President Trump has declared Britain’s Ambassador to Washington DC Sir Kim Darroch persona non grata. Translated from the Latin this means roughly: “Get the hell out of Dodge, scum sucker. You’re not welcome in this town any more.”
The wacky Ambassador that the U.K. foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy. He should speak to his country, and Prime Minister May, about their failed Brexit negotiation, and not be upset with my criticism of how badly it was…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2019
Establishment elements in the UK media have responded by declaring war on Trump. How dare the leader of a foreign power tell us who we can and cannot choose as our ambassadors?
Kim Darroch was due to be replaced as Ambassador to Washington soon. But basic national self-respect means, surely, that new PM will have to keep him in place for longer. Foreign leaders don't fire ambassadors.
— Iain Martin (@iainmartin1) July 8, 2019
If you’re American, you’ll know exactly which side to take in this debate: Darroch was caught dissing the President in a bunch of leaked correspondence and has to go. He’s an obstacle to the Special Relationship and his judgement is poor.
If you’re a patriotic Brit, however, you may find your loyalties divided. Ambassadors are meant to be frank, are they not, in their private communiques? Surely the real villain here is whoever it was that leaked those memos, making it impossible for Darroch to do his job and undermining the integrity and efficient function of Britain’s diplomatic corps?
I’m with Trump all the way. Darroch is a liability. The sooner he is sent home packing, the better. And I’m not for one second buying any of those weaselly arguments in his defence, not least because the people making them are very much part of the problem.
Here is squishy Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat white knighting on behalf of Darroch:
— Tom Tugendhat (@TomTugendhat) July 9, 2019
Here is squishy former Conservative party leader Lord Hague doing the same:
— William Hague (@WilliamJHague) July 9, 2019
Notice anything fishy about this? You should. This is the rotten British Establishment defending its own corrupt and useless operatives in its rank, decaying system. What Hague and Tugendhat – both Remainers, by the way, as indeed is Darroch – are saying is that ordinary people have no business knowing about the inner workings of the Foreign Office. Instead, we proles must take it on trust that the ambassadors representing Britain abroad are jolly good eggs whom we can count on to act our best interests. Look at the word used by Tugendhat to describe the leak. It is an act of “treason”, he claims.
Except it’s not, is it? Whoever leaked those grubby, ill-judged, partisan memos has done Britain a massive favour.
He (or she) has shone a light on a corner of the Civil Service which the Establishment would have preferred to keep dark, viz: the public servants who run Britain behind the scenes have ceased to act like public servants. Rather – one of the many unfortunate legacies of the disgusting Tony Blair – they have become partisan hacks who no longer believe their job is to enact the will of their elected government and serve the interests of the public who pay their taxes. They’ve got so big for their boots they actually imagine their job is to shape public policy.
Sir Kim Darroch is a particularly egregious example of this tendency. As Ambassador to the US you’d like to think he had just one job: making things nice between Britain and her greatest ally and trading partner, the US.
But Darroch, clearly, doesn’t see it that way.
He had no problem cosying up to President Obama – the guy who removed Churchill’s bust from the Oval Office, never forgave Britain what he imagined it had done to his grandfather in Kenya during Mau-Mau, told Britain it would “back of the queue” in any future trade deals.
For Obama’s successor, though, Darroch appears to have little but contempt.
Trump’s speeches, he claimed in one memo, are ‘full of false claims.’
The White House under Trump, he said, ‘will never look competent.’
As for the possibility that Trump colluded with the Russians: ‘The worst cannot be ruled out.’
Now to be fair to Darroch these opinions were and are little different from the ones on Trump that you hear all the time both from the Westminster political class, from Britain’s mainstream media and from the liberal establishment generally.
Pretty much everyone in Britain’s liberal elite is a Never Trumper through and through.
But that’s exactly what’s wrong with Darroch’s memos. They are not – contrary to what we’re now being assured by his Establishment defenders – the trenchant and fearless insights of a Washington insider with his finger on the pulse. They’re the achingly predictable whinings of yet another victim of Trump Derangement Syndrome that could have been cut and pasted from any number of wearisomely samey anti-Trump articles in the British press.
Darroch, despite his privileged position of UK ambassador, with access to all the intelligence that the Secret Intelligence Service can provide, is bringing nothing to the party. He’s just regurgitating liberal elite prejudice.
Liberal elite prejudice which happens to be 100 per cent wrong – certainly where the Russians are concerned.
According to the Mail on Sunday (in a very fine scoop by Isabel Oakeshott)
‘There is no filter,’ Darroch advised. ‘And we could also be at the beginning of a downward spiral, rather than just a rollercoaster: something could emerge that leads to disgrace and downfall.’
Does this really look like special insight, now that the Democrats are imploding and Trump is increasingly looking like a shoo-in for a second term? Is this the kind of expertise for which the taxpayer funds the ambassador’s generous salary and grace-and-favour residence?
Which isn’t to say that President Trump is free of faults. Just that if you’re going to represent a country which Trump professes to love and with which he is keen to do business, you’re not really helping much if all you can see is an idiot so basic than when negotiating with him ‘you need to make your points simple, blunt even.’
The liberal left loves to scoff at the notion – mooted a while back by Trump – that Nigel Farage would make a great Ambassador to Washington. But actually it would make a lot of sense. Not only do the two men get on, not only do they share similar visions about making their respective countries great and prosperous again, but they are both happily free of cant and diplomatic nicety. Given half the chance they’d negotiate a great trade deal – and more besides – in a trice.
Darroch, on the other hand, is clearly keener on accentuating the points of difference between the U.S. and the UK than he is in forging a stronger Special Relationship.
He wrote in a June 10 memo:
‘As we advance our agenda of deepening and strengthening trading arrangements, divergences of approach on climate change, media freedoms and the death penalty may come to the fore.’
We don’t need to look far to find Darroch’s personal opinions on such issues because here he is sharing them on Twitter.
Today is #CleanAirDay – last week the UK became the first major economy to announce that it is legislating for net zero emissions by 2050. We’re also bidding to co-host COP26 with Italy. Nothing is more important for the future of our planet than tackling climate change. https://t.co/zIUBC5sYq4
— Kim Darroch (@KimDarroch) June 20, 2019
“Nothing is more important for the future of our planet than tackling climate change.” Really? Even if this were true, since when has this been the business of Our Man In Washington?
As Richard Littlejohn puts it:
Darroch is only too typical of the anti-Brexit, anti-Trump, anti-democratic clique which infests the higher echelons of our Civil Service. They purport to represent Britain’s best interests, but in reality their only purpose in life is to protect their own privileged positions and impose their partisan worldview on elected politicians and voters alike.
Yes exactly. Which is why one of the first jobs of incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson – if he has any sense – is root and branch reform of Britain’s outrageously politicised and biased Civil Service. These functionaries are supposed to be neutral and dispassionate – but they are anything but. Darroch – passionately Remain, violently anti-Trump, cleaving to all the liberal-left’s shibboleths on matters such as climate change – is just the British version of the entrenched Deep State Trump is battling in DC.
Throw him out. Throw them all out. We’ll never get anywhere till they’re gone.