The Simple Explanation for the Betrayal of Britain’s Envoy

Craig Murray has a strong hunch about why someone would leak Kim Darroch’s scathing comments about Trump.  

By Craig Murray

The media is full of over-complicated theories as to who might have leaked the diplomatic telegrams of Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the U.S., who resigned Wednesday after his candid views about U.S. President Donald Trump were revealed by the Daily Mail.

I should start by explaining the telegram system of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, or FCO. The communications are nowadays effectively encrypted emails, though still known as “telegrams,” to the Americans “cables.” They are widely distributed. These Darroch telegrams would be addressed formally to the foreign secretary but have hundreds of other recipients, in the FCO, No.10 Downing Street, other government departments and intelligence services and scores of British embassies abroad. The field of suspects is therefore immense.

Kim Darroch. (YouTube)

It is very important to note that this is an old-fashioned kind of leak which was given to the mainstream media without the documents being published online. It is therefore pretty useless in terms of public information. We haven’t seen the documents, we only know as much as Isabel Oakeshott and the Daily Mail chose to tell us. It is not possible to envision any more untrustworthy or agenda-driven filter than that. We can therefore be certain this was not a WikiLeaks style disclosure in the interests of freedom of information about public servants and their doings, but the agenda was much more specific.

Darroch’s scathing assessment of Trump is no way out of line with the mainstream media narrative and it is interesting – but exactly what I would expect of him – that Darroch shares the neo-con assumption that Trump’s failure to start a war with Iran over the drone take-down was a weird aberration. The leaks neither tell us anything startling nor obviously benefit any political faction in the U.K. So what was the motive?

I believe the most probable answer is much simpler than anything you will find in the vast amount of media guff printed on the subject these past few days by people with no knowledge.

Kim Darroch is a rude and aggressive person, who is not pleasant at all to his subordinates. He rose to prominence within the FCO under New Labour at a time when right wing, pro-Israel foreign policy views and support for the Iraq War were important assets to career progress, as was the adoption of a strange “laddish” culture led from No. 10 by Alastair Campbell, press secretary of former Prime Minister Tony Blair. This culture involved swearing, football shirts and pretending to be working class (Darroch was privately educated). Macho management was suddenly the thing.

Some of the names Darroch called Trump. (YouTube)

At a time when news management was the be all and end all for the Blair administration, Darroch was in charge of the FCO’s media department. I remember being astonished when, down the telephone, he called me “fucking stupid” for disagreeing with him on some minor policy matter. I had simply never come across that kind of aggression in the FCO before. People who worked directly for him had to put up with this kind of thing all the time.

Most senior ambassadors used to have interests like Chinese literature and Shostakovitch. Darroch’s are squash and sailing. He is a bull of a man. In my view, the most likely source of the leaks is a former subordinate taking revenge for years of bullying, or a present one trying to get rid of an unpleasant boss.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.

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37 comments for “The Simple Explanation for the Betrayal of Britain’s Envoy

  1. Montefrío
    July 13, 2019 at 12:40

    “Most senior ambassadors used to have interests like Chinese literature and Shostakovitch. Darroch’s are squash and sailing.”

    I’ve never been a senior or junior ambassador, but Sinology was my university major (I am a USA Ivy League grad and I have a large Shostakovich collection, favoring his string quartets. And, as it happens, long ago (I’m 73) I was a rated squash player and a fairly fair sailor along the lines of Hilaire Belloc but on the other side of the Atlantic. What does that make me then? There’s something about this supposed dichotomy that rubs me the wrong way, given that those interests are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

    That said, Mr D’s comments were out of line.

  2. Paul
    July 12, 2019 at 21:52

    This era feels like white water rafting, imagine when Trump is gone, there is so much to repair.

  3. Vera Gottlieb
    July 12, 2019 at 11:48

    What is our society coming to? Little do we seem to care who we hurt, who we smear, who we lie about…with so many totally lacking courage to show their faces or reveal their names. Anonymity has become the safe-haven for all those lacking integrity and, so it seems, the giants of social media making it possible and actually financially profiting from it. I am appalled, I am disgusted, I feel soiled. Have we reached bottom or is there much “lower” we can sink? It isn’t “how deep is the ocean”…rather, how much deeper our “culture” will sink.

  4. KiwiAntz
    July 11, 2019 at 17:25

    Darroch was calling “a spade a spade”, as the saying goes?? Darroch’s a A**hole & a abusive, foulnouthed Bully who recognises in Trump, the same sort of Bully & abusive A**hole? Obviously the man sees a kindred spirit in Trump but like most know it all, living in past glories British Raj Poms, don’t know how to keep their big mouths shut! Oh well at least this English, private boy schooled, pompous Dandy can spend his last days buggering himself or others, playing squash & sailing to wherever these pommy twits go to?

