David Chamberband has pulled out of a meeting due to have taken place with Saudi counterpart Prince Saud to launch the “Two Kingdoms” conference which was scheduled for this morning. The reason given is that he wishes to get to know his new adoptive son who has evidently just arrived amongst the Chamberband tribe.

I have been trying to imagine Sir Edward Grey or Sir Austen Chamberlain or Lord Salisbury bunking off a State Visit for such a reason. It may well be that I am old-fashioned and a total dinosaur but could he really not wait? Evidently not. Thus the interests of the United Kingdom give way to the touchy-feely cult of the child.

There is one benefit to him that may have escaped some. It will be recalled that he recently discovered or re-discovered that he was deeply sensitive concerning his Jewish ancestry. When giving evidence recently before the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee recently he used these sensitivities to deflect criticism of himself and his Master when compared, in respect of the Union Constitution, by the Chairman of that Committee, Michael Connarty, to Neville Chamberlain coming back to Britain waving a piece of paper and proclaiming ‘piece in our time’. The sudden appearance of the new addition to his family thus avoids any danger of him having to wriggle round his background in the company of the Saudis who are not exactly noted for their enthusiasm for either Jews or The Jewish State

Which leaves us all wondering whether he would have felt it necessary to parade those Jewish sensibilities if King Abdullah or Prince Saud had made some comment that was perceived as being in any way anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic. We shall never know, for Her Brittanic Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has, as they say, gone fishing.