Britain’s New Undiplomatic Top Diplomat
by Stephen Lendman
New UK Prime Minister Theresa May made key ministerial changes straightaway in office.
Notably she named former London mayor/leading Brexiteer proponent Boris Johnson as foreign minister, shifting incumbent Philip Hammond to finance ministerial duties.
David Cameron’s chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne was sacked, earlier seen as the favorite for Tory leadership, now out of government entirely.
Johnson is no stranger to controversy. Earlier he called Obama “the part-Kenyan president.” He complained about him allegedly removing a Winston Churchill bust from the Oval Office, attributing it to an “ancestral dislike of the British empire.”
He criticized Obama for pressuring Brits to stay in the EU, calling his meddling “outrageous and exorbitant hypocrisy,” adding:
“In urging us to embed ourselves more deeply in the EU’s federalizing structures, the Americans are urging us down a course they would never dream of going themselves.”
“That is because they are a nation conceived in liberty (sic). They sometimes seem to forget that we are quite fond of liberty (sic), too.”
“For the United States to tell us in the UK that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy (sic) – it is a breathtaking example of the principle of do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do. It is incoherent. It is inconsistent, and yes it is downright hypocritical.”
Last year, Johnson blasted Hillary Clinton, comparing her to Lady Macbeth. During her 2008 presidential campaign, he said “(s)he’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.”
He recently said “(t)he only reason (he) wouldn’t visit some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
Last year he called Vladimir Putin “a ruthless and manipulative tyrant.” Expect no improvement in UK/Russia relations.
These and other blunt comments hardly make good diplomacy. It remains to be seen how Johnson behaves as foreign minister.
Calling himself a One-Nation Conservative, he was Tory London mayor from May 2008 – May 2012, an MP from June 2001 – June 2008, then again since May 2015.
A leading Eurosceptic, he said Brexit won’t deny Britain access to European markets. “I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe and always will. be,” he stressed.
One critic called him “genial to all…malicious towards most…with a light giggle…knows how to put the boot in.”
Does his appointment mean May intends sticking by her saying “Brexit means Brexit, and we’re going to make a success of it. There will be no attempts to remain inside the EU.”
Don’t bet on it. Chances for Brexit are virtually nil because US, UK and EU monied interests won’t tolerate it.
Politicians notoriously say one thing and do another. Expect public opinion to be manipulated to oppose what’s now favored.
Britain will remain in the EU, perhaps with concessions granted acceptable to other members.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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