That's right, the latest twist in this sad story made me think of the disasterously bad manager
of Elvis Presley, the one who dictated every step Presley made and pretty nearly destroyed his career. Parker was summed-up thusly: "The Colonel was often described as a cross between P.T. Barnum and W.C. Fields; in the King's court, he was combination court jester, Svengali and Robin Hood."
Wow, that sure does resemble someone I've blogged about quite a bit. He even has a physical resemblance to Parker.
I'm prompted to blog about him yet again because this week he and the family of the victim have whipped themselves up into a state of outrage that looks unprecedented. The cause of it all was the refusal of the U.S. Embassy in London to include the family's spokesman/adviser/lawyer in a personal meeting the family had requested with the Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission. Compounding this alleged offense, the embassy directed its emails on the matter to the mother of the victim, the requestor of the meeting, and pointedly not to her spokesman.
The Embassy responded today:
Here's a sample of the family spokesman's unbalanced response to this perceived slight:
"Misery upon misery ... monster ... poisonous" etc. It's enough to make me wonder why they sought a personal meeting in the first place. Such aversion to the DCM seems to have escalated all at once.
Here's the mother citing what she believes is her legal right to have her spokesman present and managing every aspect of her engagement with the Embassy:
Note she says "the Embassy is based in the UK ... I know my rights and I'm sticking to them." That refers to the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime
(the Victims' Code), which is the statutory code that sets out the minimum level of service that victims should receive from the UK
criminal justice system. It does not, of course, apply to the U.S. Embassy in London, or impose any obligation on the USG to address the family through their chosen representative.
That's the problem when you're managed by a Colonel Parkeresque pitchman whom you let dictate everything you do and say. He just isn't reliable. Only last week he was pitching a virtual trial of the American driver if she would do it from the UK Embassy in Washington because - as everyone who watches a lot of television knows - an embassy is the sovereign soil of its government. It isn't really, since the 'embassy as sovereign soil' thing is a myth. But, if only last week he believed that myth, then why doesn't he now believe that the U.S. Embassy in London is the sovereign soil of its government and therefore not bound by the UK Victims Code?
Sovereign or not, the U.S. Embassy in London may be on borrowed time, since Colonel Parker's Twitter feed is full of calls for nothing less than a break in U.S.-UK relations. Oh, you embassy swells will rue the day you trifled with him.