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Sir Kim Darroch resigns as UK ambassador to US

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
What do the ambassadors to, say, Russia, or Venezuela, or Brazil, say in private correspondence?

This reaction is just another example of the supine position the UK adopts in the mythical 'special relationship'. Hell, Trump just comes out with this kind of criticism in public.
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
elbows is bang on the money. The job, in this respect, is to provide a frank, unvarnished assessment back to the home country. I don't know what language you think he should have used, but what he wrote was hardly biting polemic.

As for the fallacy that humouring Trump would have meant Trump 'had time for him', I don't know what planet you think this would happen on, but it's not gone very well for Theresa May.
And to what end? Why humour Trump? Macron hasn't. France hasn't been invaded yet.
 

elbows

WoeTimer
Its possible I should be paying attention to some of the other stuff in the leaks, such as:

Another memo, sent on June 10, warns of tensions ahead over Brexit: '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.'
 

elbows

WoeTimer
Trumps a special case anyway because he is a nightmare for his own civil service, diplomats etc, and all the traditional allies dont know what to do either. And we never discuss the special relationship properly because so much of it was about the power realities at the end of world war 2, later deals we did to become a US-sponsored nuclear power, and much that happened since.

We'll inevitably get some sort of discussion about it under certain Brexit scenarios because of the wider implications of any trade deals, but it will be far from a comprehensive look at it and so will be riddled with distractions and utter fallacies.
 

elbows

WoeTimer
Global Britain PLCs general pomposity and self-importance wont help either. I rarely watch the telly but I caught Laura Kuenssberg claiming on the news the other night that Trumps words about May somehow went well beyond what we are used to from Trump. Bullshit, it was entirely consistent with his prior behaviour and May is a lame duck so he has even less need to pull his punches now.
 

elbows

WoeTimer
Indeed the only thing surprising about Trumps recent attitude to May is that he hasnt found an opportunity to publicly mock her crying at the podium yet.
 

not-bono-ever

They are ringing the bells now but soon...
Both kabbes and elbows are kinda right - yes it is the familiarity speak of the elite amongst themselves but it is how things are done. If you cannot expect utter honesty from your ambassador to the USA for fear of a leak, then things are very very wrong.


ETA if you are booked in with a meeting with the UKG representatives in some dusty shithole, about say business and corruption on the country, they will be utterly honest about the situation on the ground & the expectation is that that honesty is respected
 

elbows

WoeTimer
There is a fun, recent UK leak themed triple dot joining game to be played at the moment.

Screenshot 2019-06-29 at 20.33.50.png
Screenshot 2019-07-01 at 18.16.49.png

edit - I regret not having a date for that latter article, but it was from before this ambassador leak thing happened.
 

kebabking

Not a Girly Swot, but I like them....
And to what end? Why humour Trump? Macron hasn't. France hasn't been invaded yet.
No, but because France has a less smelly relationship with the US it's nuclear weapons programme - the nukes, the missiles, and the submarines - cost about 3 times what the UK's very similar (but more accurate warheads, and quieter submarines) nuclear programme costs.

France gets a great deal less than the UK of the most sensitive intelligence that the US develops.

France also simply doesn't get access to a number of US technologies - it therefore either goes without, or has to develop them themselves. The costs of which are astronomical.

Moral purity carries a price.
 

kabbes

"A top 400 poster"
I'm all for honesty in communications. But it is worth considering the information you are honestly conveying. If it's something you can honestly stand by and back up, it's not a problem whatever it is. People get embarrassed, though, when they've said something that isn't really "honest" in the sense of being impartial, evidenced fact. It's just honestly held polemic. But there is no value in such polemic. If that's all you have to offer, and you're going to be embarrassed by its revelation there's no real meat to support it, then just don't say it in any kind of official format.

On this occasion, the honestly held opinion he was honestly conveying was something born of upper class privilege, public school bluster and contempt of the oiks. He chose to honestly convey this honest opinion and it bit him because it was of no value.
 

Smangus

comatose at a desk
Its of great value to Trump though as he will try and leverage this at every opportunity if we try and get some trade deal with him there. Next he'll suggest who should be appointed. Again.
 

kebabking

Not a Girly Swot, but I like them....
Its of great value to Trump though as he will try and leverage this at every opportunity if we try and get some trade deal with him there. Next he'll suggest who should be appointed. Again.
He'd have done that anyway.
 

killer b

Minimum Waste / Maximum Joy
No, I'm not struggling, because my view is entirely consistent with how the diplomatic service and other related entities actually operate. Leaks are the exception, the day to day assumes secure channels and frank speaking, and I'm honestly truly shocked to find people disagreeing with that here.

Its entirely consistent with all the government justifications over the years for legislation such as the official secrets act. And justification for secrecy and privacy in power circles in general.

Its a topic that has always been of interest to me because on many fronts the secrecy and power is abused, for a multitude of reasons including the covering up of incompetence and dubious acts.

