Our Ex-Ambassador in Washington, Sir Kim ‘von’ Darroch, is an idiot, but then he’s a Remainer, so what can you expect? Even by the standards of Whitehall Sir Kim is particularly useless. He was the National Security Adviser when I was arrested, don’t forget, no fewer than two nukes having been smuggled into London right under his nose. The late Cabinet Secretary knew what he was doing when he pushed ‘von’ Darroch’s appointment in 2016.
The government has ordered a leak inquiry, which will be a Whitehall farce, since it’s being conducted by the Cabinet Office. This is beyond absurd – leaks of British diplomatic cables at this level are only ever done with the prior sanction of the Cabinet Office. That’s partly because it would be career suicide for a civil servant to leak such sensitive material without official backing and partly because leaking involves a breach of the Official Secrets Act. Any senior civil servant is bound to know that the Cabinet Office controls sensitive criminal investigations and prosecutions in this country.
In theory prosecutions are under the control of the Director of Public Prosecutions, reporting to the Attorney-General, but a series of joke figures have been appointed to the office of DPP in recent years, no offense intended. The current joke, sorry, DPP, is Max Hill QC. (As readers of John Mortimer’s brilliant Rumpole books will know, QC stands for ‘Queer Customer’.)
Yesterday’s with respect shameful jail sentence for patriot Tommy Robinson followed an equally shameful, politically-motivated, allegation of contempt of court pushed by the CPS, who model themselves on the old Soviet Procurator. Political prosecutions, sadly, are becoming the norm in Britain, to the point where Tommy Robinson now has an arguable case for political asylum in the US.
Thus we have the Cabinet Office investigating the Cabinet Office. The most corrupt public body in the UK, no offense intended, is investigating itself. My prediction is that the Cabinet Office will find that it behaved admirably.
President Trump played a blinder, with respect. National Security Adviser John Bolton is nothing if not well-informed and will have known that the man who appointed Sir Kim, the late Lord ‘von’ Heywood, was a notorious German agent. This somewhat puts into perspective Remainer bleating about America deciding who our Ambassador in Washington should be.
In fact it has always been open to a receiving state to declare an ambassador persona non grata. The State Department, being EU-loving, anti-British, anti-American weanies, no offense intended, were never going to declare Sir Kim png themselves, so the President did their job for them.
As for the content of the cables themselves, it was both disgraceful and wrong, reflecting the standard German false propaganda line about your wonderful, characterful President. The Cabinet Office intent in leaking the cables was doubtless to damage Anglo-American relations. Germany is desperate to stop Britain and America signing a free trade deal, consistent with her post-45 foreign policy objective of wedging the Allied Powers.
The Cabinet Office and Foreign Office are totally opposed to Britain being run in the British interest. Having an anti-British, anti-American, pro-EU Ambassador in Washington is important to them.
Who will our new Ambassador be? That will depend upon who appoints him or her. If Theresa May gets to make the appointment the Ambassador will be another piece of anti-American rubbish, no offense to Sir Kim intended. If Boris Johnson gets to make the appointment it will be a serious one, possibly someone genuinely committed to good Anglo-American relations, like that nice man Nigel Farage. Naturally a knighthood (a KCMG) would go with the appointment.
That dodgy 999 call
Given the Cabinet Office’s backing of Jeremy Hunt, the civil service having abandoned even the pretence of impartiality in the Tory leadership race, there were always likely to be dirty tricks. They were not long in coming.
Boris Johnson had barely won the ballot before the police were around to his London flat in response to an alleged row between Boris and his 31 year old lady friend Carrie Symonds. Supposedly the rozzers were sent for by concerned, trendy-lefty, Guardian-reading, Remainer neighbours.
No arrests were made, sensibly, since no crime was committed. However a recording, or at any rate what purported to be a recording, of the alleged row was passed promptly to the Guardian.
Where the left-wing narrative fell down was the response time to the alleged 999 call, the recording of which has not been released, that is to say the 999 call has not been verified. The Met are supposed to have got round there in three minutes!
That’s ridiculous. The Met wouldn’t have responded in three minutes if they’d been told an ISIS cell had turned up and was strafing the flat with AK-47s, indeed if they had been told that Boris was the target they would probably have rung up GO2 and asked how long the Bad Guys needed to finish him off. The Met report to the Cabinet Office, don’t forget, and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, who I hope is polishing her resume, is believed to be backing Hunt.
