The Lone Star fails to make London shine
Friday 23 May 1997
Earlier in the day he had failed to get beyond the wall of tourists watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, in order to present his credentials. But that did not deter him from trying his luck with Tony Blair.
"The south-west wind blows 24 hours a day over Texas," he drawled, unfurling his blue and yellow flag. "It figures that we are fairly resilient characters."
His persistence did indeed pay off. Well, at least he made it as far as the gates at Downing Street. "Hello, how are you? I'd like to present a letter for the Prime Minister."
His jaunty manner did little to impress the attendant policeman, whose polished appearance contrasted with Texan visitor's weathered look.
Realising that he was no more going to hand-deliver his documents to Number 10 than have tea with the Queen, the would-be diplomat settled for sealing the envelope. It was addressed: "For the personal attention of the Right Honorable Prime Minister" and stamped with a Lone Star State silver sticker.
Perhaps Mr Blair would look upon him sympathetically. Not only was he a new prime minister and a "fresh outlook", but: "Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and Robert Hertner all played in different pop bands together." Sorry? "In different bands in the same time frame," he said.
In one letter, Mr Hertner invoked "the protocols under the Doctrine of Retroactive Recognition in accordance with the Law of Nations in respect to the treaty between Great Britain and the Republic of Texas circa 1840."
He requested copies of the treaties and documents with a view to "normalising relations between our two great nations."
He handed over the package and reflected: "They've been officially delivered, in public, in front of witnesses, and that's the best I can do at the moment."
But that left the small matter of Her Majesty. "I'm not exactly sure how to contact the Queen with my documents," he puzzled. "I'll fax them? They fax me? I don't know."
Mr Hertner, who was dressed in his father's battered bandero, a pair of cracked, leather cattlemen's boots, and Navajo jewellery, claims to have "tens of thousands" supporters back home. He summed up his message: "Anyone can become an American, but you have to be born a Texan."
Three weeks ago, he turned his home in Kensal Green, north-west London, into the "Embassy of the Republic of Texas for the Sovereign Nation of Great Britain". "Much like Tony Blair, I've been a diplomat for exactly three weeks," he said, reaching for another point of contact.
Mr Hertner wound up his flag and headed for home, saying: "I think we're going to do the intelligent thing and go get some nachos for brunch."
Video: It is the type of thing no parent wants to hear
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
£1000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Doing more admin than selling? ...
£30000 per annum + £60,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Basingstoke, Brighton,...
£33000 - £36000 per annum + Car+Laptop+Phone: Langley James : Field Support En...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's most progressive and innovativ...