Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
22 November 2016, 10:22
So what’s wrong with Nigel Farage as British Ambassador to the US?
Most commentators are reacting like an outraged spinster to whom an indecent proposal has been made, but if Farage could influence Trump to do stuff for Britain, why not? Because someone needs to.
A fortnight ago I suggested Farage should be put in the Lords, and given a remit as special emissary to Trump. Now I say why not send him to Washington as The Donald suggests.
After all, the purpose of an Ambassador is to influence the leadership of the country where he is posted.
Farage can do this. Who said so? Why President-Elect Trump, the man we need to have on our side. QED. Game over.
And there is a precedent. When Jack Kennedy became President in 1960, Harold Macmillan wanted the special relationship to flourish. He knew David Ormsby-Gore MP, then Minister of State at the Foreign Office, was a lifelong friend of Kennedy’s. So he sent him to Washington as Lord Harlech, where he became a highly successful Ambassador, greatly assisting the close relationship that developed between the elderly Macmillan and the young, dashing Kennedy.
Who said so? Why, the late Lord Harlech himself, with whom I used to lunch regularly. He was surprised to be asked to go, but delighted to do it, and really felt that his closeness to Kennedy greatly assisted our special relationship at a very difficult time in global affairs, what with the build up to the Cuban missile crisis, and so on.
This is said to be a slight on our present Ambassador, Sir Kim Darroch. Why so? Darroch is an excellent man, who was my hugely effective Principal Private Secretary when I was a Foreign Office minister.
I hold him in the highest regard, but the FCO has plenty of other top jobs on offer. A man as good as Kim will not want for fulfilling employment.
But he doesn’t know Trump from a bar of soap. That’s not his fault. It’s just a fact.
Over to you Theresa. Why not do something imaginative? Seize the initiative with Trump. You know it makes sense, or at least you should.