Reading through the latest comments surrounding the, essentially enforced, departure of Sir Kim Darroch, I find myself agreeing totally – as I always have – in the freedom of the press. However, I am also a staunch advocate of independent law-enforcement agencies who must investigate potential crimes without hindrance from, let us say, politicians or plutocrats.
Now, if this is a case of some “bounder” in the civil service attempting to make some easy money, then yes, I agree it should be published with no hindrance to the journalist.
Nevertheless, if a journalist, any journalist, was involved in a conspiracy to undermine British democracy, creating a sequence of events culminating in one their buddies gaining influence and power; this is totally unacceptable and must be robustly policed and all miscreants punished, no matter their position.
But if it is all just brushed under the carpet, then I fear we shall see far more shenanigans – and worse – from those who, quite simply, are lusting for power at any cost to this country.
Freedom of the press?
I am puzzled by your editorial saying that the Mail on Sunday was right to publish the private diplomatic emails written by our ambassador to the US. Public interest must never be confused with public curiosity.
I believe that the only public interest served by the disclosure is, as Patrick Cockburn points out, that for all his resources, the ambassador adds nothing to what was generally available from journalists. That was not, in my opinion, why the Mail on Sunday published them. I feel that the purpose was to make the continued appointment of the ambassador pointless. His resignation was inevitable. Boris Johnson’s failure to answer the question with “as prime minister I would always want to get all the facts on an obviously sensitive situation before expressing any opinion” merely accelerated it.
As for the opinion expressed in a letter you published recently, that the emails were disrespectful, does the writer really believe our ambassador should refrain from reporting facts to our government because they show a political leader in a poor light? It is crucially important that our ambassador finds out and reports accurately and frankly how Trump’s bellicose personality will play out in world affairs versus his pacifist tendencies and the influences on him in both directions.
We all knew why Trump was poking Iran already
I am not a member of MI5 or Mossad or the FSB or the CIA but I did not need another leaked diplomatic memo from Sir Kim Darroch to tell me that Trump is prepared to trigger World War Three by poking Iran to spite Obama.
Pay no attention to Tory leadership promises
It is rather odd that so many people are trying to analyse the daily manifesto marketing ploys of the two pretenders to the Tory leadership.
Election manifestos are not made under oath and thus have the longevity and substance of a snowflake on a barbecue, and they are not in any way intended for the public.
The pledges focus on a group of 160,000 Conservative Party members which are made up of two key elements: Half are diehard imperialists whose grasp of economic reality is as weak as their racism and sexism is strong, and half are members of Ukip and the Brexit Party, recently and temporarily joined, and whose granite dream of Brexit is beyond reasoning or moral limitations.
Once the leadership vote is over and the winner is in place, his tune will change, and so will that of the voters.
A challenge to Mea Culpa
I have to challenge something in John Rentoul’s Mea Culpa.
Ras al Khaimah is not an enclave of Oman; it is one of the seven members of the United Arab Emirates and lies southwest of the Musandam Peninsula, which is an enclave (or exclave?) of Oman.
“Ras” (or, more properly “ra’s”) means “head” in Arabic, both anatomically and geographically, and there are, unsurprisingly, lots on both sides of the strait, the best known on the Omani side being Ra’s Qabr al Hindi.
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