Eamon Delaney: Diplomats had to fix Cowen's China faux pas
The last-minute cancelled visit of a year ago had left the Chinese sore at us, writes Eamon Delaney
In the current atmosphere of austerity and cutbacks, there is something of a blinkered mentality which looks immediately to our foreign service for some crude, fast savings.
Maybe valid in the case of far-off postings, or development aid offices which have fulfilled their use, but the fact is our diplomats are at the heart of our recovery programme.
The price will be high if we deprive ourselves of an effective voice in a world environment where all countries are looking for the same slice of investment and trade.