It has been a gentle week to ease Philip Hammond into Britain’s top diplomatic job. He has only had to deal with the MH17 airplane crash in Eastern Ukraine, UN escalation with Russia, and the intensification of hostilities in Israel-Palestine. To add to his relaxation, Theresa May announced a public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB agent poisoned in London. Oh, and Hammond should be reforming the EU.
The Foreign Secretary will not be troubled, then, by the Commonwealth Games starting tomorrow in Glasgow. They are preceded by a two-day business conference run by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the Scottish Government, which features heavyweight speakers Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, and Alex Salmond, Scottish First Minister. As I write, Mr Salmond is waxing lyrical about the ‘common weal’, a historic understanding of mankind’s shared goodness.