The Darroch Affair 440


I am amused when I hear the resignation of Kim Darroch mooted as an attack on an apolitical civil service. Darroch’s rise to the top of the FCO was in fact a startling example of the politicisation of the civil service – there is no doubt that his enthusiastic support for the Iraq War, and for every neo-con war of aggression since, is what endeared him so strongly to the people who make the decisions on the top posts (and do not believe the fiction that ministers have no influence on them).


Kim Darroch and Tony Blair

I have annoyed quite a few people – including regular readers – for refusing to endorse any of the more baroque conspiracy theories involving Trump and Johnson conspiring to get rid of Darroch. These have the attraction of simplicity, with the evil Johnson and Trump on one side and the angelic Darroch on the other.

But many things do not easily make sense. The notion it is a plot to make Farage Ambassador to Washington is bizarre. If Johnson wishes to appoint Farage as Ambassador to Washington, after the summer break he could do it on Darroch’s retirement – which could have been if desired quietly brought forward two months with no fuss.

More to the point, the Brexit Party like UKIP is nothing without Farage. The idea that, at this crucial point, he would volunarily lose his political leverage by going off to be a diplomat in Washington is a nonsense. And – crucially for Farage – there is just as much cash in being an MEP.

We do not know who leaked the telegrams and why. One overlooked possibility is the intention was to damage Trump himself, by releasing Darroch’s criticisms of him. As I pointed out, Darroch is an abrasive character with many disaffected people who have worked for him around, and I still think that is a likely source for the leak.

We just don’t know. But what I do know is that the idea that Darroch is an apolitical civil servant is a nonsense. I would remind you also that my objections to torture and extraordinary rendition were entirely in internal highly classified communications at the time the FCO first decided to try to move to sack me. I only leaked afterwards. So the idea that the FCO encourages honest and candid reporting is still more of the hypocritical nonsense being talked around Darroch’s resignation.


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440 thoughts on “The Darroch Affair

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    • lysias

      Darroch’s days as ambassador were numbered once the telegrams came out. He could no longer be an effective envoy.

      • Jack

        lysias

        This is what cables look like, and besides there is nothing controversial about what he said.
        He wasnt fired because UK found him troubling, he was fired because Trump said he refused to deal with him and UK folded.

        • N_

          Agreed. And the Brits didn’t even say (as far as we know) “Please follow diplomatic procedure for declaring an ambassador persona non grata”. Perhaps Trump was too busy thinking about 18th century airports.

          Then there was US ambassador to Britain Joseph Kennedy, who as the representative of the non-belligerent country the United States felt a British boot up his coccyx when he recommended in 1940 that Britain should lie down in front of Adolf Hitler.

  • Clark

    Darroch warned that Trump’s presidency could end in disgrace and he may well be right:

    https://twitter.com/soychicka/status/1067873908521648128

    Scan of relevant document:

    https://twitter.com/i/moments/1026279910434734080

    Seth Abramson is a professor of law:

    https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1147873176141074441

    A summary of the entire case by Attorney Andrew Kreig and journalist Wayne Madsen (though Wayne Madsen’s credibility is sometimes questioned):

    https://www.justice-integrity.org/1445-welcome-to-waterbury-the-city-that-holds-secrets-that-could-bring-down-trump

    The leak of Darroch’s telegrams could be a rearguard action; a warning to distance British interests from Trump before the shit hits the fan.

  • Goose

    I guess the difference is his were criticisms of his host country’s shambolic administration, yours were criticisms of UK foreign policy, albeit ‘secret’ from parliament and the public, foreign policy?

    It’s funny how senior people eg. Ministers are extremely coy, when asked if the perpetrator(s) of the leak should face prosecution.

