Howard W French on power

Howard W French (writing about China’s activities in the South China Sea), Guardian 28 July 2015: I had been led to believe that my host [Wu Shicun, director of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies] was mightily busy, but as our conversation got under way, the impression one got in his formal, clutter-free office could not have been more different. In a meeting that lasted more than an hour, we were not interrupted, and never once did Wu check any devices for messages.

This is a depressing description of how powerful people are obliged to seem. (French’s implication is that Mr Wu is not powerful because he does not do these things.) Where I work, things have not yet reached this stage.

Published by

Paul Hodson

Head of Unit "EnergyEfficiency" at European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

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