  5. July 11, 2019 at 17:03

    This was most definitely leaked by a remainer, and I believe Darroch is one of them. This is to make “leave” an more unattractive, and to isolate the UK as punishment.

  6. Deserttrek
    July 11, 2019 at 16:45

    the ambassador should look at his own country being colonized by mohammedan mobs and criminalizing speech
    the trump insulter’s cannot provide a better course of action and their saviors have been in their offices for years as things only got worse
    no need for wars and Trump has yet to start one so until then maybe STFU

    • Simeon Hope
      July 14, 2019 at 05:26

      Er, no. The UK is not “being colonized by mohammedan mobs”. Your racist assertion is backed by what? No evidence whatsoever. Please provide at least one link to a good-quality, independent study that shows Muslim people are forming mobs and colonising the United Kingdom. I recommend you get to know some Muslim people. They will very likely destroy your delusions.

  7. July 11, 2019 at 12:12

    Very interesting little article.

    The portrait here of Kim Darroch is so different than what we see in the mainline British press, it is actually a bit startling.

    His newspaper portrait in Britain, at least in the press I read, is of an extremely able man, a classy diplomat.

    But what we have here is a kind of British Trump, a crude loud-mouth and abusive man.

    This is a terrific example of how a story can be made to appear almost unrecognizably different.

    The truth? I am not sure when it comes to government and foreign policy anymore we ever get any truth.

    Deception and misrepresentation are the norms simply because governments like that of the United States and Britain are engaged full-time in so many dark imperial projects all over the world.

    The people never voted for much of what is being done in their name and might well not support much of it, if only they knew.

    I’m afraid this is just one more fragment of evidence – along with such matters as what really has happened in Syria, what really is going on with Iran, why the United States never acts to rein in Israel and impose a fair settlement, day-and-night Russophobia, the assault on China, and so much more – telling us what a dreamworld we now live in. Perhaps “nightmare” is a better word than “dream.”

    Almost nothing in our press and from our politicians is real anymore. There’s an entire world of government activity that goes unreported and unexamined. If one insists on using the unattractive term “fake news,” – unattractive because of the class of people who regularly use it – its main application should be to Western governments.

    Obviously, under such circumstances, references to “democracy” or even “democratic” are meaningless. The people are simply not aware of what their “elected” governments are doing.

  8. Kieron
    July 11, 2019 at 10:57

    Indeed what goes around comes around. Beware Bolton, Pompeo and Trump.

  9. Aspnaz
    July 11, 2019 at 08:24

    If he rose to the top then he is a cunt: to the wealthy there is no such thing as crime, there is winning and there is losing: judges, politicians, they can all be bought.

    • torture this
      July 11, 2019 at 10:46

      Is that what you tell your kids? It should be!

    • christina garcia
      July 11, 2019 at 21:55

      how about using names that define gender? Certainly you insult me. I am a woman and I have a vagina . You insult my vagina. Also , no interest to you, but I am post-menopausal. My cunt is my business. If you want to insult someone, might I suggest some better terms? Prick, Dickhead, Asshole, arschloch, wanker, jerk, ignoramus, dotard, boor, oaf… please I am proud of my vagina. it gave birth to two children. my cunt did that, yes it did.

      • Nick
        July 12, 2019 at 02:41

        I prefer ‘shitbag’. It denotes no gender, color, or creed, and is a great descriptor for both Trump and Darroch.

      • Lucy
        July 12, 2019 at 05:24

        I didn’t know there are so many definitions in he English language.It’s a pity they are banned in dictionaries.

  10. JDD
    July 11, 2019 at 07:56

    Dear Ambassador Murray,

    Could it have been his unabashed enthusiasm to embroil President Trump and the United States in a war with Iran? May not his stated intent to “flood the zone” with hawkish advisors to the president, including direct contact with John Bolton, have been the last straw?

  11. OlyaPola
    July 11, 2019 at 07:20

    July 11, 2019 at 05:12
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    “over-complicated theories as to who might have leaked the diplomatic telegrams of Kim
    Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the U.S.”

    “The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley – mutating purposes into opportunities
    facilitating other purposes whilst some are engrossed in the show.”

    A little more salt in the broth.

    A regurgitation of how many angels can fit on the end of a pin.

  12. OlyaPola
    July 11, 2019 at 05:12

    “over-complicated theories as to who might have leaked the diplomatic telegrams of Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the U.S.”