  • TonyT12

    Question for Craig.
    Is Boris J. an American citizen and U.S. passport holder?
    He was born in the U.S.A. so he should have patrial rights.
    If so, his subservience to President Trump is simply part of the set of obligations of being a U.S. citizen

    • N_

      @Tony12 – Boris Johnson was indeed a US citizen and he owed a lot in US taxes and at one time there was talk of his risking arrest in connection with tax arrears if he went to the US. There was also talk of renunciation, but for a long time it didn’t happen. He remained a US citizen after he became the British Foreign Secretary. (I’d better repeat that: he remained a citizen of a foreign country after he became the British Foreign Secretary.) He then renounced his US citizenship a few months later on the quiet. Someone noticed the announcement in the official US gazette for such things and spread the news around.

      Of course some countries including Britain have a procedure where a person renounces citizenship only to help them get a document to fulfil the requirements laid down by a second country and they don’t “really” do it and there’s a special form for them to get it back on the quiet. So perhaps Johnson’s renunciation of US citizenship was of this kind.

      Another question you may be interested in is whether Donald Trump might successfully apply for British citizenship by descent, being the son of a British mother as he is.

      • giyane

        I find it hard to believe Johnson would commit himself to anything. Citizenship would imply commitment. Whereas Johnson is no more than a massive blue bottle who is anfatuated with his own noise and germs.

        He makes Trump look wise and sane

      • Paul

        Assuming Boris renounced his US citizenship, it is not easy to get it back. Once renounced it is gone. You are treated like any other Non American in the US. the only way to get it back would be to become a legal migrant to the US and then go through the steps of getting a green card and then eventually becoming a US citizen after about 7 years as a legal resident of the the US. Alternatively you could speed up the process by marrying and American Citizen, in which case you get a green card immediately you land in the US and you have shorter residence requirements to get citizenship. It is not like the UK where you can resume your citizenship.
        And Trump is entitled to British citizenship as his mother was a British citizen and she was born in Scotland. It is not automatic (as if you were born to a British mother overseas before 1983, you have to apply for it, if you father was British it is automatic), but the process is free of charge. However Trump would have to prove he was of good character, which might be problematic…here UK law is discriminatory if you were born outside the UK before 1983 and….if only your father was British, you are UK citizen automatically, if only your mother, then you have to apply and prove good character

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Paul July 11, 2019 at 09:43
          Obviously it would depend on who you were whether the ‘rules’ would be applied.
          Just as Saudis were parachuted in through the US Embassy prior to 9/11, with an embassy worker threatened when he complained, or as a police chief will mysteriously have his 100 mph speeding ticket ‘disappear’, or get off on some technicality, or US cops routinely getting away with murdering young blacks.
          Or even hundreds of Nazi War Criminals being spirited into the US after WWII in Project Paperclip.
          Laws are for the peasants.

    • Tom Welsh

      If today’s laws had obtained at the time, Winston Churchill would have grown up with dual nationality (British and US).

  • N_

    @Craig – “the people who make the decisions on the top posts (and do not believe the fiction that ministers have no influence on them)

    I can’t resist reminding readers that your old adversary the former Foreign Secretary and thug Jack Straw is married to Alice Perkins, the former Director General at the Cabinet Office’s Corporate Development Group, in which role she was responsible for recommending personnel for appointment to the most senior jobs in the civil service. That was quite a duo.

    At the end of the day, state business and the business state are all about mafia.

    One writer who’s good on this is David Cornwell, aka John Le Carré.

    PS How long before the Washington ambassador leaves his post is his replacement usually announced? I thought it was something like six months. And Darroch was supposed to be finishing his stint in December. So why hadn’t his successor already been named?

    I doubt it will be Farage. Bannon and Kushner and little baby Trumpy of course may have other ideas. The public humiliation of the British state by the Trump presidency is truly something to behold. After Theresa May rushed to pay homage to the jaw-jutting narcissist and literally hold his hand, we had him standing next to her in London and insisting that the NHS be put on the market. Attlee and Bevan may have taken Britain into NATO but I cannot imagine them consenting to suffer such sh*t-eating humiliation. This is beyond the Munich agreement. The Munich agreement made some strategic sense. It wasn’t a case of Hitler telling Chamberlain “Give us all your stuff, and now get down on all fours” and Chamberlain saying “Yes sir” and doing it.