The whole thing was clearly a put-up job. The rozzers were probably Special Branch types, not ordinary flat feet. It’s no wonder that the recording of the 999 call has not been released, if indeed there was a call at all.
Thankfully Tory Party members are not stupid (otherwise they’d have joined the Liberal Democrats or the Greens, wouldn’t they?). They weren’t buying, indeed the episode rebounded upon the Bad Guys as the Tory membership resented media obsession with the issue. One idiot radio interviewer, if that is not a tautology, didn’t seem to want to ask Boris about anything else.
I’ve upset people before with my analysis of honey-trap operations. (I remember upsetting one media mogul in particular, who had literally, and quite unknowingly, got into bed with Chinese intelligence.) However intelligence analysis is all about speaking truth to power. Any intelligence analyst who knew what they were doing would be bound to be asking questions about the genuineness of Ms Symonds’ commitment to Boris Johnson. I say no more than that. She may be a perfectly genuine and nice young lady who has had no contact with GO2 or the Cabinet Office at all.
Boris has been accused, unfairly, of avoiding televised debates. Since he’s rather good on TV, this criticism was always likely to rebound, frankly, and so it did. Boris put Jeremy Hunt to flight in Tuesday’s debate on ITV, moderated by that nice lady Julie Etchingham, into whom I used to bump, occasionally, when I was reading the papers for Sky News. (She’s rather sweet, if I may say so.)
Jeremy fluffed his lines, getting the order of Churchill’s famous “blood, toil, tears and sweat” speech wrong, which wouldn’t have impressed Tory Party members. Sir Winston Churchill, rightly, is a hero to them (Theresa May won’t give me my membership card, so I have to say “them”, sadly).
Jeremy Hunt is an amiable enough chap, unless you’re a doctor, but he’s a house-trained idiot, who in 1940 would have probably been seeking a deal with our community partner Adolf Hitler. He is a Remainer, after all (Hunt, not Hitler, although Hitler would obviously have backed Remain in 2016). Boris, in contrast, is positively Churchillian.
Jeremy doesn’t even believe in hanging. (How he ever thought he was going to win a ballot of Tory Party members, given his odd views on capital punishment, I’ll never know, with respect – he’d have been better off joining the race for leadership of the Liberal Democrats). Not even the murder in Croydon last month of Kelly Mary Fauvrelle and her infant son Riley was enough to change Hunt’s mind.
Riley was still safely tucked inside his young mother’s womb when she was brutally stabbed to death. That’s right – poor Kelly Mary was eight months’ pregnant when she was murdered. Her last thought on this Earth was probably for her unborn baby.
Riley was delivered at the scene but died later in hospital, every effort having been made to save him. Under English law that’s murder, the child having been born alive, not the lesser but still serious offense of child destruction.
I do not mean to suggest that the three men arrested by the Met, or any of them, were guilty of this heinous crime. They were only Met arrests after all, and may simply have been wandering members of the English Defence League, or passing Boris Johnson supporters. However I defy anyone to tell me that justice would not be served by requiring anyone found guilty of this wanton crime to make that long, last walk to the scaffold to be hanged, in the nicest possible way of course.
Despite his name Hunt has never previously been thought of as a supporter of hunting. He doesn’t even own a horse, and I’m not sure that he would know how to ride one if he did. (What on earth is he doing in the Tory Party?) In an effort to persuade the Conservative Party that despite being in the Cabinet he’s actually a conservative Hunt has come out in favour of hunting, or rather a free vote in the House of Commons, which is not quite the same thing, as hardly any of them can ride a horse.
The answer is actually quite simple. The measure calling itself “The Hunting Act” isn’t actually an act at all, since it was rejected by the House of Lords, and pushed through under the measure calling itself “The Parliament Act 1949”, a shameful piece of legislation which was itself rejected by the House of Lords and rightly so.
I am well aware, since I advised on the case at an early stage, that some liberal senior judges, if that is not a tautology, persuaded themselves in a case called Jackson v Attorney-General that the Hunting Act was a piece of legislation. However their reasoning, if reasoning is not too strong a word with respect, was so confused and contradictory that I cannot tell you how they managed to reach that conclusion.
