Wednesday, March 14, 2018


I'm on record as saying American voters were presented with a poisoned chalice in their choice of a Republican or Democrat for President in 2016.   I still hold to that view.

But our diplomats abroad need to be able to advocate for our country at the top levels of whatever administration is in power.   They must be seen as bi-partisan.

It is hugely disappointing that Caroline Beresford, the Deputy Head of Mission at our Washington Embassy, should have taken it upon herself to tweet 'urging the Democrats to get their s**t together for 2020 or else we'll all die'.    She may think that but she can't say that.   It was totally unprofessional and in doing so she has made herself persona-non-grata with the Trump administration.   She cannot now effectively advocate for New Zealand.   She must be returned home to serve penance before taking up another position abroad ... did I hear High Commissioner to Niue?

Sadly it appears our Foreign Minister appears disinclined to so act or is it a case of the MFAT mandarins rallying round in support of one of their own?

Most of us who have been privileged to have held a red (diplomatic) passport understand completely the protocols to be observed ... clearly and unfortunately it appears Ms Beresford didn't.



Gerald said...

She the one with the Labrador?

David said...

But our diplomats abroad need to be able to advocate for our country at the top levels of whatever administration is in power. They must be seen as bi-partisan.

It is impossible to advocate for NZ's best interests and be "bi-partisan", whatever that may mean. Partisanship is essential.

Is it in NZ's best interests if the US ignites a war that devastates much of Japan? Will a trade war between the US and the rest of the world be advantageous to NZ?

Caroline Beresford's only "sin" was to say in public what most of the sane world believes.

Anonymous said...

In response to a tweet by US politics website The Hill, outlining the potential of a Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren presidential ticket to take on Trump at the 2020 election, Beresford took issue with a suggestion that the pair could "win big".

"No it couldn't. Please get your s... together or we will all die," she said, in what appears to be a reference to concerns about the administration of current US president and Republican Donald Trump.

In other tweets, also deleted later, Beresford said Democrats had "learned nothing", and added: "If this is what they have against Trump we should be planning for the eight years."

In an email to Newsroom, Beresford confirmed that she was the author of the tweets.

"Yes I did send those tweets and realised very quickly that they were inappropriate, which is why I deleted them."

She appears to have "locked" her Twitter account since being contacted.

An MFAT spokeswoman said the ministry was aware of Beresford's comments and "[did] not in any way endorse the content or tone of the tweets, which we note have now been deleted".

The spokeswoman said MFAT's code of conduct and social media guidelines set clear expectations of staff when making public comment, including the maintenance of political neutrality and care in expressing personal opinion.

"These expectations were not met in this instance. The ministry will be making this clear to the staff member concerned and taking appropriate action."

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said he was happy with his ministry's response, while a spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Wellington told Newsroom: "We work closely with our hardworking, professional New Zealand counterparts on a daily basis and hold them in the highest regard."

Andrei said...

" Caroline Beresford's only "sin" was to say in public what most of the sane world believes."

By definition you are sane, huh David?

And those who have are different world view from you are not


Anonymous said...

Veteran are quite correct, it is an enormous breach of diplomatic protocol and should be seen to be reprimanded. A step to far David, when Embassy staff consider it their duty, whatever the provocation, to dictate foreign policy then there is no point in having foreign policy. Your hatred of the US sometimes overwhelms your common sense. are one step away from from throwing Gays off the roof or at least locking them up forever.....your input has no credibility, go the back of the bus and join Walter.

Lord Egbut

David said...

Certainly saner than the bloke who thinks a talking snake set fire to a bush so that yahweh could impregnate another man's wife and then kill the child to atone for his sin, that's for sure!

David said...

Your hatred of the US sometimes overwhelms your common sense.

Egbut, there is a lot I like and admire about the US, but their electoral system, their current President, their attitude to firearms, the co mingling of religion and politics, and their desire to go to war, are easy to hate.

The Veteran said...

David ... you miss the point entirely. What use a diplomat who, by her own actions has edited herself out of ever been able to engage with meaningful discussions with the Trump administration. Yes, of course people have opinions but diplomats are required to keep their personal opinions to themselves otherwise they are on a slippery slope to no-where.

Beresford's gaffe is being reported around the world. She has no future in the United States. She is tainted. She must be withdrawn otherwise it will be seen by the Trump administration as some sort of tacit endorsement of her remarks by the NZL government.

Anonymous said...

Pennsylvania...Steel country, coal country, Trump country by 20 points has just gone to the Dems in the house of Representatives election...snowflakes I think somebody called them.

Hugely bad for the Mango.....sorry about thread jack but schadenfreude got the better of me.

Lord Egbut


It's neck and neck my Lord.
Let's see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what ya'll done if she had said "Trumps going to beat yah".

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... I would normally object to your thread jacking but in your case and noting that you and schadenfreude go together I'll make an exception.

Yes, and if the result is confirmed it is a major kick in the teeth for the Trumpists,
But the Democrats won't be gloating ... their candidate has called for the immediate sacking of the Democrat House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi. A bit like Labour winning Remuera and the candidate calling time on St Jacinda.

Is it just possible that a degree of sanity is returning to American politics with Republican flakes and Democrat old guard machine politicians being shown the back door?

Hope so.