    • Francis Urquhart Barr

      Tripe. Theresa May high-tailed it to DC at the very earliest possible moment to make her apologies to POTUS Trump for the UK secret service involvement in producing the utterly bogus “Steele Dossier”, so that POTUS would be lenient to UK.

      • RandomComment

        UK involvement in the “Dodgy Dossier” quite likely led to May’s resignation. If was about Brexit, she’d have resigned ages ago.

    • N_

      Nice work by either subs or the legal department at the Guardian, changing “dual loyalty” (which of course a dual citizen has) to the stupid term “ambiguous loyalties”.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ N_ July 10, 2019 at 19:32
        It would seem to me that people with “ambiguous loyalties” shouldn’t represent British people in Parliament. I wonder how many there are? There certainly seems to be an army of ‘Fifth Columnists’ in the UK, baying for Corbyn & Co.’s head….

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I think that this is an attempt to give the impression that there is any real Independence between the various factions in control of the American and British Governments, and all the Nations of Europe, and The EU itself, where the reality is that there is only one power that is really in control of the lot of them.

    Whilst there are a political differences, both within the American factions, the British and all the rest of the Nations, these differences are largely cosmetic, like different syles of wallpaper. It’s basically bullshit for the masses, to give the impression to over a Billion people, that they live in Democracies, and can replace the ones really in control, by voting for someone else.

    I am beginning to wonder, why they even bother to produce this illusion. It is quite obvious that you have no choice, as George Carlin portrayed quite brilliantly in a few words on stage, before he sadly died.

    ” GEORGE CARLIN- no choice”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ-CAkPAlc4

    Tony

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Tony_0pmoc July 10, 2019 at 19:30
      That is why it is so important to get a real change, in the form of a Jeremy Corbyn government. The longer it takes, the more embedded become the PTB, and their puppets. Why is Jeremy Corbyn so heinously attacked from virtually all corners? Because he could be the turning point in a long haul to get more power back to the people.
      His scumbag attackers in the ‘Labour Party’ know if he and like minded people get a foothold, the gravy train stops and they are busted flushes.
      The Fifth Column guys and gals are tearing their hair out, because an ‘unbribable’ and ‘unblackmailable’ Left Wing politician has broken through the outer defenses, and may, like the US ‘Security Services’ sh*t their pants when Jesse Ventura got to be Governor of Minnesota.
      They actually summoned him to a multi-agency meeting in Langley, to try to ascertain how he had done it without major backers and the PTB’s blessing.

  • Ort

    Thanks for this lucid addendum to your previous post, Craig– despite my standing dismay at the unfortunate trend of normalizing the use of the fraught, rhetorically “weaponized” term “conspiracy theory”.

    One doesn’t have to be a fan of Trump to understand that portraying the odious Darroch as the victim of a heinous plot to remove him for “speaking truth to power” is ludicrous.

  • Cynicus

    Two points Craig:

    1) Timing. Why NOW when a vengeful victim could have take down Darroch long before?

    2) Why was Isabel Oakeshott, whom you yourself exposed as a member of Integrity Initiative, used as as a conduit for the story?

    As yesterday, I offer no conspiracy theory, baroque or otherwise, merely two puzzling questions.

    • Goose

      Well, he was Blair era, he’s highly critical of Trump, and the feeling is clearly mutual – ‘he isn’t liked’ as Trump revealed.

      Those three facts would be motivation enough for some to want to see him replaced asap.

  • Cynicus

    An amusing aside: the Fox News broadcaster’s (mis)pronunciation of “Darroch” as “Darrot” cf Ross Perot, with similar stress.

  • Laguerre

    Darroch may not have been a very nice person, you may be right. However, the British government had a duty to support their ambassador – it is no longer a question about what was in the cables leaked. May did it, Johnson, the prospective future PM, did not. So he had to resign. It has made Britain look very foolish, ready to bend the knee before Trump, and show off Britain as a US vassal. The Tory party members are not going to take this well. All their Brexiter beliefs are for independence, Britain free, however unrealistic. Now it seems that we have to obey the US.

