Not a Foreign Minister’s job

Not a Foreign Minister’s job

Not a Foreign Minister’s job or anyone else’s

Jeremy Hunt, British Foreign Secretary, is part of a chaotic and disruptive cabinet who between them are making a Prime Minister’s job impossible, alienating the neighbours and destroying a British diplomatic tradition that has served the country well for centuries. His remarks about Europe at the Conservative Party Conference were a disgrace. Mrs May should fire him immediately.

His venomous statements about Europe, comparing the EU to an oppressive Soviet Regime, are not acceptable from a sixth-form youngster. Whether you are pro- or anti- Brexit, behaving like a member of the mob to get your way is not politics, not leadership, not sound for making relations workable in the future and not helpful in the final (if they are) stages of negotiation. My Nobel Prize for Patience of the Year goes to Mrs May. It’s time she ignored it and put stick about.

Politicians are competitive, as we all know. They are often clever and can act as good examples to the people they represent, including the young to whom they are soon going to hand the baton. They are there to serve but in the process sometimes get a little obsessed with their own interests and publicity. They are not there to kick the rest of the world in the teeth. Perhaps the J Hunt’s of this world could remember that when calculating how to win friends and influence people.

I have eleven British grandchildren, several in their late twenties / early thirties, all doing well and preparing to grasp the reins of the enterprises for which they work. Some are looking to take part in politics as their parents have done. Others will lead industrial, social, arts and technological organisations. They are all seeking role models among the top people of the day. They can be forgiven for wondering what the hell their political bosses are at. It certainly looks like hell.

Am I entitled to be angry? Yes I jolly well am. And if I wasn’t writing for so many thoroughly decent people there’d be less of the ‘jolly’ and more of something else. In my lifetime I have contributed huge amounts of money through taxes to the British Parliamentary system, to the British Education system and to British Democracy generally. I subscribe to the right of people to say what they think. I do not subscribe to their right to be total prats, bad examples and unconscionably rude at the same time. The British are reputed to be polite. We don’t want Hunt and his ilk destroying it.

Populism has gone too far. Increasingly people are seeing that. It will go further before the corner is turned, I shouldn’t wonder. But let it be remembered that every stupid word, every thoughtless prod is one step nearer to conflict. The world is a global community. We prove it to ourselves every day. Our lifestyle proclaims it. Common sense tells us. Every act of denial of this is dangerous.

So let J Hunt recant his idiotic statement. Let the British top politicians remember their manners.

And let us all think what is reasonable, good for everyone and life-enhancing as we go about the next decade. If we don’t, we’ll all end up like J Hunt.

Heaven forbid.