Osborne was writing in the British Spectator where there has always been a strong attraction for muscular and intelligent writing. This is Osborne on the then British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw.
Jack Straw, though by no means a distinguished foreign secretary, nevertheless possesses animal cunning. He is an acknowledged master of dissimulation, contrivance, machination, manoeuvre, evasion, guile, trickery, craft, diversion, disguise, distortion, persiflage, falsehood, deception, sophistry, stealth, artifice, sharp practice, underhand dealing, sleight of hand, subterfuge, prevarication and every other stratagem of concealment and deceit. Occasionally, however, the Foreign Secretary is capable of candour.