    What effect this will have on the leadership vote is questionable, many having already voted, but there will be many regretting their vote. It’s a very fundamental political event.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          the CIA can hack fax machines for breakfast.

          Try sitting in a metal encased bunker, write by hand, have hand delivered and make recipient burn it in your presence after it has been read.

          No chance of privacy without that….

          • Goose

            Actually pen and paper/ wax seals envelopes /filing cabinets.

            The 1970s and prior did privacy much better.

            Look at the digitalisation of medical records. I’d wager everyone’s a quietly available to TPTB – without consent. There was a time where they’d have had to break in and jemmy a filing cabinet with a crowbar, not long ago.

            Progress huh?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Laguerre July 10, 2019 at 20:31
      Since when has HMG done it’s duty to serve the people of this country? Good riddance to Darroch.
      The bigger mess this incident creates, the better. It could take some of the MSM heat off Jeremy Corbyn, unless they manage to put him in the frame somehow.
      Odd they haven’t accused Putin yet, or even Assad or Maduro…
      Guess they haven’t lost their chance.

  • Tom

    I think Trump and probably Johnson are both red herrings in this story. I can see the leak of the cable as some kind of favour by British security services to the American ones as a way try to discredit Trump.
    If so, the hunt for the leaker will simply be a wild goose chase until the whole episode is forgotten.

  • Willie

    Who leaked the memo is indeed a big question.

    Quite who it damages is another matter all together. Yes Darroch is history, collateral damage, but what does his sacking say of Boris Johnson and the U.K. indeed, with only a matte4 of day’s passing, the removal of Darroch shows Johnson and indeed the U.K. as a whole to be an absolute poodle to the USA. Standing for nothing, the U.K. like a piece of toilet paper has shown how utterly compliant it is.

    Trump and his America First policy will absolutely eviscerate any future UK government as this fiasco shows. And in practical terms, out of Europe, the US multinationals will plunder the U.K. in a trade deal of unequals.

    Toilet paper Johnson, that’s about the best that can be said about our next unelected Prime Minister.

    • TonyT12

      Friend of Boris must have leaked it. Cui bono? Boris. Open & shut case.

      All we can expect is that when Boris fails as P.M. for an inevitable avalanche of broken promises, then everyone will know where we stand and think again. He was given a lot of rope as London Mayor, but just about got away with it. He was given not so much rope at the FCO and was worse than useless. At his home constituency of Uxbridge he has been worse than useless on all of the local causes – Heathrow Expansion, HS2, social care – somehow he gets away with it.

      Being P.M. gives him far less scope for escaping realities, especially with his ambitious Lady Macbeth alongside him in No.10 – Carrie-on-Boris.

      • Mary Pau!

        My sister and I have a bet, how many PMs will we get through before we come to some agreement with the EU over Brexit? I say 3, she says 2. We both agree BoJo will be hopeless.

    • Phil

      Darroch wont be hurt by this – there will simply be a brief hiatus before he moves on to his next step up the ladder.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Who leaked the memo is indeed a big question”.

      And an unanswerable one, given the inexplicably wide distribution Craig told us about. For starters, with MI6 and GCHQ seeing all the cables, that means all the US alphabet soup agencies would see them. And their directors – mostly unqualified amateurs appointed for political reasons. Could such a person decide to leak such a cable? Decidedly.

  • Laguerre

    You know, Darroch’s resignation is going to have a lot of effect on the Brexiters-in-the-backwoods. It’s been highly publicised, on Radio 4 all day. I’m surprised Johnson’s people didn’t move fast to suppress it. Very bad for him, even if most Tories have already voted. Lots of Brexiters-in-the-backwoods are going to be thinking, we wanted to be independent. We didn’t vote to be a US vassal.

    • Glasshopper

      The UK has been a US vassal for decades, as you well know. While in the EU.

