Sorry, but why is Liam Fox apologising to Ivanka Trump?It’s extraordinary that the trade secretary feels compelled to grovel to the president’s daughter over the Kim Darroch cables. Her White House role is fabricated, undeserved and nepotistic. Dear Liam Fox, it is with great regret that I am forced to write this open letter asking: what the hell is wrong with you? Apologies if that wasn’t particularly diplomatic; I am simply taking a leaf out of Sir Kim Darroch’s book and being frank when it comes to my assessment of your “dysfunctional” conduct. To repurpose some more of the phraseology used by the British ambassador to the US, your recent behaviour vis-a-vis Ivanka Trump “ radiates insecurity” and is downright embarrassing. OK, enough with the open letter format. (It is an irritating genre, isn’t it?) I am not here to converse with an imaginary Fox, I am here to express my disgust that Britain’s international trade secretary seems to have nothing better to do than kowtow to a power-hungry heiress. Fox, who is visiting Washington DC, told BBC radio on Monday that he would be apologising to Ivanka for Darroch’s leaked comments about her father. “I will be apologising for the fact that either our civil service or elements of our political class have not lived up to the expectations that either we have or the United States has about their behaviour, which in this particular case has lapsed in a most extraordinary and unacceptable way,” Fox said. Sorry, what? Forget Ivanka; Fox should be apologising to the English language for that sentence, which vacillated in a most extraordinary and unacceptable way. Actually, let’s not forget Ivanka. Let’s remind ourselves who she is. She is the daughter of the president; she has a cryptic and undeserved role in the White House; she jets around the world pretending she is qualified to talk to dignitaries and shape global policy. She is all hair and hypocrisy and nepotism. It is ridiculous that Fox is apologising to her. Or perhaps it isn’t. Perhaps Fox is being strategic. It seems he is in Washington for Brexit-related talks with her. Perhaps this apology will help Britain negotiate a great trade deal with the US. Perhaps Fox has traded the NHS for a truckload of Ivanka-branded handbags. Viva the special relationship! .Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist





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