That fondant farrago of a state visit for President Donald Trump sure worked wonders.
Theresa May corralled the country, Queen and all, into putting on a Merry Old England show for Trump and his extended, freeloading family. The shoddy payback for her efforts shows where being ingratiating to Trump gets you. One scrappy, undiplomatic row about diplomacy and some parting insults.
The Orange Emperor with No Clothes (although he does wear exceedingly long ties) has worked himself into a froth about our ambassador to the US.
In cables leaked to the Mail on Sunday, Sir Kim Darroch drew up a character assessment of Trump’s White House, saying it was “faction-riven”, “clumsy and inept” and “dysfunctional”. As any fool passing by a headline with one eye closed may have noticed.
Our ambassador also observed that Trump “radiates insecurity”. As if to prove the point, Trump flounced off into one of his Twitter tantrums: “I do not know the ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the US. We will no longer deal with him…”
He then slobbered about the “wonderful United Kingdom”, the Queen and the arrival of a new Prime Minister. Then threw more insults at Mrs Maybe, saying she had made a mess of Brexit and should have listened to his advice.
This story has dominated the news agenda to a surprising degree. Perhaps that’s because it’s not about Brexit. Except, ahem, it might be. Nigel Farage soon shoved a shoulder into the affair, saying we needed a Brexit-backing businessman as our man in Washington.
To which all we can say is this: what we need is a world where Nigel ‘Big Mouth’ Farage doesn’t feel the need to air his tonsils in bouts of bully barking every two bloody minutes.
Another Brexit aspect to this row about leaked extracts of our ambassador’s private observations is that Dr Liam Fox, the Brexit-backing trade secretary, was being sent to patch things up with the administration.
But get this: he wasn’t meeting Donald Trump, he was crawling to Ivanka Trump, his know-nothing daughter and “adviser”, last seen inserting herself into a line of unimpressed world leaders at the G20 summit.
Trump certainly lays the icing thick on the nepotism cake.
And sending a government minister to grovel to Trump’s daughter really is the pits. Yes, we want decent relations with the US, but the whole world knows that Trump is thin-skinned, prone to tantrums and only likes to do deal with people who flatter and butter him up.
Meanwhile, the Tory leadership contest drags on interminably and seemingly without point. Tonight, Blathering Boris and Boring Jeremy are appearing side-by-side on ITV. Seeing as each of them long ago exhausted the promise bucket with their endless, uncosted pledges to do this or that, I wonder what guff they’ll come up with this evening. I won’t be tuning in.