A bad taste

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When the two Americans captured with Kenneth Bigley were executed, the fate of the British hostage seemed to be sealed. At that point, the Foreign Office apparently tolerated the family's efforts to keep Mr Bigley's name in the headlines; there was nothing to lose. Now that his prospects have improved, however, the signs are that policy has changed. How else to explain the family's new reticence and the mysterious police raids on his brother's Amsterdam house? Such things leave a bad taste. We are back in the softly, softly world of diplomacy. If Mr Bigley is eventually released, do we need to ask who will claim the credit?

When the two Americans captured with Kenneth Bigley were executed, the fate of the British hostage seemed to be sealed. At that point, the Foreign Office apparently tolerated the family's efforts to keep Mr Bigley's name in the headlines; there was nothing to lose. Now that his prospects have improved, however, the signs are that policy has changed. How else to explain the family's new reticence and the mysterious police raids on his brother's Amsterdam house? Such things leave a bad taste. We are back in the softly, softly world of diplomacy. If Mr Bigley is eventually released, do we need to ask who will claim the credit?

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