    The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley – mutating purposes into opportunities facilitating other purposes whilst some are engrossed in the show.

    What a gift to gie us
    To see oorselves as ithers see us.

    “Lord” (s) wham in the heavens dae dwell
    send ain tae heaven
    and ten tae hell
    A’ fir thy glory
    and no for any guid or ill
    the’ve done afore thee.

    Gie Lord Darroch his just deserts
    He drinks and swears
    and plays at cairts.

    Apologies fo the lalland, but perhaps appropriate of La-la land; a land of make-believe.

  13. geeyp
    July 11, 2019 at 02:49

    I laughed at the end of this piece. Out loud. I haven’t read The Daily Mail piece although I did read that Darroch was “well liked”, I guess, in his dealings with his American counterparts. Craig’s comments also explain that one, as we are a jock society. Those names in the Trump picture would also apply to the last five presidents.

  14. Dan Huck
    July 11, 2019 at 02:29

    The Office of the President of the US, especially publicly, is looked upon by our UK ally as something like Der Fuhrer. We call the shots. While the appearance might be our policies are always on the same page, figuratively speaking, we now know from UK government investigations related to Blair and Iraq, Cameron and Libya, in spite of serious internal pushback, the UK went along to get along with seriously mistaken, hasty American rush-to-war behaviors. They might feel we will never threaten our “unbreakable bond” with them. After all, there was the test, so to speak. The ‘soft’ outing of Prince Andrew ten years ago relating to his friendship and likemindedness, evidently, with the most gross and revolting behavior disclosed of the sleazy, manipulative, criminal sexual abuse of poor young girls in the company of wealthy, aristocratic (by connections) Jeffrey Epstein, and that case, although it boggled comprehension, was put to rest, sealed, & un-indicted codefendents (Prince Andrew & high-powered legal facilitator what’s-his-name among them) supposedly forever beyond touch in this matter. The US Department of Justice had spoken. This kind of effective capping of discussion & legalistic ram-rodding of closure is not frequently perceived in the US. It happened once before involving our other “unbreakably bound” ally, Israel, in the 4 hour attack on & attempted sinking of the USS Liberty killing 34 US Service people in 1967, when Israel was attacking Golan Heights in Syria.
    Of all UK institutions, nothing unites them so much as the Royal Family. They spend tens of millions of Pounds in furtherance of establishing and nurturing this same connection with ordinary Americans as well as UK citizens. Pomp and circumstance.
    It’s not hard to imagine due to their guilty consciences (Steele, et al), UK Uppers are blaming Trump for the current US Justice initiative against Epstein. They were probably absolutely sure something like this would never happen if their girl Hillary hadn’t had the election stolen from her.
    Britain knows for sure, especially as the world now knows, now that the NY Times has told us, the major US media clears its serious revelations through official government channels. Perhaps they feel betrayed and the Ambassador was sharing. Who knows how this will resolve? The President, as a possible potential blackmail victim, (shades of the Billy Bush episode?), now that the last (?) & most serious civil case against he & Epstein has evidently been settled out of court, might see much more serious potential fall-out on the horizon for the Clinton/Obama deep-state affiliated clique. That would absolutely be to his benefit. Prince Andrew would be collateral damage.
    Who told Acosta to cool it? Where is Caligula in this picture?

  15. dfnslblty
    July 11, 2019 at 01:11

    Thankyou, Mr Murraym for your experienced reportage with possible answer for such timely revelations.
    Not a pretty picture for 10Downing or the whitehouse.
    Keep writing.

  16. July 10, 2019 at 22:21

    It’s not like any of this is a secret. We all know Trump is incompetent, insecure, incoherent, incomprehensible, insolent, inept, insolvent, possibly incestuous, probably insane, and better off incarcerated. It’s been plain as the hair on old Donnie boy’s head since some time around 1980-something, hasn’t it? Why should this Brit twit (or anyone for that matter) be investigated for saying out loud that which is plainly incontrovertible and uncontested? It’s a bit like saying water is wet or ducks go “quack, quack” or instant coffee tastes like crapola, isn’t it?

    • aspnaz
      July 11, 2019 at 08:19

      Yes, but he is more successful and in a different league to you, so why should I listen to you: Trump has either the easiest or hardest job on earth, depends on how hard he fights and on who he fucks off: Trite insults are easy, get your ass in there and do the same if you are so clever.

    • Fabrizio Zambuto
      July 11, 2019 at 08:39

      You can’t insult the president of the country you’re where you’re posted, there’s one thing called diplomacy that you may ignore but it’s considered vital in international relations.

