we go again in a make-or-break week.

Expectations are quite high that this time the Europeans will come up with something that rises to the moment when they meet...

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Leveson and Chilcot: Contrast and Compare

(4) Comments | Posted 27 November 2011 | (22:00)

As a former Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), I have been following the Leveson inquiry with more than a little interest. It is a curious animal.

Inquiries are raining down on my head thick and fast. First, there was Chilcot, which is looking into the origins and conduct...

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