In my own evidence to the Lords Committee on "Soft Power" I wrote (inter alia) "Just as we as individuals need to focus on what we are rather than worry about our reputations, so countries seeking influence over others need to focus above all on what they do, and not concern themselves with the message". The British Council sees itself as an instrument of soft power, and as a direct consequence of its perception of its role and its construct as an arm of the FCO, works precisely against the interests of Britain, its integrity and the interests of its enterprises - and of those overseas. I won't reproduce David Mitchell's excellent article here, and would invite readers to take in the evidence given by the German, Norwegian, Japanese and Brazilian ambassadors. You do not want a "soft power" policy, much less a bunch of quasi-governmental parasites posing as instruments of soft power. Read the good sense of these men who are not lumbered with trying to justify an anachronistic propaganda-driven handicap such as the British Council.