Thiis appeared in Sunday Times...
Tch! Tch! Uncle Sam is being a naughty boy…
Lord Almighty!This ‘maid thing’ with the lovely lady from India …. India, right? Not Pakistan? Sorry about that, but lovely ladies from that part of the world tend to…. ummmm… look alike. Yeah… where was I? Got it – does this nanny business have to be resolved right now?What about X’Mas, guys? Couldn’t we have waited a bit to go after this case? There goes the office party, there goes the family vacation! Lousy timing, folks. And all because these here people refuse to behave like Americans… even when they are in America! Yeah. That’s the bottom line. We have our laws out here. We follow ‘em. That diplomat gal should have known better than to underpay a nanny. That’s like the worst crime in America….it’s like serious. We abolished slavery in 1865.But we understand it is still practiced in India. And you want us to apologise for taking action against a woman who kept a slave in her home? Hell no, we ain’t apologizing! We ain’t even expressing serious regret for the process employed. When we bring ‘em in, we bring ‘em in! Yup. The whole shebang. We handcuff, strip search, cavity search and more. That’s the way it goes here.What are those Indian dudes talking about? Diplomatic immunity does not cover the lady’s crime. Perhaps, underpaying nannies is not considered such a big deal in her part of the world. Well, guess what? In America, it is! And hey - the Indians want to teach our marshals good manners? That’s a laugh. Our marshals are the toughest in the world. You don’t want to mess with those guys. All they did was follow the rule book. Too bad that pretty lady took it so hard. It wasn’t personal. Too bad her government took it even harder. I mean, these are major issues . And let’s not even go there. But why bring David Headley into this?
Indians are hyper sensitive and touchy. They crib all the time. And yet they can’t stay away from America. Their government chaps are constantly raising questions about the way we treat visitors from India. The way we “ harass” their movie stars, former Presidents, Ambassadors. Now they are talking revenge! Go ahead, you guys. You can harass our stars…Robert de Niro won’t be back for a while, in any case. You can refuse invitations to American embassy events. Don’t drink our booze.Don’t take our freebies. See if we care. Don’t meet our delegates… yeah, that’s fine, too. But remember, all these retaliatory measures are being watched by the world. And the world is laughing at you! Get real… one of your politicians is gunning for same sex American couples working at the embassy. Another wants our tax returns. A third demands an unconditional apology. While a fourth removes cemented security barriers from outside the embassy.This corny maid thing has spiraled out of control. Unless, of course, it’s not just a ‘maid thing’ but something else. Whatever the hell it is, the timing sucks.These guys in India must know we have a strategic alliance. We share a ‘deep friendship’, as John Kerry reminded everyone. We gotta put a lid on this maid thing quickly. Before it escalates and we miss out on our Easter weekend or something. Indians just don’t know their priorities. And maybe that lovely lady draped in colourful native costumes, needs to brush up on U.S. laws. We respect nannies in America. Nannies are far more important than diplomats. Obviously,someone forgot to tell her. She really should have paid more attention when the nanny disappeared. I mean, nannies don’t just disappear! Not in America. Other people can and do.But not nannies! We were really worried.Yes,about the nanny. She was underpaid! That is a major crime in America. You don’t underpay nannies! You can shoot people. Kill innocent school kids. Send drones. Bomb the hell out of unfriendly countries. Take hostages. But hey – when it comes to ill treating nannies….now, that’s another matter. We have a zero tolerance policy in place for that.
Phew! So here we are going eyeball-to-eyeball. This is worse than the worst stand-off. It’s X’Mas, for Christ’s sake. Can’t we just settle this maid thing quickly and get on with our lives? The missus is getting really mad. And so is Junior.We had it all planned… our Waikiki break. Why doesn’t the pretty lady diplomat just forget any of this happened, huh? As for the nanny…. no worries. We are taking good care of her. And her husband, kids… yeah, all of them, too. We’ve asked her to get other folks over – uncles, aunts, cousins. We understand family is really important to Indians. And the poor nanny has suffered irreparable emotional damage. Our man Preet Bharara totally gets the problem. He is smart. And tough. Especially when it comes to Indians. So what do you say? Shall we shake hands and go back to business as usual?
Here’s the deal : We keep the nanny. You take the diplomat.
Merry X’Mas, India.