UK Ambassador to USA resigns

Whos the new chap inheriting the hot seat in HMG embassy to the US?
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I'd contest that. Yes, the straight talking guys who are also obviously corrupt and dishonest, are corrupt and dishonest. They're also not 'straight talking' (if you mean Trump and/or Farage and/or Boris), they're just smashing taboos because it's fun and wins votes.

There are other, less flamboyant, examples of some straight talking. Jess Phillips, Rory Stewart, Ken Clarke (I mean he's basically dead so he might as well), even, in his early leadership, Jeremy Corbyn (before he realised he had to lie or resign, because his beliefs and public statements were incompatible).

The differentiation isn't 'straight talking', it's 'honest'.
Yeah, should put " " around straight talking
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
As James Mattis might say: not only no, but **** no.

I'm claiming there is more value in saying "inept" and "chaotic" than trying to fluff those meanings with politeness. They have defined meanings. Inept means incompetence. Is the subject competent more or less than 50% of instances? If the answer is less, they are incompetent. The second is organised, and I'd read 'chaotic' as an implied rating: is the subject Very Organised, Quite Organised, Neither, Quite Disorganised, or Very Disorganised. "Chaotic" implys "Very Disorganised". These are qualities that can be objectively judged.

Neither of those descriptions are substantially more or less emotive or insulting. The insult is that the observer thinks you are incompetent and very disorganised! Saying that in more or less flowery language doesn't help. So you might as well be clear. He's actually very good at it. It's almost like an OJAR: what are the primary qualities of this individual? Unpredictable, faction-riven, dysfunctional, diplomatically inept. Accuracy; Brevity; Clarity.

Your suggestion of corporate language, although far too common, just muddies the meaning. "...he moves rapidly towards a conclusion, although the basis on which he does so is not always clear or robust." Well, to start, you've taken 20 words where 5 might do. In a world of 60 page weekly reports, that's a problem. Worse, I don't actually know what you mean. He invents facts? He prejudges problems? He's lazy? He's thick? All of those things could be read in to what you wrote. It's better to say: his conclusions are prejudged and not evidenced. Clear, and bounded. Assuming that is what you meant, which I'm genuinely unclear on. I know what Chaotic and Inept mean.

By the way, both of the words you chose are used as nouns, not adjectives: "less diplomatically inept", "Iran policy is chaotic". He's describing things as measurements or judgements, not adding colour. Given his experience that's a fair call for him to make - it's like a senior soldier saying: your plan is bad. The smart answer isn't "O well that's your opinion mucker", it's "can you point out the specifics which, from your experience, make you that certain?" Darroch's not saying "it's an interesting plan", or "it's a risky plan", he's saying it's definitely a bad plan.

As for there being no context. I haven't seen the full DIPTELs. Have you? Do you know there is no context in the body of the report? I suspect not. Second, every newspaper every day for three years has been providing context. He's confirming / denying what is already widely reported on.

TL : DR (ironically) Your version doesn't make things better. It makes them worse. Of course it's possible to do. But it would make his meaning less clear. That is not his job.
Your way I have to guess the extent of your prejudices and, if the note does end up in the public domain, there's hell to pay and you lose your job. My way, the people I report to don't have a fire-drill and extra homework, things get done and I get to stay in very well-paid employment and raise my rates occasionally.

You've tried to deconstruct what I wrote from your own perspective and first principles but, for the people who work in this space and use this linguistic style on a daily basis, interpreting it is second nature and much like speaking another language. You have the same facility when describing cyber security/leak hunting. We all have computers but how many of us could have posted what you did just now? Like anything, if you know what you're looking at, everything's Janet and John, if you don't, it's opaque and mysterious.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Your way I have to guess the extent of your prejudices and, if the note does end up in the public domain, there's hell to pay and you lose your job. My way, the people I report to don't have a fire-drill and extra homework, things get done and I get to stay in very well-paid employment and raise my rates occasionally.