      We’ve also seen our utilities and other industries hoovered up by European corporations.

      When are remainers going to stop this hysterical whingeing?

      • Laguerre

        Yes, of course, it is well-known that Britain was the US agent in the EU. Now that the Brexiters want out, Britain will be far less use to the US, and Trump in particular. We can expect more repeats of Darroch-type affairs, ending in US sanctions on Britain, not a deal. That will be because Trump will end up declaring US sanctions on every other state in the world – he’s already made a good start. France next.

    • Rod

      Like most Brexiteers who will, or already, have voted for Mr Johnson to be Prime Minister are likely to have employed as much forethought to that as when they voted to leave the EU. Immediately springing to mind were the two sets of farmers recently shown on the BBC’s Countryfile programme who voted to leave the EU and whose main customers were in Europe. One a pig farmer producing continental sausage and the other a dairy farmer in northern Ireland selling milk to the Republic. They now see the real possibility of watching their businesses go to the wall through the imposition of tariffs. I believe the majority of people who voted this way simply didn’t understand that their votes had consequences, so backwoods thinking is an apt description.

      It may indeed eventually turn out to be bad for Mr Johnson, but there won’t be any comparison to discomfort the ordinary people here will feel when Britain becomes a certified vassal state of the USA.

    • Dave Lawton

      Laguerre
      “Britain as a US vassal”

      July 10, 2019 at 20:31The EU project was created by the CIA.Did you not know.

  • bj

    Would this guy have been ‘in’ on the various strands that came together and evolved into the ball of wool called ‘pee-gate’ or ‘Russiagate’?

  • Thomas Paine

    LOL, as an American, I assumed from the first time I read this story in the corporate press that the primary target was to damage Trump. After all, why should this day have been any different from the last 2 years. And no, I’m not a Trumpster. I’m supporting Rep. Gabbard in these elections. But, its been very obvious that for the last 2 years that attacking Trump is the aim of most such leaks and the faction of the corporate press that publishes them. I didn’t even think of Boris The Spider.

    Besides, I don’t even know why we have good relations with the English anyways. We fought two wars against them, they’ve invaded and occupied our land, with all the care that the English boot has when it is stomped down upon your neck. Its just a sign of how little most Americans know of their own history that we aren’t constantly complaining about English meddling in our society and threatening to bomb them. The sure sign of an American traitor is when you see them visiting an English Royal Palace. That certainly is not the act of an American Patriot. …….. and please note that I’ve tried to be careful and say English and not insult the other subjected states of the United Kingdom.

    • nevermind

      Thomas Paine in the.brainbox, ‘they invaded and occupied OUR LAND’?
      Do you really believe that it is your land?
      What? Going back a thousand years or is this land shared with those who lived there long before multiple immigrants joined them, shared out all their illnesses, alcohol and glassbeads.
      Then they robbed them of their rights to roam and hunt.
      You are just another immigrant to the US as the thousands that are denied access.
      Welcome to reality

      • Willie

        Quite where you draw the line in terms of when a nation came into being can be quite a difficult question.

        The Scotti came from the middle East, settled in Ireland and moved to Scotland where they subsumed the Pictii.

        Of course prior to that an earlier wave of Bythronic speaking Celts had made their home around the peripheries of the island of Great Britain.

        During or indeed after the time of King Kenneth McCalpin ( who ‘ United ‘ the Scots and Picts the Vikings held various bits of Scotland ).

        But from then on Scotland is recognised as a nation.

        And of the English, recognised as a nation, they too are composed of ancient Briton, Celts, Angles, Jutes, Vikings, Norman’s and now many more. But they are recognised as a nation…….who only some four hundred years ago spoke an unintelligible language as Chaucer would have spoken.

        But Americans or America, some folks now say are not a nation.

        That I’m afraid is just not correct and more reflects the bias that folks have against certain nations.

        And make no mistake, the indigenous tribes were just that, people speaking different languages, in different parts of a continent.

        Just like like most of the rest of the world.

