Phone transcript: Foreign Office Flunky to the Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab, Amirandes Hotel, Crete – Friday 13 August 2021.
Foreign Office Flunky: Sir, we reckon Kabul’s about to fall.
Raab: You’re telling me why?
FOF: Erm… You’re head of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, sir. We need you to request top-level assistance from the Afghan foreign minister so we can get our interpreters out.
Raab: I thought everyone used Google Translate these days.
FOF: No, sir. Our interpreters do far more than translate, sir. Their cultural knowledge and diplomacy are vital to the work and safety of our troops. That’s why the risk of Taliban reprisals is sky-high and we need you to…
Raab: …yes, yes. Look, just delegate it, OK? Try Zac – they love a Lord.
FOF: But sir, time’s of the absolute essence.
Raab: It most certainly is. Happy Hour’s ticking away here!
– Be there in a sec, darling. Make mine a Bloody Mary!
Clive Lewis, ‘I saw Afghan interpreters translate so much more than words’, The Guardian, 6 August 2021
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