UK-US leaked mail spat shows who’s the boss!

Towheed Feroze
Published : 17:07, Jul 11, 2019 | Updated : 17:31, Jul 11, 2019

Towheed FerozeThat US president Donald Trump cannot take criticism lightly is old news. Praise him and he will praise you back but find a fault with him, it’s war. If not with weapons then certainly with tweets.

The vitriol this time is aimed at none other than the ambassador of a country with which the US has a close relation, flaunted unabashedly in front of the world as a ‘special relationship.’
The point is, when the British ambassador to the US made some personal comments about the US government apparatus in an e-mail, the thought that this would be leaked never occurred to him.
But that’s exactly what has happened. No Julian Assange this time to hunt down but there is some mischievous person who is behind this who may have thought: Brexit is in shambles, the competition for conservative party leadership is bland, World Cup Cricket is taking away too much attention, so why not ruffle some feathers!
The British are saying that they are desperately seeking the source of the leak though they haven’t said what they will do once it’s discovered.
A famous quote by philosopher Bertrand Russell comes to mind: “If we were all given by magic the power to read each other’s thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be almost all friendships would be dissolved.”
Britain`s ambassador to the United States Kim Darroch (C) listens as U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May hold a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2017.REUTERS/File PhotoWhat did the British envoy say?
Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador, called Trump’s administration ‘inept’ and ‘dysfunctional’.
Well, whether that is true or not, as a political observer from a third country one can easily contend that Trump’s administration certainly does not run like clock-work.
Hiring, firing, tirades and diatribes have been features of his administration process with hardly a single person leaving White House duty without acrimony or bitterness.
Of course, as head of the government, President Trump has the right to act as he wishes, but when too many people come and go with those taking a critical stance vilified and denounced the existing system does not send a message of a cohesive operation.
Whatever the reality may be, the British envoy made a few comments which are his own and the mail came out.
In the initial reaction, Trump was dismissive but perhaps the denunciation irked him and stole his sleep because the row escalated with the president severely excoriating the UK’s ambassador and the failure of Theresa May to reach a Brexit deal.
What’s the warning? Well, the underlying tone of the virulent tweets surely does not talk about ‘special relationship.’
Or maybe it does: a special relationship where one is the boss and the other is the obedient acolyte.
Boris Johnson, a leadership candidate for Britain`s Conservative Party, visits Wetherspoons Metropolitan Bar in London, Britain, July 10, 2019. REUTERSBoris Johnson made it clear where the UK actually stands
Soon after the mail became public, a UK politician defended the envoy, saying that the ambassador had done the right thing by not kowtowing to a foreign administration and expressing his honest views.
Since the diplomat in question has resigned, that line tinged with defiance, seems utterly hollow.
Surely, the politician lacks understanding of realpolitik.
Projecting bravado in the face of crisis to deceive others is a very British tactic, which worked during the colonial days to sustain the aura of imperial Britain though in the current world it often fails to deliver the results.
The trick is outdated; sorry, mate, the swagger has run out of steam!
Especially, in a spat with the US, this will never work.
Boris Johnson, contending to be the next British PM, has played his cards with caution, refraining from supporting the British ambassador.
This goes to show, where the UK stands in that much-vaunted special partnership.
Any person has a right to voice his/her opinion and that should have been defended vigorously by British politicians plus diplomats.
Instead of resigning, the envoy should have been given another post to show that Britain is not playing second fiddle.
But then, that is not the reality, right?
US President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up as he arrives at a campaign rally in Topeka, Kansas, US on Oct 6, 2018. REUTERSYou better like the US president
Wonder, what the next UK ambassador’s first instruction will be? Go and offer obeisance to President Trump wearing “I love you till death” T-shirt maybe!
Interestingly, we are not getting public opinion on the matter as yet. What are the British people thinking of this? The opinion of the British population from Asian backgrounds will be fascinating though no news channel has shown the public reaction as yet.
As for Sir Darroch, he may develop paranoia for using computers and may think ten times before writing an e-mail. On the bright side, his sudden placement in the middle of a diplomatic row will also make him a target for publishers. They may want a full account of his days as the ambassador in the US. That is a completely unvarnished and unsparing narrative!
There is no doubt, if that book comes out, it will be a bestseller, and Sir Darroch may just have another dash with fame in the future.
President Trump has inadvertently created a possibility for Sir Darroch to become a popular figure. He should have allowed the incident to slip into oblivion.
Human psychology states, when people react vehemently to the accusation, it’s either out of helplessness or because there’s truth in what is being said.
UK foreign secretary said, “The views of the mail are personal and does not reflect the opinion of the foreign office.”
Really? Maybe the UK should carry out a survey to find out what people actually think of Trump.
Is it love which is spontaneous or is it forced? You like the US administration because there is no other option.
For some reason, the epithet ‘Washington’s poodle’ comes to mind!
Oh well, at least Sir Darroch can head for Edgbaston, take a pint of bitter and enjoy the cricket!

***The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions and views of Bangla Tribune.