Foreign Secretary Decides Not to Bother With the Saudi Visit

#1
So the head of state of an important ally from a strategically vital region who we've had somewhat strained relations with pretty recently, who are famous for being fairy prickly and strict about protocol makes an official visit to the country and where's the Foreign Secretary during the opening stages? Oh that's right, rather than trying to help relations and everything go as smoothly as possible he's out of the country adopting a kid. But never mind he sent a junior minister in his place so that's okay.

Taken from The Times, October 30, 2007

Foreign Office under pressure as David Miliband puts his family first

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, has taken an unspecified period of paternity leave after announcing that he and his wife have adopted a second child.

Mr Miliband and his wife, Louise Shackelton, who is American, flew back to Britain yesterday after adopting a newborn boy in the United States. They have named him Jacob.

The couple’s announcement coincided with Mr Miliband’s failure to arrive at a conference on British-Saudi relations in London. He was scheduled to attend with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Saud al-Faisal, but sent Kim Howells, a Foreign Office Minister, in his place.

The abrupt nature of the statement reflects a sensitivity on the part of the Milibands who, friends say, were deeply hurt by the media reaction after they adopted their first son, Isaac, in December 2004, also in the US.

The couple said that they were “delighted by the new arrival” and asked the media to protect their privacy.

They decided to delay their announcement until the last possible moment to avoid British reporters trying to find them while they were still in the United States, and so possibly identifying the birth mother.

The US adoption system is far more liberal than the highly restrictive regime that operates in Britain, which makes it virtually impossible to adopt a newborn baby. Private agencies, charities and religious groups match couples with babies in the US, unlike in Britain, where only local authorities act as intermediaries.

About 4,000 children are adopted each year in Britain, and only a fraction are aged 1 year or under. In the US, about 30,000 babies are adopted every year.

The biggest difference is that in the US parents are frequently matched with babies before the birth. Prospective parents often meet the natural mothers when they are pregnant and can even be present at the birth. The Milibands were at the birth of their first child in 2004.

They also pay her medical expenses, which can reach $50,000 (£24,000).

In Britain, everything possible is done to try to persuade a natural mother to care for her baby. If she will not or cannot, babies and children are placed in the care system before adoption can take place. There is a lengthy process to approve babies for adoption which means that most children are usually more than a year old when they go home with their new parents.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office declined to say whether Mr Miliband was present for the birth this time, but sources told The Times yesterday that Jacob was born about two weeks earlier than expected.

“There are very good reasons to do with the child’s rights to discover in his own time details about his birth and that is why we are not giving out any more detail,” the spokesman said.

Government sources said that the Saudis were told when the baby was born that there was a possibility that Mr Miliband would be unable to attend the conference in London, although they were not told why.

The Foreign Secretary still hoped he might be able to return in time, but there were delays in completing the adoption procedures after the baby’s birth and in arranging a visa, and Mr Miliband decided to return with his family rather than fly back to London alone to keep his engagements.

“Everyone – the Queen, the Saudis, the Prime Minister – was completely signed up,” a source close to Mr Miliband said. “He didn’t want to have a situation where the press were camped outside a hospital.”

In a sign of his anxiety not to risk giving any offence during the state visit by King Abdullah, Mr Miliband arranged to break his period of leave for a meeting with Mr al-Faisal, which will probably take place today.

When Mr Miliband announced the adoption of his first child three years ago, he and his wife revealed more details, including the date of his birth and his weight, and confirmed that were present at the birth.

They were upset by the controversy that followed, as the Conservatives asked whether Mr Miliband, then a minister at the Education Department, had benefited from having his application for adoption fast-tracked.
For fucks sake! He's the Foreign Secretary for Gods sake, it's generally considered to be the third highest position in the government after the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer as one of the four Great Offices of State. Now I understand that family is important but for positions like this I really do expect a bit of personal commitment from the incumbent and them to put the job first at times. Okay so the sprog popped out a couple of weeks early and that there were paperwork problems but am I really being that unreasonable to of expected him to tell his wife 'Sorry but I have to go, I'll be back in a week or so' and getting on a plane a day or two before the Saudis arrived? Along with the part time Secretary of State for Defence it really does leave me wondering about this government sometimes.
 
#2
Typical of this government though, their priorities (as far as the good and benefit of the population goes) are all wrong, waiting another extra week would'nt have harmed anyone and this really should have been a situation where the job comes first. The sad thing is that he probably thinks that he actually did the right thing, has no regrets and will sleep easy.
 
#3
Does nobody see the irony that he cannot adopt in this country because the system, that his government could change, is a load of crap?

While I'm no fan of labour or Milliband, I see nothing wrong with putting your family first.
 
