UK Ambassador to USA resigns

What's done is done. There won't be any resolution of this before the Tory leadership farce plays itself out. My own gut feeling is that this was probably orchestrated by someone in the Johnson camp - unlikely the blond baboon himself as he doesn't have the intelligence IMO - but probably one of his supporters in the FCO in order to clear the decks for him to appoint an arselicker to the job. Said arselicker will need a forked tongue as he'll be servicing both Trump and Johnson at the same time. I think Johnson's wet dream is the same as Trump's - to have the frog-faced Farage in the job; Johnson would benefit from support from the Brexit party and Trump would get his oh-so-fragile ego massaged again.

There are now two separate but interlinked problems. The first is to find the source of the leak and very publicly deal with it sufficiently forcefully to discourage any possible repitition; that'll be difficult if it does emanate from the Johnson camp and he gets the PM job. The second will be to find any credible candidate for the Washington job who isn't fearful of the same treatment any time he speaks his mind.

Yes, I know Fartage wants the job. But I did specify a 'credible' candidate.
 
Farage has already publicly said “I don’t think I’m the man for the job“. Come 01/11/19 his political dream will be realised and he has to have seen the polling which indicates support for TBP starts to drop away noticeably if Brexit is delivered by then.

Moreover, Boris isn’t looking to burn down everything, he wants to stabilise the ship and return to normal jogging. Putting Farage at the heart of his diplomacy is unlikely to win him votes or influence he doesn’t already have.
 
As an aside, I'm amused by all those of this forum howling at the idea that a soldier serving his country should be had up in court for actions taken in the stress of serving in Northern Ireland (and I'm one of them by the way) but think its fine for a man serving his country in the diplomatic service to be chucked under a bus for some political expediency (I'm not one of those). People who serve the United Kingdom deserve our full and unequivocal support, whether they do it with a firearm or a pen.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
More stuff you’ve made up as a contractor/lobbyist? Did you fail the FCO fast stream exams?
What in my post do you actually disagree with or were you trained in the Darroch school of aimless fulmination?
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
As an aside, I'm amused by all those of this forum howling at the idea that a soldier serving his country should be had up in court for actions taken in the stress of serving in Northern Ireland (and I'm one of them by the way) but think its fine for a man serving his country in the diplomatic service to be chucked under a bus for some political expediency (I'm not one of those). People who serve the United Kingdom deserve our full and unequivocal support, whether they do it with a firearm or a pen.
He wasn't chucked under the bus for political expediency. He resigned because, by any objective standard, the content of the leaked e mails inevitably rendered him completely ineffective in his role as Our Man in Washington.
 
As an aside, I'm amused by all those of this forum howling at the idea that a soldier serving his country should be had up in court for actions taken in the stress of serving in Northern Ireland (and I'm one of them by the way) but think its fine for a man serving his country in the diplomatic service to be chucked under a bus for some political expediency (I'm not one of those). People who serve the United Kingdom deserve our full and unequivocal support, whether they do it with a firearm or a pen.
That all depends on how one defines "serve".

The soldier who commits a war crime, however well-intentioned-but-ultimately-misguided, he serves in one respect and does a disservice in others.

I'm sure it's clear where I'm going with this, and it is not limited to the United Kingdom. The same is true of the public servants of any conventional nation. Granted, some do not meet the civility test, but we're not talking of the DPRK here.
 
He wasn't chucked under the bus for political expediency. He resigned because, by any objective standard, the content of the leaked e mails inevitably rendered him completely ineffective in his role as Our Man in Washington.
Which is what the leak, from wherever it came, was obviously designed to do. And that implies a political motive.
 
That all depends on how one defines "serve".

The soldier who commits a war crime, however well-intentioned-but-ultimately-misguided, he serves in one respect and does a disservice in others.

I'm sure it's clear where I'm going with this, and it is not limited to the United Kingdom. The same is true of the public servants of any conventional nation. Granted, some do not meet the civility test, but we're not talking of the DPRK here.
I agree with you. In my post I wasn't advocating support for any and all actions taken by our military, although given the amnesty granted to former NI terrorists I do believe our soldiers deserve no less. It's the dichotomy between the unequivocal support for soldiers that some on here espouse, some of them being among those who are quite happy with Darroch being shafted, that I think is laughable.
 
