Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Sir Kim Darroch resigns, which reminds me of two jokes

In the past few minutes, Sir Kim Darroch resigned as British Ambassador to what Michael Wharton would have called the American rebels.

Of course, he did nothing wrong. Of course, it is very unfair. 
Of course, he did the right thing by resigning. Of course, Boris Johnson was right not to make a foolish promise not to move him. Relations with Mr Trump are far too important. Of course, journalists who know little and who hate Boris and Donald Trump are humbugs. Of course, television debates are an awful idea at a moment as perilous as this for Great Britain or England or whatever you call my country. 

Four times during last night’s televised debate Johnson was asked to confirm that Sir Kim would keep his job until he was due to leave it in six months' time. Why do TV presenters think it acceptable to badger privy counsellors in this way?

Remember this?

By the way, Boris Johnson whose opinions on all sorts of things are on record going back decades, once accused Mr Trump of a “stupefying ignorance” that makes him “frankly

unfit to hold the office of president of the United States.”

Sir Kim's comments on Donald Trump were perfectly reasonable, except he was a fool to imagine the Russian collusion story might be President Trump's downfall. MI6 of all people should have been able to tell him that, because the story was based on fatuous story by a former M16 agent. If anyone tried to influence the US election it was M16.

Time for me to retell once more a story which I read while browsing in a second hand
bookshop through Viscount D' Abernon's memoirs. The British Ambassador in Athens wrote to the British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon, during the Greco-Turkish War in 1923, saying 
'Order has broken down to such an extent that even the monks of Mount Athos are violating their vows.'
Or rather so he dictated, but the typist by an unfortunate lapse typed 'cows' instead of 'vows'. 

Lord Curzon wrote in the margin: 
'Better send a papal bull'.
Who collected and leaked the Ambassador's dispatches going back two and a half years? Some were only circulated to about a dozen people which makes me wonder if, just for once, it really was a case of 'the Russians did it'. 

Mr Putin had to endure a dressing down by Theresa May, in the style of a headmistress of a second rate school, at the G20 summit. Of course, she was wholly justified but she is insufferable. It would reveal a psychopathic sense of humour if he had leaked them. That sounds like him. 

But does he read the cables?

If so, that really is an important news story, much more so than the deeply deplorable and harmful but very entertaining disclosures themselves.

I heard Jeremy Hunt say a couple of days ago,
'In this country we have the best secret service in the world.'
It reminded me that David Frost said the same thing once on 'That Was the Week That Was', but added:
'Unfortunately it  belongs to the Russians.'
The Daily Telegraph explains President Trump's reaction to Sir Kim's opinions of him.
'Contrary to popular opinion Mr Trump does not have a thin skin for criticism. In fact, he has the hide of a rhinoceros on steroids. He was only mildly upset by the substance of Sir Kim’s comments, according to a friend who spoke to The Telegraph. “He was about five out of 10 angry, not much,” the friend said.

'Only a few months ago Gerard Araud, the outgoing French ambassador, used very similar language to Sir Kim, publicly calling the US administration “totally dysfunctional,” and Mr Trump “a big mouth who reads virtually nothing.” That barely caused a ripple at the White House. 

'The difference this time was that Mr Trump is already frustrated with the glacial pace of Brexit. He wants it, and a US-UK trade deal, done, and done yesterday.'
That sounds exactly like the way the Donald works.


  1. Sir Kim is just another smug chippy libtard from the FCO's central casting.

    1. Chippy is not a word I usually use but I can't help thinking that it seems to describe Theresa May. How different from Margaret Thatcher, who very much liked self made men but was not class prejudiced.

  2. The UK Ambassador to Washington made wrong judgements in his leaked memo. He showed he favours the Democrat criticisms of Mr Trump to the President. He should deliver balanced analysis with temperate language. What is “inept” about a Presidency that has delivered its main promises to electors? Why use the phrase “knife fights” to describe normal arguments over tactics and policy within a government?

    By all means report the Democrat critique of the President, but do not make it the official view in the memo. That shows lack of judgement and fails to reflect the political realities in Washington.

    John Redwood's Diary

    1. We are only reading portions of the cables selected by the leaker. The FCO line is that they distort his advice and I am sure they do.

  3. I thought the really telling thing in the debate was when Hunt stood by Darroch. Hunt is Theresa May without the horrible shoes and the strange wiggling dance.

    1. Hunt is a very good minister but has no pizazz. I do wish he was not dragging the country and his party through this unnecessary election which will weaken both at a perilous moment.

      Michael Gove has more substance than either but by staying in the cabinet when others resigned it is hard to see how he could have solve the Brexit conundrum.

      Boris almost missed the bus by accepting the Chequersppolicy but clambered on to it as it was moving. Probably only because the bolter David Davis resigned the day before.

  4. "Sir Kim's comments on Donald Trump were perfectly reasonable"

    Only if he was smart enough to keep them to himself - which he clearly was not.

    Didn't you have a recent post about how cultured and sophisticated Europe is compared to the USA? I would say the ambassador's actions might say otherwise.

    smug. smug, smug.

    "Relations with Mr Trump are far too important." Relations with the USA are far too important. There. fixed it for you.

    1. "Sir Kim's comments on Donald Trump were perfectly reasonable"

      Only if he was smart enough to keep them to himself - which he clearly was not.

      Didn't you have a recent post about how cultured and sophisticated Europe is compared to the USA? I would say the ambassador's actions might say otherwise.

      I can't stand Trump but for British diplomats and politicians to make personal remarks about other world leaders is childish and unprofessional. Sadly childishness and unprofessionalism is where British politics seems to be heading.

      The Americans of course are no better, seeking to interfere in British politics. Just as British politicians seek to interfere in U.S. politics. And both the British and the Americans see to interfere in Russian and Chinese politics.

      It seems to be another symptom of the degeneration of liberal democracy. Liberal democracy was never worth much but it was never as worthless as it is today.

    2. What the Ambassador said was perfectly normal and what he was paid for.

  5. Trivia:

    Top sites ranking for all categories in United Kingdom

    News and Media

    38 (+20)
    45 ((+8)

    1. Interesting. The BBC World Service moved noticeably leftwards several years ago. It now seems always to have some woman with a concerned voice interviewing some left wing activist about some left wing issue.

  6. Not the Russians, but sir Kim himself. He is defended by May and Hunt, ignored by Johnson, and likely to have garnered several lucrative Board seats post-FCO. Well Done!!

    1. His long career ends in a controversy which will always be remembered when details are forgotten, so no I do not believe your theory.