      • bevin

        “..they’ve invaded and occupied our land..”
        What Tom means is that the Royal Proclamation of 1763, restricting colonists to the east of the Alleghenies and preventing them from ‘buying’ land from the First Nations, British policies threatened the interests of land speculators.
        Similarly the Cornwall case, in which it was held that slaves were free in England, threatened the fundamental beliefs of slaveowners. From such materials were patriots fighting for freedom made.

    • Babuška

      What about the Dutch settlement of manna hatta?

      Yes, there were Swedes and Germans also, trading with the indigenous people

      Described in brilliant detail by Russell Shorto in one of my favourite books : “The island at the centre of the world”
      There is a great effort put forth by scholars in US and The Netherlands to restore the Dutch documents of that age.
      To paraphrase CM, nothing is simple

    • Goose

      The US won its freedom. But I don’t know anyone in Europe who’s envious of your corrupted by big money, two-party, political system.

      As for the executive Presidency, if I’d elected Trump on a non-interventionist foreign policy platform, only to watch him appoint Bolton and Pompeo – let’s face it neither would ever be elected to anything – I’d be pretty miffed. The fact the unelected in the US Pompeo wants to interfere in UK elections, to stop Corbyn, is through the Looking-Glass stuff.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Also, I can’t see what effect this leak is supposed to have. We learn that ambassadors give frank opinions about politicians to the governments they (the ambassadors) work for and that sometimes they say snarky things about the people they are reporting on. Why is this news and who is damaged by it in any way? The ambassador is due to finish anyway, its just standard flak for Trump and the UK gov. diplomatic service is no worse in this respect than the US or anybody else ( see previous wikkilwaks).

    • pete

      Re the English “they’ve invaded and occupied our land”

      I imagine the indigenous American natives will have something to say about that, and I wonder if they might lay claim to the US on the same basis, and what the US might say about a middle east country that claims a patch of land is theirs due to their ancestors having lived there once. They can’t both be right, can they?

  • John Stone

    We are looking at what happens when confidentiality is blown – Darroch’s job as ambassador was compromised. The way to resolve the situation was to resign. Sometimes people have to resign not because they have done anything wrong but because for some reason their position had become untenable. For the whole of the British establishment and media to be saying he should stay come what may was the height of absurdity – perhaps this was the oddest thing of all. The professional thing was to resign.

    • Tom Welsh

      Any “confidentiality” is as artificial and fictitious as the ermine robes of the British “Lords” and “Ladies”, or the sabres of the Life Guards.

      • John Stone

        No doubt it is somewhat conditional but nevertheless there was incident which compromised Darroch’s ability to carry out his job. Granted that Trump’s own style is anything but diplomatic if the US Ambassador in London was reported to have said such things about the Prime Minister or the Queen they would not expect to stay in post. They would no longer be the right person to represent the interests of their government.

        • John Stone

          What worries me is that people simply, en masse, take the media cue that we ought to be outraged that Darroch was forced to resign when it was the only professional thing to do – and it is not about whether we like Trump or Boris Johnson. His ability to carry out his role was compromised. May and Hunt showed their incompetence by playing the line that he must stay, and Johnson said as little as possible.

  • Dungroanin

    I am in no way annoyed in anyway. I appreciate that an opportunity to read between the lines is offered. To add to myppst on the previous article on the Washington Times article, they also wrote the following:

    ‘At one point last year, Mr. Trump planned to declassify documents pertaining to the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation. He backed off partly because, he said, “key allies” protested.

    More recently, he empowered Attorney General William P. Barr to release material from the investigation as he sees fit. Mr. Barr appointed the U.S. attorney for Connecticut to investigate how the FBI went after Trump aides.

    After months of allegations from Mr. Steele, former Obama aides and Democrats, no Trump ally was charged with conspiring with Russia’s election meddling.’

