Boris: the implications of Britain’s New Face for Foreign Secretary

 

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The political turmoil seen in recent weeks is all being turned on it’s head as this is being written. Theresa May is reconstructing a new Conservative Government: Michael Gove has been sacked as Justice Secretary; Jeremy Hunt will be moved from his current position of Health Secretary; and Boris Johnson has been appointed as the Foreign Secretary.

Already fears have been expressed regarding Boris as Britain’s face for the Foreign Office. For this role, Boris has to look out at the wider world and yet be connected to British politics, through setups such as the M16. Moreover, the role of the foreign secretary is to build personal relationships with fellow foreign ministers through little favours. Essentially, Boris Johnson shall now become the face of the United Kingdom presented to foreign countries.

Considering the statements Boris has made concerning other countries and civilisations, it is no surprise that there have been criticisms of him becoming the Foreign Secretary. He has previously made statements such as calling Papua New Guineans “cannibals”, insulting the president of Turkey and comments on Barack Obama’s ancestry. These previous obnoxious comments made by Boris Johnson naturally raise eyebrows. Boris has before apologised for some of the statements he made, for example calling populations “piccaninnies” on the occasion of Blair’s visiting Africa, however throughout his political career he has nonetheless cultivated his appearance of being the ‘class clown’.

To now have the same class clown who was stuck on a zip-wire waving two union jack flags in 2012, the same man who only three weeks ago was rallying for Britain to leave the EU only to then jump ship once it had happened, the same man who casually uses racist, homophobic and xenophobic language is going to be representing Britain on the global stage. It is, perhaps, a little worrying that Britain is being represented by a man like Boris Johnson, and one can only hope that he will discard his buffoonery-tainted image and step up to the job to rebuild relationships with the European Union he has recently been insulting, as well as the wider world he has slandered in the past.

 

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