It comes up in particular when we are looking at whether our freedoms are fucked with by intelligence services, and how much genuine oversight of those services there is.

Its also really fascinating to try to design a new world and consider what it would look like if we removed these 'security'/behind closed doors features. It would be a very different world indeed, one that it is somewhat hard to imagine unless issues of power being concentrated unequally are also addressed at the same time.

So yeah, I wish I lived in a world where 'behind closed doors' was not a regular feature, but it is, and really this whole Darroch story is proof of that. He wrote nothing unusual, the leak was unusual.
I don't think he's done or said anything unusual, or that there aren't countless embarrassing, stupid, 'frank' or damaging things done and said by members of the civil service and politicians every day that don't get out: of course there are. I'm just saying that their expectation of privacy rests on much more shaky foundations than they think - which is self evident when you look at the politics of the last 5 years or so. All that needs to happen is for the 'frank' words to end up in the inbox of someone who's ends would be served by it getting out. And so, sometimes, they do.
 

editor

hiraethified
The Guardian's take on the matter:

The resignation of Sir Kim Darroch followed the failure of the likely next prime minister, Boris Johnson, to say he would support him staying in post – despite being given repeated chances to do so during his TV debate with Jeremy Hunt. As the current Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan put it, by six times refusing to back the ambassador, Johnson had thrown him under a bus.

Without the backing of the president of the US or his future boss, Darroch naturally concluded he had no future as an interlocutor between London and Washington. He realised, in the words of a friend, that Johnson had left him no option.
His resignation means the malicious leaker has got his or her way. It was pretty clear from the outset that the political purpose of the leak was to get Darroch removed, and replaced by a true Brexiter of the kind Nigel Farage, and now apparently Johnson, believes is necessary if the UK is to extract maximum political and economic value from Brexit.

It was also clear that, despite the Foreign Office’s protestations, Trump was determined to blackball Sir Kim. He was not just struck off the dinner guest list for the visit of the emir of Qatar, a second meeting with Wilbur Ross did not go ahead. Darroch excluded himself from a meeting between the trade secretary, Liam Fox, and Ivanka Trump to avoid any embarrassment for the president’s daughter.
Kim Darroch: effectively sacked by Johnson on the orders of Trump
 

petee

i'm spartacus
donald trump's not really an oik, is he, with his background at a prestigious private military academy and fordham university

clumsy and inept's only 'superior' because of the clumsy and inept administration we've had the suffer to last few years
just to say as someone who has a degree from fordham, it's not a socially elite school. its natural constituency was working class and lower middle class nyc area cahtolics. trump's money made him at outlier there, which is perhaps (along with the striving) why he moved to penn, which is socially elite (ivy league).

the second thing you said is of course correct.
 
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Pickman's model

every man and every woman is a star
just to say as someone who has a degree from fordham, it's not a socially elite school. its natural constituency was working class and lower middle class nyc area cahtolics. trump' money made him at outlier there, which is perhaps (along with the striving) he moved to penn, which is socially elite (ivy league).

the second thing you said is of course correct.
I type corrected
 

Supine

Rough Like Badger
I'm all for honesty in communications. But it is worth considering the information you are honestly conveying. If it's something you can honestly stand by and back up, it's not a problem whatever it is. People get embarrassed, though, when they've said something that isn't really "honest" in the sense of being impartial, evidenced fact. It's just honestly held polemic. But there is no value in such polemic. If that's all you have to offer, and you're going to be embarrassed by its revelation there's no real meat to support it, then just don't say it in any kind of official format.

On this occasion, the honestly held opinion he was honestly conveying was something born of upper class privilege, public school bluster and contempt of the oiks. He chose to honestly convey this honest opinion and it bit him because it was of no value.
It's literally his role to be on the ground and to report back. That's the job. It's the government's job to make that line of communication secure.
 

kabbes

"A top 400 poster"
It's literally his role to be on the ground and to report back. That's the job. It's the government's job to make that line of communication secure.
Funny. I thought his job was to keep relations good between the nations.
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
After Trump said he would be frozen out I don't think he had any options but to resign.

I agree that the communications back to base probably needed to be frank, though now that they have proven less than secure perhaps this needs rethinking.

It would be interesting to know how the communications were leaked, and by whom?
 

Supine

Rough Like Badger
Funny. I thought his job was to keep relations good between the nations.
They are generally cordial people who 'get on' with whichever countries governments. They still cut through the crap and give straight talking feedback. And sometimes they need to be direct and forthright.

I'd love to know what other countries ambassadors are saying about the UK these days.
 

Ming

Massive prawns
"Inept" is useless weasel speak. It tells you nothing. It's not analysis, it's just a privileged man's distaste.
Thing is it does convey an impression. Like if you’re talking to someone you know you don’t just do facts, dates and times. It’s a two way conversation. ‘Well why inept? Specifically?’ might be the reply. And that’s OK but if you’re close and you both know the subject well then probably not necessary.
 
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