Wednesday, 10 July 2019

without fear nor favour

Chillingly and contemptibly, one of the forerunners to be the next Prime Minister of the UK refused to lend his support to the country’s diplomatic corps which precipitated the resignation of a long-serving civil servant and ambassador to the US after having become the target of Donald Trump’s virulent attacks and being effectively froze out of affairs of state as UK’s ombudsman and chief representation.
A frank and unapologetic (not to mention wholly accurate) missive framing the regime as incompetent, thin-skinned and depressingly perhaps not a single-term prospect emerged—which is precisely the sort of candid assessment that an ambassador is supported to deliver, currying Trump’s disfavour and the candidate husting for leadership (also former Foreign Minister) essentially acquiesced and allowed UK foreign policy to be undermined and dictated by a foreign power. Not to credit either of these dolts with a shred of strategic thinking, this travesty might have been suffered because of the UK’s precarious situation and need for the US as a trading partner post-Brexit and desire to keep America happy and on friendly terms. Diplomats were quick to anger and quick to forget the regrettable characterisations revealed by Wikileaks and the cable-gate fiasco but equally realise the importance of being able to express honest opinions. In the same debate, the party heir-apparent also refused to rule out suspending parliamentary proceedings in order to force through a no-deal Brexit. Whilst one of the original arguments in favour of leaving the EU was to preserve the sovereignty of Parliament, the ministerial candidate would leave the option of proroguing on the table to safeguard against a legislative impasse and further delays, a power not exercised since 1629 with Charles I—something that eventually led to the king’s executive and the interregnum with rule by Oliver Cromwell. A matter of royal prerogative, the new Prime Minister would need to seek permission from the Queen in order to suspend Parliament, pulling her majesty back into politics and the Brexit question.