    Now, is that fake news? Am i imagining dots that join up to a bigger picture?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    “Darroch’s rise to the top of the FCO was in fact a startling example of the politicisation of the civil service – there is no doubt that his enthusiastic support for the Iraq War, and for every neo-con war of aggression since, is what endeared him so strongly to the people who make the decisions on the top posts (and do not believe the fiction that ministers have no influence on them).”

    Viewed honestly – the British Civil Service always had a deeply embedded Tory bias. Yeah – Blair – ‘New Labour’ – different name – same game.

    Fact or fiction?

    Courtenay

  • Laguerre

    Mail:
    Boris faces backlash for ‘throwing Britain’s US ambassador under the bus’: Johnson is accused of failing to defend Sir Kim Darroch as he QUITS after Trump called him ‘a pompous fool’ over memo leak

    Telegraph
    Boris Johnson must be free to choose a new US ambassador if he becomes Prime Minister, say allies

    Express
    She said: “I have been told that Sir Kim was aware of the debate last night. He watched. He saw Boris Johnson failed to give him his direct backing and as a result of that he decided his position was not possible to continue.

    For a backwood’s Brexiter, dedicated to Britain’s independence, primitively, that’s not very good news. For him, and they are mostly male, they’re going to be disillusioned.

    Johnson may win, because of the rules, but his support is going to be attenuated.

  • Ian

    What a lot of red herrings you serve up. Craig. Rather smugly you seem to take some satisfaction from the fact that you think you annoyed some readers, as if it vindicates you. What, those readers who proffer a more plausible scenario than yours? That annoys them? Or you? A logical
    No-one, except some fringe elements is claiming the goal was to get Farage in there, even he rejected the idea. So you can forget the straw man you labour to demolish. As for damaging Trump, pull the other one. The kind of criticism Darroch offered was nothing that has been said hundreds of times in the US media as well as here.
    As more than few people said, his character may well be loathsome, but is irrelevant here, in the political machinations being played out. You once again ignore the chosen method of delivery, through Oakeshott and the Mail which should tell you a lot, but you ignore it. Whether he is apolitical, or the civil service as a whole is, may well be an interesting topic, but misses the entire point of the episode and the climate it has taken place in, which is far more important than that old standby of Iraq as a sine qua non.

  • David

    more leaks, this time showing
    documents spanning two years show that meetings have made little progress towards a deal because of a chaotic civil service and too few experienced British trade negotiators.

    Different approaches to the big issues are also stumbling blocks. Food standards, health and finance regulation are just some of the areas on which the negotiating team cannot agree.

    The documents, which include meeting notes and briefing memos, reveal US President Donald Trump’s administration began sending “less senior” staff to meetings with British negotiators in late 2018

    according to Middle East news from UAE
    https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/more-leaked-documents-show-uk-s-free-trade-talks-with-us-making-little-progress-1.884862

    (I went to that newspaper , not for Durroch leaks, but to read more about how the sad murder of the US scientist, found in a second world war bunker in Crete, might be related to the IC’s latest strategy of tensions)

  • Sergei Skripal's Australian Beach Buddy

    [ MOD: Kindly use a simple username, not a slogan, phrase or description, as an identifier ]

    Isabell Oakeshott, the Daily Mail journalist who “leaked” the emails to begin the latest Psyop, is working with British Intelligence in the Integrity Initiative. So, she is run by British Intelligence. There is no way Oakeshott wrote the story without getting the ok from British Intelligence. Which can only mean, that British Intelligence was okay with the “leak”. A classic old school “over the weekend leak in the press”, like they used to do.

    Darroch is 65 years old, and was probably due to retire. Theresa May is about to leave as PM. So no stink for her.

    Prince Andrew was likely compromised by visiting Epstein’s island. An anti-Trump “leak” comes out, the same weekend that Epstein is arrested? It distracts from Epstein, and further attempts to undermine Trump. Tony Blair was apparently on Epstein’s list as well.

