tags: , , ,

animadversions is not a creative pastiche  of

  • animal
  • advert
  • versions

Animadversions is used by the Foriegn Office (FO)  to describe the contents of the last despatch (message) by the British Ambassador to Oslo in 1975, Ralph Selby.   For Ralph, being a diplomat was a family business, his father and wife’s grandfather were ambassadors.   The style of expression within the despatch is rather fun,   I particularly liked this phrase

‘I agree with the gentleman who’s signature resembles a trombone’

In honour of this outstanding phrase I am considering changing my signature to resemble a swan.

Ralph’s animadversions  included

  • Newer diplomats did not put sufficient time and effort into studying languages
  • Diplomats circulate way too much paper “the flood of paper which has grown in a single generation is fantastic”
  • Diplomat’s wives are not paid for their valuable contributions – this disadvantages diplomats who’s wives choose to have a career.
  • Domestic staff are exensive and time-demanding ‘I do not nowadays find it easy to recruit staff who are willing to lick other people’s boots’
  • Retirement provisions are insufficient
  • There is a temptation to eat and drink well – exercise is needed “our specific calling’s snare is drink; and it is profoundly depressing to see the number of members of the service who are engaged in the process of destroying themselves by it
  • Not enough freedom of thought  
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