I’m not sure either of you understands the purpose of an Embassy. I’ve worked in two missions and had a long secondment to State, and worked with the FCO until
very recently. An embassy is more than just trade; there are the other separate functions such as consular, political, defence relations, Intelligence and security, multilateral issues, aviation security, justice & home affairs, police, organised crime, migration, cultural...I could go on.

And for the suggestion a good journo could do the work of the Ambo, I don’t know many reporters who have spent hours in negotiations with the HoS, hosted/been hosted for têt á têt, attended numerous and tedious receptions and drinks parties etc which is one thing Ambos do, as do their staff who help inform HOM of his views. Through this they get to know the interlocutors and the principal, and how he or she operates.

HoG/S tend to be on their best (or worst) behaviour in front of journalists and thus their views are necessarily snapshots.
In a previous post I gave published examples of the sorts of written evaluations of personalities which are made as part of a diplomat's routine duties.

I also included a link to a report written by the British High Commissioner in Ottawa, Richard John McMoran Wilson, 2nd Baron Moran, KCMG, on what he saw at a dinner with the leader of the opposition. In it he quite incisively delved into the character and personality of the soon to be prime minister, correctly identified the future finance minister, and noted the close links with influential business and media figures.

Here's his final report on Canada as he was leaving his post to return to the UK. Although he liked Canada in general, his opinion about the Canadian political class was scathing and his opinion on Canada's PM (Pierre Trudeau) less than complementary.
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/radio4/transcripts/Lord-Moran.pdf
Here's a sample, you can read the half dozen pages for more detail if you wish. As a Canadian I find it rather uncomfortable to read, even if I don't necessarily agree with some of the things he says about Canada in general.
... the calibre of Canadian politicians is low. The level of debate in the House of Commons is correspondingly low: the majority of Canadian ministers are unimpressive and a few we have found are frankly bizarre.
Mr. Trudeau - Although I like him personally and he has been kind to us, it has, I am sure, been a disadvantage that Mr Trudeau has been Prime Minister throughout my time in Canada because, with some reason, he has not been greatly respected or trusted in London. ... Many of my colleagues here admire him. I cannot say that I do. He is an odd fish and his own worst enemy, and on the whole I think his influence on Canada in the past sixteen years has been detrimental. (...) He treated provincial premiers with contempt and provincial governments as if they were town councils.
He does have positive things to say about Canada in general and about PM Trudeau, particularly with regards to the latter's "ruthless and effective stamping out of terrorism in Quebec in 1970, and the winning there of the referendum on (separation) ten years later", but overall I suspect the above would not have been well received in Ottawa had it been made public.

Copies of the report were distributed widely within the UK state.
I am sending copies of this despatch to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, the Governor of the Bank of England, the Secretary of the Cabinet, Heads of Mission at NATO posts and Canberra, to the United Kingdom Representatives at NATO and the United Nations and to consular posts in Canada.
The above is significant because Lord Moran himself said that his posting to Canada was the most testing of his diplomatic career.
Lord Moran - obituary
In the 1970s Moran served as Ambassador to Hungary and then Portugal, but by his own admission it was his final posting — as High Commissioner in Canada from 1981 to 1984 — that proved the most testing.
He arrived in the midst of a major political and constitutional controversy which threatened to land the UK government in a very difficult position, not only with respect to Canada but also with respect to UK legislation being defeated in the House of Commons.
He arrived in Canada in the middle of a major political controversy. The previous year Canada’s prime minister Pierre Trudeau had informed the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of his intention to “patriate” the Canadian constitution which, until then, could be changed only by acts of the British Parliament — albeit with the consent of the Canadian government. Trudeau’s move would require the British government to pass legislation, but the majority of Canadian provinces were opposed and appealed to the British Parliament, as the guarantor of their rights, to defeat Trudeau’s plans.