You've tried to deconstruct what I wrote from your own perspective and first principles but, for the people who work in this space and use this linguistic style on a daily basis, interpreting it is second nature and much like speaking another language. You have the same facility when describing cyber security/leak hunting. We all have computers but how many of us could have posted what you did just now? Like anything, if you know what you're looking at, everything's Janet and John, if you don't, it's opaque and mysterious.
In reverse order from your last point:

1. The primary difference is that one of them isn't a method of communication.

2. If I'd ever met substantial numbers of people who use this linguistic style on a daily basis who I developed any professional respect for, I'd be more inclined to agree. Instead, mostly I meet people who don't know what they think or are deliberately trying not to have an opinion, and use this language to cover for their bland inadequacy. You're also suggesting a conveniently subjective test. The bit in bold is exactly the problem. My bet is that this is like wine tasting experts when objectively tested. Prove some 'second nature' linguistic style experts can consistently divine the same meanings across double-blind testing, and I'll concede the point. Experience suggests, however, that like wine tasters, they would fail to do so, and it's basically all bluff and subjectivity.

3. I'm not sure how hiding my prejudices is any better, nor how it helps you guess the extent of them. Seems to me it would do the opposite. Prejudices don't go away just because you're being polite about them.

Anyway, this is all fairly pointless. I'm not suggesting any given individual can't work out what's being said. I've spent enough time reading mass-produced MoD garbage to work out basically what the point is. The problem is that a) it takes more effort and so is inefficient, and b) I've observed many more people, often the audience for whatever is being written, and very often the fricking authors, who have no real idea what they are writing or reading, and are just trying to copy or divine the 'style'. It's the overall level of understanding among the group that is at issue, not the potential max capability of the elite. Otherwise you might as well just write in fcuking poetry.
 
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Whos the new chap inheriting the hot seat in HMG embassy to the US?
Deputy Head of Mission right now.

PMTM trying to nominate a successor, Foreign Secretary (who has a vested interest from several perspectives) trying to delay the appointment.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Have you been drinking turps or something?

It is the objective view by the UKs most senior Ambassador of the information gained from numerous contacts with White House and American diplomatic staff. That is his job.

If he reports honestly on a chaotic shitstorm, the language should reflect the state of affairs.
It does.

The embarrassment to the UK is entirely self inflicted because it was someone in the UK who leaked classified materiel to a UK tabloid to CAUSE embarrassment to the UK.

How is the Ambassador responsible for that? Inept would be if he left his laptop on the train. How is he culpable for a security breach in the UK?
The leaker may have made us a laughing stock.
The ambassadors peers are all thinking "There but for the grace of God go I", because I would guess that they have all written the same or worse.
All you're doing is telling me how you want it to work and you're particularly animated because you're in such violent agreement with what Darroch wrote that you feel outraged that he paid a price for writing it.

If it's any consolation, apparently he now has a notice on his desk saying 'Don't channel HectortheInspector when writing sensitive reports'.

The United States Government may be chaotic but I somehow doubt it and such a conclusion is superficial to the point of uselessness and dangerous in that it rules out deeper enquiry by appearing to explain everything. I used to have executives chewing my ears off about Nigeria being chaotic - actually it wasn't, it was just very very different and those differences needed time and effort to understand before you could work effectively.

I suppose part of the problem that I have with Darroch's adjectives is that they're not just unnecessarily inflammatory, they're actually quite lazy.
 
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FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
In reverse order from your last point:

1. The primary difference is that one of them isn't a method of communication.

2. If I'd ever met substantial numbers of people who use this linguistic style on a daily basis who I developed any professional respect for, I'd be more inclined to agree. Instead, mostly I meet people who don't know what they think or are deliberately trying not to have an opinion, and use this language to cover for their bland inadequacy. You're also suggesting a conveniently subjective test. The bit in bold is exactly the problem. My bet is that this is like wine tasting experts when objectively tested. Prove some 'second nature' linguistic style experts can consistently divine the same meanings across double-blind testing, and I'll concede the point. Experience suggests, however, that like wine tasters, they would fail to do so, and it's basically all bluff and subjectivity.

