In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.
I wanted to highlight this week an ongoing story in the UK. If you are in Europe, you’ll undoubtedly know about it, but I doubt anyone further afield will be aware. But we all have our own concerns about immigration.
Migrants into the UK generally have to cross the English Channel first, and my story tonight was sparked by an event which was huge in its own right, a tragedy which saw a dinghy capsize, drowning all 27 migrants on board.
To an extent, the UK’s response to the tragedy was reasonable. They recognise that the French need to mplay a big part, because all these boats trying to cross the Channel are being launched from France.
I can maybe even understand that the UK is so concerned, it might throw possible solutions into the ring. Can we do this, can you do that, can we both do something else, even, to try to dilute the problem? But there’s a limit to how far you can go with this, because nobody wants to feel like they’re being pushed around.
But our PM, Boris Johnson, took it a step further.
He sent a letter to the French. It contained all of these things. But then, he made his letter open. Not only was the release timed to coincide with the evening news here, but he also released it to Twitter.
Now, someone using Twitter as a mouthpiece to spout forth their view of the world. Who does that sound like?
Not at all surprisingly, the French are pissed. Given that their response was to pull out of talks which had been scheduled the very next day, the UK shot itself in the foot. That’s not how you do diplomacy. Not if you want to achieve results.
I just thought that this parallel with Trump was uncanny. He took an already-low bar, made it lower, and now, the UK government wants to emulate him! We should be demanding higher standards from public servants, not lower.
I bet the rest of Europe must be sighing with relief that we are gone!