All that is required is a short piece of declaratory legislation confirming that both dodgy so-called Acts are nothing of the sort. Of course Boris would need a serious, conservative Lord Chancellor in order to get such a bill through and sort the mess out. I can’t imagine where he would find one of those.
The Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who’s so ill-informed with respect that he actually thinks that Karl Marx was a Marxist and Vladimir Lenin was a Leninist (which is as silly as saying that Theresa May is a conservative), has understandably been exercised about Cabinet Office briefings to the media that he’s had a mini-stroke. He’s also denied the reports.
The problem with that is that he uses the National Health Service and the Cabinet Office therefore have access to his complete medical records. (The German listening post in London has a trap-door into the NHS computer system and regularly trawls it for blackmail material on MPs.) I only survived my assassination attempt by the DVD in 1999 because my hiatus hernia had not been diagnosed and Jerry therefore knew nothing about it. Had they done they would have known better than to try and poison me in the course of a heavy meal, even with a prohibited chemical weapon – the acid counteracted the poison in my esophagus. (It made a bit of a mess of my esophagus, but that’s another story!)
I seriously doubt that the Cabinet Office would have tried to undermine Jeremy Corbyn, with a view to getting their own man in as Labour leader in a desperate effort to stop Brexit, on medical grounds without first checking his medical records. It follows that I suspect that poor old Jeremy (we met, on a demo outside the US Embassy, in 1984) has indeed suffered a mini-stroke or two. I note that his doctors have not backed up his denial, unless I’ve missed something, and he has not made his medical records available.
Like the operation to damage Anglo-American relations by leaking Sir Kim Darroch’s silly cables from Washington, this one’s rather blown up in the Cabinet Office’s faces. All the Cabinet Office have done is to damage Jeremy Corbyn and cost Labour some points in the opinion polls. They wounded their man but didn’t take him out, never a good idea (they’d be worse than useless on a tiger shoot).
By the way, if Jerry ever offers you the option of taking a banned chemical weapon in the stomach or the esophagus, go for the esophagus, every time. It may hurt like hell and you’ll throw up so violently you’ll probably collapse of exhaustion, like I did, but you get to wake up in the morning and take the call from the CIA.
Speaking of diseased leaders, it looks as though Angela Merkel has got a touch of the shakes, poor woman. If, as I suspect, it’s Parkinson’s, it will be bound to revive rumors that she’s Adolf Hitler’s granddaughter. (She can’t be his daughter, since I think our community partner Adolf finally snuffed it in or about 1951, that’s to say about three years before his current successor was born). As I said when the rumor first surfaced, I don’t think that Angela Merkel is nice enough to be related to Hitler, no offense intended.
Hitler didn’t just die of Parkinson’s. He was pretty much a physical wreck by the end of the war (as we count – for the Germans it’s still on, of course), thanks to Admiral Canaris’s sneaky plan to maneuver a dodgy quack next to him.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The left-wing media having been having a go at the Royal Family, over the perfectly reasonable refurbishment costs of Frogmore Cottage, their charming little home near Windsor Castle. Allegedly the couple are being subsidised by the taxpayer.
Actually it’s the other way round. As the Treasury knows perfectly well, and the media are too lazy to find out, Her Majesty the Queen subsidises the taxpayer to the tune of about £225 million a year. Her Majesty only receives about a quarter of the revenues of the Crown Estate, currently over £300 million a year.
The Crown Estate is huge, worth around £15 billion. The answer to chippy media criticism of the sort we’ve had in recent weeks is to restore the revenues from the Crown Estate to the Crown, along with ownership of the Royal Palaces (Her Majesty does not actually own Buckingham Palace, for example, which is absurd) and responsibility for their maintenance.
There is no realistic possibility of the media ever being fair to the Royal Family over their finances, so the taxpayer will just have to lose out. The Crown Estate income could also fund the running (but not the crewing) costs of the magnificent new Royal Yacht which I hope the new government will be gifting Her Majesty as a token of the nation’s humble appreciation for Her long service.
I should explain that HMY Britannia, the last Royal Yacht, was something of an austerity vessel, having been ordered in the early 1950s. Not least as we are leaving the EU I am sure that we can afford something rather larger and more splendid, complete with helicopter hangar. I think that 7,500 tons standard displacement and a top speed of 30 knots sounds about right.