As Canadian Indians in full costume converged on Westminster, and representatives of the provincial governments wined and dined MPs, the British government was faced with the choice either of damaging relations with the Canadian government by refusing to introduce legislation, or risking defeat by a strong cross-party lobby in Parliament. “There was the possibility, if things went wrong, of a confrontation between the two parliaments, which would have been unprecedented and very serious,” Moran recalled.
To add to the difficulties Lord Moran faced, his predecessor had been recalled to London after complaints that he had been "meddling" in internal Canadian affairs.
To make matters worse, Moran’s predecessor, Sir John Ford, had just been called back to London “for briefings” after complaints that he had been “meddling” in Canadian affairs.
Lord Moran successfully negotiated this minefield and explained Mrs. Thatcher's position that while she would seek to do whatever the Canadian parliament asked of her, she could not guaranty that her own own MPs would support her.
His discretion, courtesy and intelligence served him well in Canada as he sought to calm tensions and explain the British government’s position to the Canadian people. Mrs Thatcher, he explained, was “absolutely rock solid. Anything the Ottawa Parliament wanted, she would do.” But she was “not certain she could carry her own troops with her”. British MPs, he observed, were “not as disciplined” about following the party line as Canadian MPs.
Lord Moran helped the UK avoid stepping on any mines while Trudeau successfully patched together a compromise that satisfied most of the provinces (all except Quebec), letting the UK off the hook.

This all paid dividends a few months later when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands and in Lord Moran's own words “The Canadian Government did everything we asked them to do".
The goodwill this brought paid off when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands a few months later and Moran found himself having to ask the Canadian government for help in equipping the Task Force sent out to recapture the islands. “The Canadian Government did everything we asked them to do,” he recalled.
In 2009 the BBC obtained a copy of Lord Moran's final report on Canada under the Freedom of Information Act and published it.
Moran’s time in Canada came back to haunt him in 2009, however, when, under the Freedom of Information Act, the BBC obtained a copy of his valedictory dispatch, “Final Impressions of Canada”, written in 1984 at a time when no one imagined that such musings, typically written for the amusement of colleagues, would reach the public domain.
His remarks were not well received by the press in Canada, although in practical terms it didn't take long for people to get over it and for it to be forgotten. Most Canadians looking at things objectively would agree with much of what he had to say at that time.
His remarks led to a predictable outcry in the Canadian press, though a few calmer souls pointed out that Moran’s strictures were mainly directed at the country’s political class, and that many Canadians would agree with him. In fact, Moran was generally positive about the country, observing that he would miss “the cry of the loon” and the country’s “cheerful shop girls and waitresses” and arguing for a “less dusty and more positive and substantial” relationship between the two countries.

So we can see that writing potentially damaging reports about the character of the leadership of close allies is nothing new or unusual. It is part of the job of a senior diplomat. We can also see that diplomats being expected to fall on their swords (e.g. Lord Moran's predecessor) is not unprecedented either.

To those who think the ambassador should have been "more discrete" about what he wrote, these reports are supposed to be succinct and to the point as they will be read by people who haven't got a lot of time for deciphering waffle. They are also meant to be read by people who haven't spent time at Oxford or Cambridge. The reader may have even been a graduate of the LSE for that matter! Those who hold up Sir Humphrey Appleby as the model to follow may perhaps wish to recall that much of the humour relating to his circumlocutions was caused by his minister or prime minister being unable to understand what he was talking about.


The thing to remember is that this sort of material won't result in hurt feelings so long as everyone keeps their mouth shut about it and doesn't leak it. In my view the scandal regarding what happened recently is not what was written, it was about it being leaked.
 
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By the way, because I'm curious. Can anyone who talks about an investigation like it's an actual thing that may be successful explain to me exactly how they think that will work?

I say this because from experience of such investigations my take is that, unless very incompetent, there is zero chance of getting caught. I'm interested in how others see the problem that makes them think differently.
Wouldn't there be an electronic record of who opened the document and when? I am assuming soft copy access and, yes, I know all about assumptions.
 
I’m not sure either of you understands the purpose of an Embassy. I’ve worked in two missions and had a long secondment to State, and worked with the FCO until
very recently. An embassy is more than just trade; there are the other separate functions such as consular, political, defence relations, Intelligence and security, multilateral issues, aviation security, justice & home affairs, police, organised crime, migration, cultural...I could go on.

