Following the unfortunate hacking of Sir Kim's mail, and the subsequent publishing of his thoughts, we were recently discussing how very quaint and old fashioned the British diplomatic service can be, and I remembered that somewhere I had the perfect example.
We've all heard the expression 'Diplomatic Bag', well, if you've never seen one, this is one above.
When a diplomat wishes to take top secret papers from his country of posting, back to the FO in Whitehall, he takes them in a simple canvas bag with a drawstring. No fancy lock and chain, no 'this package will self destruct, etc, no obligatory Aston Martin to avoid thieving enemy spies. Just an open canvas bag in which anything can be carried. A Diplomatic Bag is considered 'territory' of its Embassy, and cannot be violated.
The one above was used by my late Father-in-Law when in both Moscow and Washington. One can only imagine what dastardly secrets (or objects?) it contained! Hmmmm.