A message to the world: We're really sorry about our new foreign secretary

Thursday 14 July 2016 09:50
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Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Dear rest of the world,

Please accept our humblest apologies for the fact that you will now be dealing with Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson as the face of the United Kingdom on the global stage.

That's right. This guy:

More than anything, as you might imagine, we're consumed by a sense of embarrassment.

We never really expected Johnson to bounce back from political ignominy eight years ago to become mayor of London, let alone lead us out of the European Union and now inexplicably be brought back in from the cold as foreign secretary.

He's a man John Oliver quipped has the "the look and the economic insight of Bam-Bam from The Flintstones", and he's not exactly renowned for his diplomatic candour, either.

Johnson has insulted almost as many of you over the years as Prince Philip.

As far as world leaders go, in the not-so-distant past he's accused Barack Obama of having an "ancestral dislike" of the UK because he's half-Kenyan, praised Bashir al-Assad, and written a poem in which he called Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a "wankerer" who had sex with a goat.

He almost prematurely announced a trade deal when visiting Iraqi Kurdistan, has said Africans have "watermelon smiles", rugby tackled a Japanese 10-year-old, and is fond of coming out with inglorious generalisations about women.

Theresa May herself said last week that she has every faith in Johnson as a foreign negotiator. After all, when he was mayor of London, he came back with three almost new water cannons from Germany, she joked.

Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

We can only assume that our new PM must have her reasons. (The obvious one being that if he's off gallivanting abroad, at least we don't have to deal with him.)

The only solace to be taken from this appointment is the fact that Johnson might actually hate the job. Endless meetings and long haul flights - not to mention regular visits to Brussels - sounds a bit like punishment to us.

But: that doesn't change the fact that we are basically making him your problem as well as ours now. And for that we are truly, sincerely, sorry.

We don't really have anything else to say that will make this better. But hey, at least he's not prime minister.

Yet.

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