Mercenary hack Isabel Oakeshott has not had a regular berth at a newspaper since departing from her short-lived assignment as the Daily Mail’s “editor at large” two years ago. Yet all of a sudden, there is her name - and only her name - on the by-line of today’s lead story in the Mail on Sunday under the headline “OUR MAN IN U.S. SAYS TRUMP IS ‘INEPT’”. A whole slew of diplomatic cables have been leaked.
Those cables are from Kim Darroch, the UK’s Ambassador to the USA, in which he makes a number of direct observations about Combover Crybaby Donald Trump and the 24-hour slow motion car crash that is his tenure of the White House. The result of the leak, with a new Tory leader and therefore Prime Minister about to take office, is to apparently force that leader to sack Darroch in order to appease The Donald.
But note the use of the word “Apparently”, to which I will return later. First, though, one has to consider how Ms Oakeshott, water carrier to Michael Ashcroft and staunch supporter of the Brexit Party, comes to be involved. And given her reputation for, shall we say, not exactly excelling at investigative journalism without having it served up on a plate first, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that this one was also served up on a plate.
The headlines are nothing exceptional: “Britain's man in the US says Trump is 'inept': Leaked secret cables from ambassador say the President is 'uniquely dysfunctional and his career could end in disgrace’”. What is more interesting is the Oh-What-A-Giveaway moment here: “Bombshell comments risk angering the notoriously thin-skinned US President”. Well, give me a statement of the bleeding obvious.
No, what is more interesting is who is going to benefit from this all too obviously carefully planned leak. And I Spy With My Little Eye More Than One Thing Beginning With B. Consider this snippet from the MoS article: “copied to what Sir Kim describes as a 'strictly limited' number of senior figures in Downing Street and the Foreign Office”.
That is followed by “Darroch, who became British Ambassador to Washington in January 2016, is a former UK Permanent Representative to the EU and widely regarded as a europhile”. Now who beginning with B would benefit from Darroch being forced out? That would be B as in Brexiteers. Ms Oakeshott’s kind of people.
And who, among the Tory leadership hopefuls, wants to curry favour with Trump to the extent that he’s committed himself to go to Washington DC at the earliest opportunity of he becomes leader? That would be B as in London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Brave Bozza bins Brit diplomat to appease The Donald and sees his standing within the White House rise - without being forced.
Of course, Bozza left the FO last year. But that doesn’t stop someone else doing the leaking on his behalf, and for his benefit. There is always a good reason for an otherwise mercenary hack having a scoop served up to them on a plate. And with Ms Oakeshott’s latest offering, answering the question “Cui Bono?” provides the answer.
The appearance of this story is not an accident. It is deliberately placed and timed. Still, beats staying at home and guarding all those unicorns in the attic.
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