And for the suggestion a good journo could do the work of the Ambo, I don’t know many reporters who have spent hours in negotiations with the HoS, hosted/been hosted for têt á têt, attended numerous and tedious receptions and drinks parties etc which is one thing Ambos do, as do their staff who help inform HOM of his views. Through this they get to know the interlocutors and the principal, and how he or she operates.

HoG/S tend to be on their best (or worst) behaviour in front of journalists and thus their views are necessarily snapshots.
About that consular thing, it really does not exist anymore because those pesky tax payers abroad were so annoying.
There were seven in the Philippines, one on each of the major islands until 2012 when six were relocated to desks in Manila, which rather defeats the object. There is telephone number connected to an answerphone message which tells you that you need to email for an appointment, raise the funds for an airfare and hotel and an appointment will be electronically arranged.
My sons first passport was lost by the passport agency, along with his original records of birth, doctors notes , birth certificate, photographs. It took three months and my oldest sisters MP to get them to acknowledge that they had even received the application (the fact that the £150 fee had been taken was not sufficient evidence, and it was not returnable.) we had six weeks to replace the originals with copies certified by an expensive solicitor.
My mother was dangerously ill and we needed an emergency passport for him instead. I had tried to phone the consul for my island for assistance only to be told, by a recorded message, that there were technical problems and all consular business was to be conducted on the embassy line, the one that is just a recorded message. I did get an automated response from an email promising a response within 60 DAYS, but now, 2,555 days later, I am still waiting.
A year ago, out of curiosity, I looked at their website and saw that there was an electronic diary for appointments, but the only details it will accept is company name, company registration number etc. The automated consular message still claims that there is a technical fault and all calls should be via the embassy number....
The Facebook page is policed as all messages of a negative note are removed. There are pics of drinky-poos and regular posts telling locals how many have received visas to emigrate to blighty.

Who was the Home Sec in 2012? Theresa May
 
About that consular thing, it really does not exist anymore because those pesky tax payers abroad were so annoying.
There were seven in the Philippines, one on each of the major islands until 2012 when six were relocated to desks in Manila, which rather defeats the object. There is telephone number connected to an answerphone message which tells you that you need to email for an appointment, raise the funds for an airfare and hotel and an appointment will be electronically arranged.
My sons first passport was lost by the passport agency, along with his original records of birth, doctors notes , birth certificate, photographs. It took three months and my oldest sisters MP to get them to acknowledge that they had even received the application (the fact that the £150 fee had been taken was not sufficient evidence, and it was not returnable.) we had six weeks to replace the originals with copies certified by an expensive solicitor.
My mother was dangerously ill and we needed an emergency passport for him instead. I had tried to phone the consul for my island for assistance only to be told, by a recorded message, that there were technical problems and all consular business was to be conducted on the embassy line, the one that is just a recorded message. I did get an automated response from an email promising a response within 60 DAYS, but now, 2,555 days later, I am still waiting.
A year ago, out of curiosity, I looked at their website and saw that there was an electronic diary for appointments, but the only details it will accept is company name, company registration number etc. The automated consular message still claims that there is a technical fault and all calls should be via the embassy number....
The Facebook page is policed as all messages of a negative note are removed. There are pics of drinky-poos and regular posts telling locals how many have received visas to emigrate to blighty.

Who was the Home Sec in 2012? Theresa May
UK VI is not part of the FCO and is separate from consular services.

My experience of consulate services in two major locations was of extremely hard working locally employed staff, sorting out stupid.
 
Sir, your tinfoil hat needs adjusting. About the only person you haven't so far accused in an attempt to exclude Boris is Professor Moriarty, and his accomplice Dr Fu Manchu.

You are clearly a Boris fanboi to the max, and you have swallowed his schtick in its entirety.
Don't have a tin foil hat because I don't give two monkeys if people are monitoring my thoughts, such as they are.

