Charles Crawford

England, United Kingdom
My Fee Ranges
    500 to 1k - 5k to 10k

About Charles Crawford

After many years in high-level diplomacy Charles has a unique profile as an imaginative and dynamic speaker/writer. After a Law degree in Jurisprudence from Oxford University he qualified as a Barrister before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. From 1985-87 Charles Crawford served as Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe’s official Speechwriter, contributing ideas/language for numerous speeches by the Foreign Secretary (major set-piece speeches, Parliamentary debates and more informal after-dinner remarks).

He subsequently contributed to speeches by members of the Royal Family, successive Prime Ministers as well as different Ministers and others in public and commercial life. In 1987 he wrote the FCO’s first Guide to Speech-Writing, a dynamic text full of rich real-life examples on how to write speeches — and how to weed out lugubrious mistakes of style and substance. Two decades after its first version it remains the FCO’s main in-house speech-drafting training tool. Charles Crawford’s energetic diplomatic work was praised at the highest levels in London, NATO and EU for being uncompromising, direct and operationally creative. His career featured many episodes of drama and interest:

  • his township work as the apartheid regime ended in South Africa
  • the early years of the transition from communism in Russia and the attempted coup against President Yeltsin
  • dealing with war crimes issues and reconciliation in post-war Sarajevo
  • the policy to support democratic forces who toppled Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic
  • high-level diplomatic work in Warsaw as Poland joined the EU, including the 2005 EU Budget negotiations.

After leaving the FCO at the end of 2007 Charles Crawford set up his own website (voted a Top 20 Libertarian website in 2008 and 2009) where his trenchant observations on public policy questions are available to a growing readership. He has taken part in training courses for senior EU officials and national diplomats aimed at improving their communication skills. Charles is now on the UK Conservative Party Candidates List. Charles is himself an accomplished speaker who has addressed audiences large and small for many years. In 2009 his audiences included the Headmasters Conference and Conservative Friends of Poland as well as private groups and academic gatherings. He draws on vivid episodes from his diplomatic career to explain wider policy and moral themes and trends. His speeches and presentations are unconventional and intellectually challenging, but above all interesting and memorable

My Specialist Subjects

Is Russia Too Big?

A thought-provoking look at why Russia is at once too big and too small. A look at its history and future as we consider the darker aspects of Russian Political Psychology

The Katyn Massacre — The Perfect Crime

The perfect crime is not when you can’t prove who did it — it’s when you can prove who did it, but you’d rather look away. A hard look at the startling story of the Katyn Massacre in WW2

International Negotiation (as taught by Shrek and Clint Eastwood)

The complexity and simplicity of international negotiation, explained by great film stars down the ages.

Climate Change: From UN (United Nations) to UM (Unmitigated Mess)

A blunt, thought provoking yet entertaining explanation of why international negotiations on Climate Issues are doomed to fail on a spectacular scale

Why Stupidity Should be Taught in Schools

The essence of Stupidity as a fateful force in human affairs, with many examples drawn from government practice.


fabulously readable and interesting analysis, with practical application … just about the best scenesetter we have ever seen

No 10 Downing Street

very witty and hugely entertaining but also authoritative, unflinching and wise, with a serious underlying point that got a very receptive hearing

Andrew Grant, Chairman of Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference

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