#5
Typical spineless minister. Like Ed Balls, who morgaged a second home via the tax payer, here we have a man of high responsibilty taking time off for paternity leave. FFS, he wasnt the one who opened his legs and had his gut loaded with a sprog for nine months!!! gives the impression that he would be of fack all use in the trench. But there we go, an utter careerist politician with no grasp of what might be deemed common sense. The Saudis are rather important in the world of oil, also international relations and the balance of power in the middle east. Helps if the FS puts in a good peformance. For once a bit of jihadi spousal dictatorship is required on this one; the bird stays in bed with newborn, husband gets back to work.
 
#6
Not a man for whom the word 'duty' has much meaning, obviously. But why hasn't the Opposition called for his resignation yet?
 
#7
:D Another Animal farm member lots of expenses, now they want three months away from the House every year.He is showing he is Foreign as much as possible. 8O
 
#8
Would you believe it if it was in a trashy novel ? No, of course not. Believe it with this useless government.

All soldiers returned from 'ops' when child is due to be born. Some hope, no hope or Bob Hope.

I see Browne was in Basrah. Probably thought he was flying to Barlinnie or Berwick.
 
#9
Bagwell, how can you call him a careerist if he put this family first. If this story was about Pvt Bloggs being sent home from Iraq to witness the birth of his abopted son you lot would be over the moon.

If he left his family to go and pander to a bunch of cavemen, who happen to have some oil, he would still be crucified. he birth was early, give the guy a break.
 
#10
Colonel? yeah private bloggs here. Look could I come back off RnR a week late as the sprog we are adopting is dropping a bit early? No? RMP will be calling if I am not there? Ok Colonel had to try!

As for milliband adopting abroad? Well it is his personal life and we should respect that. Also like us he should respect the fact that personal life must sometimes take a backseat to our service to the country on occasion.

Anyway with the availablity of flights and no tedious waiting in line for ministers he could have flew back kissed saudi @rse and flogged some weapons and still be back in time to feed junior.
 
#11
bobath said:
Bagwell, how can you call him a careerist if he put this family first. If this story was about Pvt Bloggs being sent home from Iraq to witness the birth of his abopted son you lot would be over the moon.

If he left his family to go and pander to a bunch of cavemen, who happen to have some oil, he would still be crucified. he birth was early, give the guy a break.
Careerists care about themselves rather than their specific job. He might hold the title of FS but he couldnt give a fack about the job itself, he's after PM and securing the cushty privelages MP's scrounge out of the public purse.
Yeah, I'd salute private bloggs because;
private bloggs is a good man
private bloggs is doing a proper job

cavemen happen to have some oil that runs this country. Lets not play GCSE level politics here. Saudis turn up in the UK. Business will be mentioned. The Saudis are a major player in the region. The FS must pull out all the stops to attend to them. Grubby, imoral....tough titty, jobs got to be done, thats the real world. If the cuuunt wants to moan about his kid then he should;
a. give up a job which demands above average commitment
b. take a job on the back benches

Utter disgrace to our nation, only making us look even more foolish to the world. How the grown up polictians must snigger knowing that he tried to duck out of engagments with one of the most powerful men in the world.
 
#12
How can you have paternity leave, if your adopting a baby? Your missus aint had the baby, someone else did, all they did was go and pick it up after paying for it.

So why have they rights towards paternity leave, and well do we have a seedless foriegn secretary (which is about right id guess)
 
#13
scarletto said:
How can you have paternity leave, if your adopting a baby? Your missus aint had the baby, someone else did, all they did was go and pick it up after paying for it.

So why have they rights towards paternity leave, and well do we have a seedless foriegn secretary (which is about right id guess)
The Army has the same provision and I know of one bloke currently away from post in LAND for this very reason. A new child in whatever guise it comes in and the parents need a time to adjust to the new situation.

Can you imagine you disappearing off to work crying "right dear, see you tonight" the day after a new child arrives in the house.

You may; I can't (well not if I want to stay married :D )

I agree his timig is a little off but strangely babies make up their own timetable on when they are going to arrive.
 
#14
Come on , be fair lads. He will need is paternity leave to interview nannies to raise the kids so the having them doesn't interfere with his social life.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#18
I thought he wasnt allowed out that late by his mum!
 
#19
What happens when something serious happens, will he be taking his goldfish to the vets for a check up, to avoid dealing with the issue

Some one else pointed this out. This man is 3rd or 4th highest in the government, I understand he looks after his family but in this sort of situation his country should come first.. if he cannot do this he is not fit for the role. Spineless Tw@t
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#20
Which one of the millibland twins was it? Why doesnt he do what Woody and Brighton Hippy used to do when one was dicked for extras? Both turn up and confuse the hell out of them!
 

Latest Threads