You seem to miss my point entirely. I'm not stating anything in defence of BJ, in fact I have stated I'm not a fan. The point is all those BJ haters refuse to admit everything they accuse BJ of could, and may well have, been conducted by anyone. Blinkers on humans is never a good thing. All I'm attempting to do is put a counter argument to the ABB club.

Moriarty is dead, Sherlock saw to that, and Fu Manchu existed in the 70/80's, obvious because of his moustache.
 
Beyond the fact that both candidates were asked about it, I don't see how this could be a plot to do with the Tory leadership election.

Johnson is way out in front to the extent that probably one of the only ways he could actually lose, short of upskirting HMQ, would be to be caught plotting the downfall of a British Ambassador. Further, what would he achieve thereby?

As for Hunt, his department comes out of this looking like amateur night at the Palladium and generally out of control, not a good look if you're angling for the top job. Also, what's his guarantee that a dastardly plot to chuck one of his senior subordinates under the bus will result in some unknowable cataclysmic consequence for his rival or, worse still, backfire horribly?

My guess is that this is the work of someone closer to Darroch who decided to stitch him up for political or personal reasons, probably the latter.
Yep, probably agree with most of that.

All I'm attempting to do is put a counter argument to those put forward by the blinkered ABB club.
 
The fact you’ve repeated the term ‘moon-howling’ almost as often as others have ‘Beyond pseudonymity: The sociotechnical structure of online military forums’ makes me inclined not to take this seriously.
It's not meant to be serious, just a counter to the ABB clubs blinkered arguments.

Moon howling describes the ABB and Remoaner crowd quite well.
 
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1. What's done is done. There won't be any resolution of this before the Tory leadership farce plays itself out. My own gut feeling is that this was probably orchestrated by someone in the Johnson camp - unlikely the blond baboon himself as he doesn't have the intelligence IMO - but probably one of his supporters in the FCO in order to clear the decks for him to appoint an arselicker to the job. Said arselicker will need a forked tongue as he'll be servicing both Trump and Johnson at the same time. I think Johnson's wet dream is the same as Trump's - to have the frog-faced Farage in the job; Johnson would benefit from support from the Brexit party and Trump would get his oh-so-fragile ego massaged again.

2. There are now two separate but interlinked problems. The first is to find the source of the leak and very publicly deal with it sufficiently forcefully to discourage any possible repitition; that'll be difficult if it does emanate from the Johnson camp and he gets the PM job. The second will be to find any credible candidate for the Washington job who isn't fearful of the same treatment any time he speaks his mind.

3. Yes, I know Fartage wants the job. But I did specify a 'credible' candidate.
1. Total spheroids imo

2. Totally agree (notice I didn't completely rule out it emanating from BJ's supporters)

3. I thought Farage had already ruled that out anyway?
 
Between 6 and 8, it depends on the type of network structure the population you are looking at has (e.g. personal links on the internet look different to personal links of people you have met).

It's just about power curves. If you open up the calculator on your computer, and do 25 to the power of 7 (25*25*25*25*25*25*25) or 25^7, you'll get about 6 billion (the Kevin Bacon thing is a couple of decades old). That just means if you know 25 people, and all of them know 25 people, and all of those people know 25 people (and so on), you only need to do that 7 times to get the total number of people on the planet. Therefore within 7 links, you will be able to get to Kevin Bacon.

It doesn't exactly work like that in practice because networks don't look like that and tend to have 'gateways' (think of people in North Korea, they'll mostly know each other, with perhaps 1% of people who know anyone outside the country - you have to get to that 1% first, which takes more links). But it's close enough to demonstrate the idea.

The bad news is that not only are you linked to TB, but you are probably really closely linked to TB.
Eh ? Impossible! But I swear my missus is, the sh#t she's got me into without a by your leave, over the years.
 
Ooi, what is the procedure for dealing with an ambassador who's been "sidelined" ?. I presume it's recall and wait for another suitable post elsewhere? Some sort of advisory position for junior dips ?
 
Ooi, what is the procedure for dealing with an ambassador who's been "sidelined" ?. I presume it's recall and wait for another suitable post elsewhere? Some sort of advisory position for junior dips ?
Instructor at Ambassador School?
 

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