3. I'm not sure how hiding my prejudices is any better, nor how it helps you guess the extent of them. Seems to me it would do the opposite. Prejudices don't go away just because you're being polite about them.
Put a Ferrari in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing and you have a fast sports car moving from A - B. Put it in the hands of an 18-year old, drugged-up Arab prince-ling and you have a nasty road accident - it doesn't mean the Ferrari's cr@p. Of course everything can be abused.

Managing Human Factors is currently the big thing in the safety world, disciplined writing helps manage Human Factors in the communications space.

As for 'second nature' linguistics, since you've been in the Army at some point, you've almost certainly had a conversation with another soldier which left any civilians present completely baffled, even though you were speaking English. It's a similar principle.
 
Maybe it doesn't exist in the Philippines, but it does in the US. There are 8 consulates around the country. I have experience of the one in Atlanta, and became good friends with the guys there. The Consul-General I would say had a shot at being the future Ambo, but not yet, far too young in his early 40s. Thinking about it, it's essential to have these types of consulates, so that the guys can get their feet wet before becoming HMA.
Both Roosevelt and JFK were below 44 when they got in. I think an ambassador of a younger age can do fine..as long as they are competent...enough of the whole age thing already.
 
Utter bollocks.

When Civil Servants start writing materiel with an eye to expected unauthorised and illegal public disclosure, then they are imposing self censorship. They have compromised their integrity, honesty and impartiality, broken the Civil Service Code,

In effect, they are bending the truth, and misinforming their masters, because they are frightened of someone leaking their work for short sighted political gain.

That way lies the madness of a totalitarian regime where no one dares tell those in power the true situation.

Darroch made NO professional error at all. You need to get that through your head. He did his job, and the serious professional error (and crime) was by whoever chose to leak it to the press.

If you think he should have to use Moscow rules to get his dispatches back home because he can't trust his own employers not to drop him in the crap as part of petty Party machinations, then you need to give your head a wobble.
I don't agree at all.

There's no need to impose self-censorship; you can say pretty much anything without being rude. We're not talking of the pizza delivery boy here, we are talking of a Head of State.

Instead of "diplomatically inept", he could have said "the administration has taken strong stances on a number of foreign policy issues. We have observed these stances provoking negative reaction, which we believe was unexpected on the administration's part, but played out as we expected".

If the latter phrase had been leaked, no embarrassment would have ensued, but the point would have been made to London. Now who's "diplomatically inept"?
 
All you're doing is telling me how you want it to work and you're particularly animated because you're in such violent agreement with what Darroch wrote that you feel outraged that he paid a price for writing it.

If it's any consolation, apparently he now has a notice on his desk saying 'Don't channel HectortheInspector when writing sensitive reports'.

The United States Government may be chaotic but I somehow doubt it and such a conclusion is superficial to the point of uselessness and dangerous in that it rules out deeper enquiry by appearing to explain everything. I used to have executives chewing my ears off about Nigeria being chaotic - actually it wasn't, it was just very very different and those differences needed time and effort to understand before you could work effectively.

I suppose part of the problem that I have with Darroch's adjectives is that they're not just unnecessarily inflammatory, they're actually quite lazy.


I
I agree with what is patently obvious, because I am not delusional.
I don't agree with bizarre fantasies that it is the authors fault if someone steals his correspondence and publishes it illegally.
That depth of idiot is annoying.

If he channelled me, it would have been a lot less diplomatic but then, I am not a diplomat. I don't indulge in such precise, accurate and nuanced text.

I really find it bizarre that your justification for a first world nation, leader of the free world and home to most of the lawyers on earth being in a state where you can now compare it to the third world crime centre Nigeria is basically "it's a foreign country. They do things differently".
(Hint-That's why we have ambassadors- to explain local conditions to our policy makers)

I will say it again for the hard of thinking. Darroch was NOT inflammatory, except in your delusions. He was accurate, measured, and responsibly reporting. He wasn't writing with an eye to stroking the ego of Trump, but to inform his masters.
Lazy, no. Concise, and true.

