After frenzied speculation the foreign office has appointed a new ambassador to head up the United Kingdom’s diplomatic mission to Norfolk.
Sir Harvey Gilbert, 58, is one of our most experienced diplomats. It is widely believed that this appointment will mark the crowning point of a glittering career and will provide him with every opportunity to use the skills he has developed during a lifetime of service representing his Country in some of the most deprived regions of the world.
Speaking shortly after receiving news of his appointment, Sir Harvey said “Although I recognise that there is a vast cultural divide between us, I’m looking forward to my stint in Norwich and will be up and running as soon as I get to grips with the language.”
Sir Harvey, replaces the last ambassador, Hugo Penfold-Smith. Accounts smuggled out of Norfolk suggest that Mr Penfold-Smith may have “gone native” before a rescue bid could be launched. Sources suggest that the former envoy can often be seen standing at the Grapes Hill roundabout in Norwich in his official robes, chewing on a straw and waving at the cars as they go past.
Although he has travelled extensively across the globe, Sir Harvey, like most British Government officials, has never had cause to visit our near neighbour. “I appreciate it is close to our nation geographically,” he said, “but, it's hardly the sort of place you’d choose to go to unless you had to. Would you?” Before adding diplomatically, “No offence.”
Inevitably, the new ambassador will come under pressure from local Government representatives to increase Norfolk’s allocation of foreign aid. Fears of invasion from the increasingly volatile Suffolk across their southern border may cause a rethink, especially as Suffolk has nuclear capability in the form of the Sizewell nuclear reactors. With this in mind it is possible that Gordon Brown may be forced to act now to protect our future supply of brussels sprouts against insurgent yokels.