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Observations made by Her Majesty's departing Ambassador to Poland Rick Todd.


hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,368
24 Jul 2011 #1

British Ambassador on Poland and Poles



Read a farewell interview by Ambassador Ric Todd at the end of his four-year mission to Poland.

The diplomat told PAP that he would cherish "very good memories of Poland", especially his travels all around the country, to the seaside, to the Tatras. "I especially like Masuria and Kashubia" - he said. He stressed that what he liked best about his job was "a possibility to meet with various people - politicians, but also civil servants, businessmen, local government officials, representatives of the third sector and ordinary people. It was a big pleasure for me."

I have to say nobody can fault his frankness, what are your views on the ambassadors' observations?

And some other observations-less roseier than the ones edited by the moderator "Ambassador Todd - as he admits - did not like two things in Poland: that Poles don't clean up after their pets and that there is "a small group of people, often very rich or holding important positions, who think that they are above the law." According to the diplomat, the latter aspect can be observed not only in Poland, but also in many other former socialist countries. "For example in the streets, the way some people drive and park their cars. This dates back to the era of socialism: I'm an important person and this means that I don't have to abide by the law" - he said."

"he stressed. He noted, though, that "Poles sometimes overestimate their capabilities."

"When I came to Warsaw, I wanted to change the way the British government and many British people perceived Poland." "In Britain the feeling prevailed that Poland was a complicated country, that the knowledge of this country's history could be very helpful in understanding it. To me, such way of thinking made no sense. I used to tell my colleagues that Poles indeed had a difficult language and unspellable surnames, but there was nothing particularly complicated or difficult about them. They are Europeans"

"he had never managed to convince Poles that a monument to Winston Churchill should be erected in Warsaw." You in Poland have streets named after Roosevelt, a monument to de Gaulle, but nothing dedicated to Churchill (...) There still is a common view that Britain betrayed Poland during World War II. This erroneous belief is not supported by facts, but four years is perhaps too short to change it" - he admitted with regret." (I must admit Churchill is more deserving of a statute or street name than is Roosevelt or de Gaulle)

ukinpoland.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=618006982
Bartolome 2 | 1,085
24 Jul 2011 #2
He's a diplomat, isn't he? :)
But I can see much truth in his opinion about us. It's maybe too a rosy one, but can be used to describe a good chunk of our society. We like to argue, but often someone's arguments against ours are perceived as personal attacks or plain moaning.
OP hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,368
24 Jul 2011 #3
He's a diplomat, isn't he? :)

yes he is
JonnyM 11 | 2,615
24 Jul 2011 #4
It's a shame he's gone - he was the best one yet.
Bartolome 2 | 1,085
24 Jul 2011 #5
Probably anyone offered a post on some paradise island would go.
JonnyM 11 | 2,615
24 Jul 2011 #6
They tend to rotate them between foreign postings and London based policy jobs. He's very much one of the stars - extremely pro-active and hard working so his next posting is likely to be a step up, one of the G8 or larger Commonwealth countries rather than palm trees and golden sands.
ShortHairThug - | 1,101
24 Jul 2011 #7
extremely pro-active and hard working so his next posting is likely to be a step up, one of the G8 or larger Commonwealth countries rather than palm trees and golden sands.

Than you definitely did not bother to read the article. Step up? Yes, he is taking a post of Governor but the place is Turks and Caicos Islands so it is palm trees and golden sands after all for him. Perhaps It’s time for well-deserved R&R.
BartekM 1 | 6
24 Jul 2011 #8
"You in Poland have streets named after Roosevelt, a monument to de Gaulle, but nothing dedicated to Churchill (...) There still is a common view that Britain betrayed Poland during World War II."

What a joker he is...
Still, he is right that we should get rid of Roosevelt street names IMMEDIATELY.
JonnyM 11 | 2,615
24 Jul 2011 #9
Than you definitely did not bother to read the article. Step up? Yes, he is taking a post of Governor but the place is Turks and Caicos Islands so it is palm trees and golden sands after all for him. Perhaps It's time for well-deserved R&R.

True - I didn't read it. I'm quite envious, it sounds a nice place.

HM Ambassador debunked some of those myths more very effectively on the embassy website. In WW2 nobody helped the Poles more.


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