The Cricket World Cup
Congratulations to England on hammering the Aussies in the semi-final yesterday. I am looking forward to watching the final at Lord’s on Sunday. I might even snap a piccie for my next column! It should be a great occasion.
The with respect shocking decision by Umpire Dharmasena to give our best one-day batsman, Jason Roy, out caught behind when he clearly hadn’t touched the ball and there was no noise has renewed the controversy over the poor standard of International Cricket Council umpiring. Two of England’s previous final appearances (we have never won the cup) were marred by umpiring controversies, with key decisions going against England.
The ultimate answer is to hand control of international umpiring over to MCC, which is run by gentlemen, who understand the game. (I emphasise that I am speaking purely as an individual MCC member and in no way representing or purporting to represent the views of the MCC Committee, the second most important body in Britain after the Cabinet.) As an interim solution the number of challenges per innings should be doubled to two.
I should explain that the World Cup uses the shorter, one-day, format of the game, with each side permitted only one innings, of 50 overs, a total of 300 deliveries. A proper international match (a Test Match) lasts five days and is a serious ball-game. (I well recall explaining to a bemused American intelligence officer monitoring a game on which al-Qaeda had placed a bet via a dodgy broker (“D”) in Karachi, if that is not a tautology, with every respect to brokers in Karachi, that a ball-game could last five days and not produce a result.)(It wasn’t a draw in the end, but al-Qaeda didn’t collect, valuable advice apparently having been given by ISI to the broker.)
Christopher Booker (1937 – 2019)
I was greatly saddened to learn last week of the passing of my old friend Christopher Booker, co-founder of Private Eye and one of Britain’s most distinguished journalists.
Christopher had a wonderful sense of humour and was known for his sound views on Europe and climate change. His passing leaves Britain with just four intelligent journalists – Peter Hitchens, Tom Newton Dunn and Mike Ridley at the Sun and the legal journalist Joshua Rozenberg. That’s a pretty small number, frankly. We couldn’t afford to lose Christopher. I shall miss him. My condolences to Valerie (who would occasionally answer the phone when I rang Christopher at home) and the family.
White Chocolate Coco-Pops
On a more cheerful note, some folk say that humanity has stopped advancing. When I read Sir Kim Darroch’s emails I know how they feel. Every so often however a brilliant new invention comes along to prove the doomsayers wrong.
After what was no doubt decades of research Kelloggs have come up with white chocolate Coco-Pops. (They may have hit your shelves months ago, but our local Tescos has only just started stocking them.) They’re delicious (I bought a couple of packets last weekend, as part of my diabetes control program). If any of the boys in Battle Creek Michigan are reading this, all y’all should know that you’re great benefactors of mankind.
Kelloggs have been in my good books by the way since they were kind enough, years ago, to ship me a complimentary carton (that’s 12 packets) of Froot Loops, during a Froot Loops crisis in England. (The famine was only ended when an enterprising business called the Australia Shop, now called SANZA, started importing them from Down Under – they proved a greater success than Australia’s top order at Edbgaston yesterday.)
This Week’s Movie Review: Apollo 11 (2019, dir. Todd Douglas Miller)
Apollo 11 is a documentary, not a feature film. Superbly put together, it uses real 16, 35 and, unusually, 70 mil archive footage from 1969. Timed for this year’s 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission the visual and audio quality is outstanding. The soundtrack is wonderful.
Americans can take great pride in the achievements of the Apollo 11 astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. There is no doubt that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon, the first human beings to do so, officially at any rate.
Doubters and conspiracy theorists really need to see this footage. One even wrote to me a few months ago claiming that the Saturn V three-stage rocket was too heavy to lift off!! Really? What were we watching live on TV? A Volkswagen?
The mass of a rocket does not increase as it accelerates. So far to the contrary the mass reduces dramatically as the fuel is burnt. Nearly all of the weight is in the third, lowest stage. The thrust-to-weight ratio steadily improves, explaining the majestic, slow, initial ascent of the great moon rockets. Drag also reduces at altitude.
I can strongly recommend this fine film. Young people in particular need to see it. It’s high time we headed back out there.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.