You couldn’t make it up

I guess we’re all living in a surrealistic comedy show based on a competition between the UK and the US on who can put more absurdly unqualified and dangerous people in minor jobs like head of state or head of foreign affairs.

Or to put it another way, I go out for a couple of hours and come back to find that Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary. Boris Johnson! Is Foreign Secretary!

Mr Johnson said he was “very humbled” to be appointed foreign secretary.

He said Mrs May had made a “wonderful speech” earlier, saying there was a “massive opportunity in this country to make a great success of our new relationship with Europe and with the world”.

But Lib Dem leader Tim Farron predicted Mr Johnson would “spend more time apologising to nations he’s offended” than working as foreign secretary.

Slate has a partial list of the offendings.

  • In 2003, Johnson described U.S. President George W. Bush as “a cross-eyed Texan warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, who [epitomizes] the arrogance of American foreign policy” in an unsigned editorial in the Spectator.
  • In a 2005 Telegraph column, he wrote “…compared with the old British Empire, and the new American imperium, Chinese cultural influence is virtually nil, and unlikely to increase….Chinese culture seems to stay firmly in China. Indeed, high Chinese culture and art are almost all imitative of western forms…. The number of Chinese Nobel prizes won on home turf is zero, though there are of course legions of bright Chinese trying to escape to Stanford and Caltech.”
  • In a 2006 column, also for the Telegraph, Johnson wrote “For 10 years we in the Tory Party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing.” After backtracking furiously, he said he would “add Papua New Guinea to my global itinerary of apology.”

Naturally it makes sense to appoint someone who has a global itinerary of apology to the job of Foreign Secretary.

  • In an op-ed published in April, he claimed President Obama removed a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office upon assuming the presidency in 2009 because “it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British empire—of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender,” comments several leading British members of Parliament (rightly) condemned as racist.

He’s been rude about both Clinton and Trump.

Interesting times.

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