National Newswatch
National Opinion Centre

The 17th-century British politician and diplomat Sir Henry Wotton’s most enduring legacy was his observation that “An ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.”

While the comment was meant wryly, the controversy over the leaked cables of Sir Kim Darroch, now-former British ambassador to the United States, about President Donald Trump reminds us that the most critical task of an ambassador is to tell his/her foreign minister and prime minister in confidence the unvarnished truth about the country he/she has been sent to, including about its leaders.

There should be no shock at Darroch’s description of Trump as insecure, erratic, essentially unreliable in relationships, surrounded by fawning sycophants; we read it every day. As the caption on a cartoon by BANX in the Financial Times of a couple reading the news put it, “I thought calling Trump inept was rather diplomatic.”

The views, opinions and analyses expressed in the articles on National Newswatch are those of the contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publishers.
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