Nicole Bendon | Political Editor | Thursday 14 July 2016 | GMT 22:40 | @Nicolebendon_x
Yesterday evening, Theresa May appointed Boris “joker” Johnson to the role of Foreign Secretary, immediately following her appointment as the second female British Prime Minister. Let that sink in for a moment. This is the man who referred to the London Assembly as “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” and accused President Obama of being anti-British because he is part-Kenyan.
Honestly, I can’t see why Theresa May would appoint Johnson to such an important role within her cabinet when the majority of people recognise how much of a liability he truly is. This not only includes the general public who have responded to the appointment on social media very strongly against the decision, but also important political figures including the French foreign minister who referred to Johnson as a “liar” and the German foreign minister who called him “irresponsible”.
Not only did he ditch his remain colleagues with a reformed EU stance in the form of a text message to former prime minister David Cameron to become the leader of the Brexit campaign (for his own political gain), but he also proceeded not to run for prime minister despite huge reason to do so following his victorious Brexit campaign which surely proves his irresponsibility and unpredictable ways. Can this man be trusted? Despite being a conservative voter, I don’t believe he can be – at least not fully.
Mainly, my huge concern is his verbal gaffes and insults that are not what the UK, or any country for that matter, want to see come out of the mouth of a Foreign Secretary. Let’s not forget when he stated that the President of Turkey engaged in sexual intercourse with goats in May of this year. It’s all fun and games to laugh at his idiotic comments and his funny ways, but Foreign Secretary is not a platform for such comments and behaviour. How are any of his ideas and proposals going to be taken seriously when he has become the laughing stock of UK politics in recent years?
I will, however, admit that he does have many credentials. For the most part, I believe he was a very successful Mayor of London ensuring that Tube upgrades have progressed, introducing a new cycling scheme and playing a role in making the London Olympics 2012 a memorable occasion. But none of these credentials include foreign negotiating abilities. May herself even stated that his negotiating abilities extended to the time he “came back from Germany with three nearly new water cannons”. Water cannons! Fantastic. How about negotiations over peace, human rights and equality? I just can’t see Johnson delivering on these crucial issues when he has so openly criticised many nations previously.
Of course, we must realise that Johnson is supremely intelligent. He graduated from Oxford University with honours in Politics, so hopefully will make wise and beneficial decisions in his new role. But if May wanted a cabinet minister that reignited faith within the British people following the shock decision on 23rd June to leave the European Union, then she has surely failed in her aims. I, for one, felt that Theresa May was the best possible candidate to be Prime Minister with an outstanding record as Home Secretary, however, that has now been slightly undermined by her decision to appoint Johnson as Foreign Secretary.
Now it seems that Johnson will face many challenges as Foreign Secretary, including establishing peaceful relations with several foreign leaders including President Obama and the President of Turkey, due to his previous ridiculous comments about them. He also must now ensure that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union is carried out efficiently whilst not destroying any remaining relations with EU member states. This will prove to be an obstacle I am unsure Johnson will be able to overcome.
In all, I believe this appointment runs along the same lines as Barack Obama’s (current President of the United States) appointment of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State in 2008. Clearly May has decided that Johnson is less of a threat inside of her tent than outside of it. Political alliances once again trump all it seems, but I suppose that is the political environment that we now live in and have become accustomed to. All we can now do is hope and pray that Johnson will prove the majority of us wrong and serve the role successfully. Don’t worry, I won’t hold my breath.