Kim Darroch – the Simple Explanation 235

The media is full of over-complicated theories as to who might have leaked Kim Darroch’s diplomatic telegrams giving his candid view on the Trump administration. I should start by explaining the FCO telegram system. The communications are nowadays effectively encrypted emails, though still known as “telegrams”: to the Americans “cables”. They are widely distributed. These Darroch telegrams would be addressed formally to the Foreign Secretary but have hundreds of other recipients, in the FCO, No.10, Cabinet Office, MOD, DFID, other government departments, MI6, GCHQ, and in scores of other British Embassies abroad. The field of suspects is therefore immense.

It is very important to note that this is an old fashioned kind of leak which was given to the mainstream media without the documents being published online. It is therefore pretty useless in terms of public information. We haven’t seen the documents, we only know as much as Isabel Oakeshott and the Daily Mail chose to tell us. It is not possible to envision any more untrustworthy or agenda driven filter than that. We can therefore be certain this was not a wikileaks style disclosure in the interests of freedom of information about public servants and their doings, but the agenda was much more specific.

Darroch’s scathing assessment of Trump is no way out of line with the mainstream media narrative and it is interesting – but exactly what I would expect of him – that Darroch shares the neo-con assumption that Trump’s failure to start a war with Iran over the drone take-down was a weird aberration. The leaks neither tell us anything startling nor obviously benefit any political faction in the UK. So what was the motive?

I believe the most probable answer is much simpler than anything you will find in the vast amount of media guff printed on the subject these last two days by people with no knowledge.

Kim Darroch is a rude and aggressive person, who is not pleasant at all to his subordinates. He rose to prominence within the FCO under New Labour at a time when right wing, pro-Israel foreign policy views and support for the Iraq War were important assets to career progress, as was the adoption of a strange “laddish” culture led from No. 10 by Alastair Campbell, involving swearing, football shirts and pretending to be working class (Darroch was privately educated). Macho management was suddenly the thing.

At a time when news management was the be all and end all for the Blair administration, Darroch was in charge of the FCO’s Media Department. I remember being astonished when, down the telephone, he called me “fucking stupid” for disagreeing with him on some minor policy matter. I had simply never come across that kind of aggression in the FCO before. People who worked directly for him had to put up with this kind of thing all the time.

Most senior ambassadors used to have interests like Chinese literature and Shostakovitch. Darroch’s are squash and sailing. He is a bull of a man. In my view, the most likely source of the leaks is a former subordinate taking revenge for years of bullying, or a present one trying to get rid of an unpleasant boss.

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235 thoughts on “Kim Darroch – the Simple Explanation

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  • Komodo

    Craig will be delighted (?) to know that the Mail Online quotes the last section of his post pretty well complete today. Possible he will be less pleased to know that Farage’s equally critical remarks on Darroch are also reproduced. Good to see they agree, though.

  • michael norton

    It would seem, this leak could benefit Boris Johnson, whilst damaging Kim, Jeremy and Theresa.
    Boris and Donald both want Cliff Edge Brexit.
    No doubt Kim did not want Cliff Edge Brexit as he was under Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May.
    May and Hunt are probably now both sidelined to the back benches.
    Boris will be the new Prime minister and he will anoint a new Ambassador to the U.S.A., who will be very pro Cliff Edge Brexit.
    This is a win, win situation for Boris and his mate Donald.

  • Paul Barbara

    Pity so many MP’s didn’t spring to the defence of Craig when he faced the wrath of the Foreign Office in a far more important issue, that of HMG’s complicity in concealing and benefiting from barbaric torture and murder.

  • John2o2o

    Well Craig, your simple explanation seems very plausible to me.

    I have been recently wondering if I could get into politics in a serious way myself. I am certainly forthright at times here, but a quiet person in life. I have become much stronger and more confident in myself this year. Perhaps I could move to Scotland and become a member of the SNP – I’m still a Royalist though. I can’t bear any of the other major political parties.

    Well, if I was in charge of the SNP I would certainly “seize the day” Craig! Oh, believe me. I would do it.

    • Garth Carthy

      Well spotted, Peter.
      I’ve just today received a reply from the BBC re: my complaint about the “Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party” Panorama programme.
      The BBC, with their usual arrogant, patronising dismissal of my complaints still maintained that the Panorama programme was a fair and honest investigation into Labour’s “Anti-Semitism issues”.
      They needless to say, didn’t answer my question about the Israeli Embassy being behind a campaign to undermine Corbyn, which in view of what you discovered underlines the BBC’s disgusting lack integrity.
      Media Lens have the same problem with the BBC. The BBC never admit to Media Lens that they could possibly be in the wrong or that Media Lens may have a point.

  • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    Craig writes: “Most senior ambassadors used to have interests like Chinese literature and Shostakovitch.”
    I don’t qualify of course, but hey, any excuse….

    ‘The birds have vanished into the sky.
    Now the last cloud drains away.
    We sit together, the mountain and me,
    until only the mountain remains.’ (Li Po, 701-762)
    ‘The Second Waltz’ by Shostakovich
    (André Rieu in Maastricht, The Netherlands, 2012)

  • N_

    Darroch shares the neo-con assumption that Trump’s failure to start a war with Iran over the drone take-down was a weird aberration.

    Who knows how this is going to develop? But if the talk that Britain “may help release” the ship they seized is accurate and the poshboy kingdom backs down on this occasion (possibly paying compensation, but that probably wouldn’t be reported in Britain), the reason may be that Iran has threatened to crash the financial markets as they did in 1987. That said, should the worst happen and a war with Iran break out, a financial crash is inevitable, as all “players” are well aware. The same is true as regards the Baltic and South China seas.

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