It was only "inflammatory" when some Criminal idiot deliberately exposed them to the most inflammable halfwit on earth, on purpose, to manufacture a diplomatic incident.
 
I don't agree at all.

There's no need to impose self-censorship; you can say pretty much anything without being rude. We're not talking of the pizza delivery boy here, we are talking of a Head of State.

Instead of "diplomatically inept", he could have said "the administration has taken strong stances on a number of foreign policy issues. We have observed these stances provoking negative reaction, which we believe was unexpected on the administration's part, but played out as we expected".

If the latter phrase had been leaked, no embarrassment would have ensued, but the point would have been made to London. Now who's "diplomatically inept"?
Wrong again. As I have said, you should not write with an eye to self censorship. Why should you need to? You know that if it leaks, it is a serious criminal offence.
It is a breach of the expected standards of the Civil Service.

When the Head of State is a dangerously unstable nitwit who probably wouldn't cut it as a pizza delivery boy, our politicians need to know what kind of klutz they are dealing with.
 
The "Head of the World" is now asking for a naval coalition in the Gulf. So that's US and UK then next week he'll be saying we're jolly fine chaps. Ambos have their own language, Don has his though it belongs more in 'Ackney than Ebury. :cool:
 
Wrong again. As I have said, you should not write with an eye to self censorship. Why should you need to? You know that if it leaks, it is a serious criminal offence.
It is a breach of the expected standards of the Civil Service.

When the Head of State is a dangerously unstable nitwit who probably wouldn't cut it as a pizza delivery boy, our politicians need to know what kind of klutz they are dealing with.
If Sir Kim Darroch had phrased his report differently, he would not have found himself backed into a corner. He need not have censored his opinions, just expressed them in a less provocative manner. He can still say that the administration was diplomatically inept, or that it was faction-riven, without using those exact phrases.

It's easy to say that had the report not leaked, he would not have had to resign, which is true, but had he phrased himself in a less-insulting manner, the leak would have been less dramatic. Maybe crossed off the Christmas Card list from the WH, but not provoking a diplomatic incident.

Undoubtably, he's been let down by the system, not classifying it sufficiently highly to begin with, and then allowing it to leak, but he did not help himself in the first place by the intemperate language used. It was the specific language used that was insulting and led to his resignation, rather than the idea of governmental ineptitude on the part of a then-new administration.

Your last sentence is in fact a perfect example of what led to his downfall. He probably thought much the same, was stupid enough to write it down like that, and got done over.

In the Police, do you write "This scrote is a cnut and needs a 10-stretch in the Scrubs to wake the twât up" or do you write "this is a persistent offender who has yet to receive sufficiently robust sentencing to deter him from criminal activity"
 
In the Police, do you write "This scrote is a cnut and needs a 10-stretch in the Scrubs to wake the twât up" or do you write "this is a persistent offender who has yet to receive sufficiently robust sentencing to deter him from criminal activity"
Apples and Oranges as said scote isn't going to have any effect on Country/World economics and stability.
 
............., not classifying it sufficiently highly to begin with, ........
How do you know that? It could have had all the signs of the Zodiac in its classification. That would not stop some ill-intentioned person leaking the document., although it may help with identifying the culprit.
 
Apples and Oranges as said scote isn't going to have any effect on Country/World economics and stability.
But if the report referring to said scrote is required in court, then the language had better be appropriate for court.
 
How do you know that? It could have had all the signs of the Zodiac in its classification. That would not stop some ill-intentioned person leaking the document., although it may help with identifying the culprit.
It was classified OS.

"In the confidential memo – marked 'Official Sensitive' – the UK's most important diplomat accused Trump of 'radiating insecurity', filling his speeches with 'false claims and invented statistics' and achieving 'almost nothing' in terms of domestic policy."
Britain's man in the the US says Trump is 'inept': Cables from ambassador say he is 'dysfunctional' | Daily Mail Online
 
Well that's the kids holiday to Orlando buggered.
 

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