      • O Society
        July 11, 2019 at 17:47

        You have a valid point, Fabrizio. The UK is the lap dog of the US and biting the hand that feeds scraps of empire Alpo has consequences. They’re all gangsters for the dogs of war at this point, as US diplomacy died with advent of the Trump regime.

    • July 11, 2019 at 10:04

      “Stupid is as stupid does” as Forrest Trump used to say. Speaking of movies, Peter Sellers made a movie about Chauncey the Gardner. Chance lands himself the job, idiot though he was. Highly recommended. Good humor for troubling times. ‘Tis a documentary for today’s political situation – ha ha!

  17. Dunderhead
    July 10, 2019 at 21:34

    I know squat about British politics generally and I absolutely hate the Legacy media but when some mini Bolton-esk tyrant gets taken down anywhere in the Anglo British establishment I say amen!

    • rosemerry
      July 11, 2019 at 16:54

      If he is a blairite he needs to be booted out. Look at the few remaining in the UK parliament, destroying the possible hopes of a Labour gov’t taking power when BoJo becomes PM for a brief time.

  18. Jeff Harrison
    July 10, 2019 at 20:04

    LOL. That is the human side of life.

  19. July 10, 2019 at 19:14

    Sounds like someone waited patiently for the moment he would trip over his own d**k and then clubbed him on his way down. From the sounds of the what the guy was like I think I have found a new unnamed hero.

    • Typingperson
      July 11, 2019 at 21:57


  20. Jim
    July 10, 2019 at 19:09

    Kim Darroch is very so typically fucking stupid like the lo-level kind of Brit school-headmaster so common of past colonial times. Trump, despite his various sexual misdeeds and countless verbal warmongering, has actually helped the world evade WW3 (so far). If Hillary Clinton had been elected president in Nov 2016, we would all be in the early days of WW3 BY NOW.

    Darroch should remember that Britain today is as inept and dysfuctional like the Germany of the 1920s, with Brexit failure and the now-so-distant 2011 England riots which saw Brit police going house to house smashing doors to arrest suspects. And the very recent spate of numbing murders and dangerous acid attacks in London and other places.

    • MichaelWme
      July 12, 2019 at 08:38

      In the 3rd Debate, Secretary Clinton promised regime change in Russia on Day 1. We would not be in ‘the early days of WWIII by now’, WWIII would have been long over by now.
      What is scary is that the ‘experts’ believe MAD no longer exists, the US military is so far ahead of the rest of the world the US military could easily win a nuclear war against both Russia and China and not one American life would be at risk. They said, when President Clinton ordered Putin to step down so she could appoint a Russian-American (or Ukrainian-American or Georgian-American) as president of Russia, Putin would have meekly stepped down, knowing he had no choice. At least 48% of Americans believe this is true.
      (I keep hoping Trump keeps listening to Tucker Carlson instead of the ‘experts’.)

  21. mark
    July 10, 2019 at 19:06

    This sounds like Occam’s razor to me.
    Just another Establishment ars*hole getting his long overdue come uppance.
    If I was rich or powerful, I would make a point of treating my underlings well.
    I knew someone powerful who made his underlings fetch and carry for him in a deliberately humiliating way.
    He made people fetch his food for him.
    “Here’s your food, sir, I hope you enjoy it.”
    You can’t imagine the things they did to that food before they handed it to him.

  22. JohnDoe
    July 10, 2019 at 18:51

    From the article:

    “Darroch shares the neo-con assumption that Trump’s failure to start a war with Iran over the drone take-down was a weird aberration. ”

    That’s not true. Neo cons and the regimes in Middle East need the Iranian regime as it is, they need an enemy to justify illiberal policies at home. At the same time US Corporations need an enemy to justify the sanctions and keep out of the oil market a dangerous competitor. The sabre rattling exercise will go on as long as it will be useful to crush dissent among the peoples in the Western world and the Middle East and the Ambassador letter is just useful to add some confusion and keep the game alive without letting people realise it’s just a game.

    • Dunderhead
      July 10, 2019 at 21:51

      I admire your suspicious nature but the neocons and war state generally speaking are taking out Iranian oil production and hoping it leads to war. If war were to break out it would be a fiasco, I see your premise and it makes sense but I also see we are dealing with clowns, third stringers for the most part, dumber than George W Bush. I think you are right in that sense that there maybe other people besides the neocons and friends who are pulling back the rains or will if they can but I think I am right in the neocon Messianic death cult must march over the precipice.

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