[Vocabulary] what's sofa diplomacy?

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thedaffodils

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David Cameron always said he was ‘Blair’s heir.’

So no surprise to learn he has abandoned the sprawling Downing St ‘war room’ where Gordon Brown worked and moved into the office at the end of a long corridor directly behind the No10 front door known as ‘Blair’s den.’

It was here, away from prying eyes, that Blair and his cronies conducted the sofa diplomacy that led to the Iraq War and countless other horrors. Are you sure you have made the right move, Dave?

Read more: BLACK DOG: Now Blair's heir moves into his lair | Mail Online


Hello! What's sofa diplomacy?

Thanks!
 

BobK

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The phrase is a play on the term 'armchair politics/diplomacy' - which is applied to people who don't know very much and shout at the TV! 'Armchair' is often used to mean amateur/not engaged: 'The armchair generals were all in favour of an increased army presence, but the men on the ground knew that this would just be a waste'.

The British Government is based on Cabinet Responsibility. The Cabinet (30 or 40 high-ranking politicians) discuss policy, make decisions, and stand by them. Even ministers who disagree in Cabinet, support the 'party line'. Now and then a politician resigns from the Cabinet because he can't support it in public.

Tony Blair changed all that. The Cabinet still existed, but the real decisions were made by a handful of people - some who weren't elected - chatting with the PM.

So the 'sofa diplomacy' is a reference to the very small number of Labour supporters who decided British foreign policy - it's probably a reference to Afghanistan, but doesn't have to be. ;-)

b
 
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