Ambassador Lite

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advertising a cushy job in this week’s Economist. It’s the post of HM Ambassador to the Holy See (aka the Vatican). “The Holy See”, says the blurb,

has the status of a csovereign state. It plays an important role on international issues of importance to HMG such as Africa, development and the fight against poverty. As Ambassador, you will act on instructions from the UK Government, report on the Holy See’s response, advance HMG’s overseas priorities, and represent the UK at official functions and ceremonial events (including religious ceremonies).

Hmmm… nice work if you can get it. Wonder if they are open to Muslim applicants. But wait — the salary is a pittance — in the range £42,640 – £60,405 pa, which seems a trifle mean for such an important post — even if it is “supplemented by a fully furnished residence, allowances, and an accountable entertainment allowance of up to £6,000 per annum”.

Er, could it be that HMG doesn’t really think that the Vatican is all that important? Answer, yes: a friend who knows about these things says that the Holy See post is really just a step up from a consulate. So this is really an ad for an Ambassador-Lite.