Does my right hon. Friend agree that soft power can often be as effective as hard power, if not more so, and that it is usually a lot cheaper? I therefore strongly welcome the additional funding for the BBC World Service, but will he go on to look at strengthening the support for other soft power projections, such as the British Council and the Chevening scholarship and John Smith Trust fellowship programmes?
Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs
I suspect that my right hon. Friend, my near neighbour in Essex, knows that he is pushing at the most open of open doors on that. I do not particularly like the phrase “soft power”, because it sometimes implies a subordinate relationship to hard power. He is right to say that the UK’s projection of soft power—I have to use the phrase as I have not thought of anything better yet—is incredibly powerful and cost-effective. He made the point about Chevening, Marshall and other scholarships. All those things, along with football, arts, theatre and so on, are incredibly powerful and absolutely at the heart of UK foreign policy.