    • Mazunga

      I think it undermines Johnson and Brexit. Can’t think of anyone in the intelligence services or FCO who would want that though! (/s)

  • Hieroglyph

    I have worked, in a lowly capacity, inside Australia’s public sector. The idea that any of the high level execs are apolitical is laughable. They are all political neurotics who, whist possibly useless at their actual job, are very skilled at understanding the current political scene, and doing their masters bidding. And by such tactics, they become powerful, in their own little fiefdom. I assume it’s much the same in the UK civil service, and indeed everywhere else.

    Darroch is likely a highly intelligent man, mensa level IQ etc. But clever blokes can be real dumb, sometimes. He probably still thinks Blair was a superb leader, and has regular chats with Ali. There’s no helping some people.

      • Wikikettle

        After they failed with Russiagate and now a stupid little desperate ‘leak’ – the Cintonites and Blairite neo liberel war mongers are in trouble. They will have to double down to get Trump out, or the Lolita blackmail Express, combined with the CIA FBI and MI6 collusion against Trump threatens their whole world. I don’t hold out much hope of Barr going for it with his background or the fact that the Epstein trial will be in NY jurisdiction. More distractions against Iran, Russia and China on the cards ? I wonder who and what state was behind the Epstein project ?!

        • nevermind

          apparently Clinton did not take Monica mlewinsky on any of the 21 flights he shared with Epstein on the Lolita Express. Sadly no press or staff was on board or can vouch that he did not touch Epstein…..

  • giyane

    O/T or not O/T the BBC crime thriller last night on Labour A/S was totally OTT.
    Maybe the fact that I don’t have a TV and am not sufficiently brain–dead to swallow the sticky mix of propaganda and victim behaviour, but it was a catalogue of racist drama queens male and female churning fake hate against Jeremy Cornyn.

    All I can say is they must be petrified of a Boris P/M shifting the weight on the school bus and turning it over. Vomit making bias.
    Please don’t give me a free TV licence in my Dec long years. I’d rather watch through shop windows with no sound or listen to dogs howling at the moon than be subjected to political high jinx on the BBC

      • giyane

        I was with someone who unfortunately has got one. Then Lord Levy was giving his spontaneous ( pre-prepared) shock verdict on radio 4 this morning.

      • Bramble

        I don’t know if you own a radio or not, but if you do and tuned to a BBC news channel you’d be deluged by re-churned, outrageously biased, anti Corbyn propaganda. It went on throughout yesterday (promoting said Panorama hit-job) and was promoted to the top of the news agenda on the Toady programme this morning (till displaced by a bit of flag-waving about a British frigate chasing off Iranian patrol boats approaching a British oil tanker in, possibly, this wasn’t made clear, Iranian territorial waters). The BBC is pushing this really hard on all platforms.

        • Tom Welsh

          “I don’t know if you own a radio or not…”

          I do.

          “…but if you… tuned to a BBC news channel…”

          Don’t be ridiculous. I’d as soon drink a mixture of sewage and bleach.

  • Jimmeh

    @Craig,

    I’m puzzled. You said in yesterday’s post that these confidential assessments from ambassadors have “hundreds of other recipients” in addition to the addressee,the Foreign Secretary. This is at odds with what I am reading in various press reports, that they are seen by only up to ten people.

    If they are really seen by hundreds of people, one would expect them to have been leaking all over the place, since forever. These are exceptionally candid documents, of extreme interest to the MSM.

    Of course, these “press reports” are written by unreliable hacks, whereas your remarks are based on direct personal knowledge. But it still makes no sense to me that there would be a circulation list of “hundreds” for documents of such extreme sensitivity.

    Having said that, as far as I can see, while Daroch’s remarks are obviously going to be intolerable to such a thin-skinned man as Trump, I don’t think he’s said anything that hasn’t been said before by members of Trump’s own party, his cabinet, in fact anyone who has had any dealings with him at all.

    Is there some other channel via which an ambassador can give *really* confidential advice to the Foreign Secretary, safe in the knowledge that there are really only going to be a handful of people that read it?

    If the “telegrams” really were available to a circulation list of hundreds, then any search for the leaker is presumably doomed.

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