15 of the worst things Boris Johnson has said about leaders of other countries

Greg EvansNarjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Wednesday 24 July 2019 09:15
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As you are well aware, Boris Johnson isn't exactly the kind of politician who holds his tongue or toed a diplomatic line when it came to other countries.

The PM has been in the public eye for many years; he has had a two-year stint as foreign secretary, he was mayor of London and he was a journalist for a number of years before that.

Johnson had an uncanny ability to insult nearly every nation on Earth.

From our European neighbours to nations in Africa and Asia, Johnson really knew how to put his foot in it when he tried.

So, to commemorate his recent ascension to the leader of the country, here is a rundown of nearly every nation he has said something less-than-complimentary about.

1. The United States of America

For a country that has such close ties to the United Kingdom, Johnson has managed to say something derogatory about the last three US Presidents.

George W. Bush:

A cross-eyed Texan warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, who epitomises the arrogance of American foreign policy.

Barack Obama:

When commenting on the removal of the bust of Winston Churchill from the White House, Johnson said its removal was.

A symbol of the part-Kenyan President's ancestral dislike of the British Empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender.

Donald Trump:

In 2015, Trump suggested that some of area's of London had become so radicalised that they were now no-go zones. Johnson said in response:

The only reason I wouldn't visit some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.

Maybe that last one is fair enough?

2. Papua New Guinea

In 2006 Johnson wrote in The Telegraph:

For 10 years we in the Tory party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing.

3. Turkey

In May 2016, Johnson won a £1,000 competition for writing a rude poem about Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This is how it went:

There was a young fellow from Ankara / who was a terrific w**kerer /

till he sowed his wild oats /

with the help of a goat / but he didn't even stop to thankera.

4. Democratic Republic of Congo

Back in 2002, Johnson said this about the African nation:

No doubt the AK47s will fall silent and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird.

5. China

On Chinese cultural influence in 2005:

Compare with the old British Empire and the new American imperium, Chinese cultural influence is virtually nil and unlikely to increase.

On table-tennis, one of the most popular sports in China:

It was invented on the dining tables of England in the 19 century.

It was. And it was called whiff-whaff.

On Hong Kong:

He urged Beijing to respect the “one country, two systems” way Hong Kong operates after the mainland stopped being a British colony.

6. Russia

Last month, Johnson said too much power in Russia had been placed in the hands of “oligarchs and cronies” and Vladimir Putin’s recent comment that liberalism was dead was “tremendous tripe”.

On the topic of Putin, in 2015 he said:

Despite looking a bit like Dobby the House Elf, he is a ruthless and manipulative tyrant.

7. India

When prime minister Narendra Modi won re-election in May he said:

Congratulations on your emphatic victory in Indian #ElectionResults2019. A strong endorsement for your optimistic vision of New India. Let’s look forward to an even closer partnership between UK-India in the years ahead.

8. France

On the city of Bordeaux and their mayor:

I said there were 250,000 French men and women in London and therefore I was the mayor of the sixth-biggest French city on earth.

9. Italy

During a meeting with an Italian minister in November 2016, Johnson is said to have insulted the countries prosecco. Carlos Calenda is quoted as saying:

His idea is, 'We want to have access to the common market without giving you access in terms of free circulation of people,' and I think this is wishful thinking.

His answer was, 'OK, but you are selling a lot of what we call Prosecco in the UK... and you will allow us to do this because you don't want to lose Prosecco exports.'

I said, 'Maybe we're going to lose some Prosecco; you're going to lose some fish and chips exports. The difference is I'm going to lose [exports] to one country, you to 27.'

Putting things on this level is a bit insulting.

10. The Netherlands

Johnson is reported to have called The Netherlands "sleazy" during a debate on the country's tolerant attitude towards drugs.

11. European Union

As a hardened Brexiteer, it should come as no surprise that Johnson has insulted the EU in the past.

In The Telegraph on May 15, 2016, Johnson literally compared the EU to Hitler:

Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically.

The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.

12. The Commonwealth

Even when talking about former British colonies Johnson has managed to adopt an insulting tone.

In 2002 he said:

It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies.

13. Iran

During a leadership debate in the lead up to the vote, he said diplomacy is the only way to go with Iran. "If you say that going to war with Iran now represents a sensible option for us in the West, I just don't believe it is," he said at a leadership debate last week. "Diplomacy must be the best way forward.

If you were to ask me... if I were to be prime minister now, would I be supporting military action against Iran, then the answer is no.

14. Saudi Arabia

As foreign secretary, Johnson accused Saudi Arabia and Iran of fighting proxy wars across the region. He said:

There are politicians who are twisting and abusing religion and different strains of the same religion in order to further their own political objectives.

15. The entirety of the African continent

In a piece of The Spectator in 2002, Johnson managed to say this about the entire African continent.

The continent may be a blot, but it is not a blot upon our conscience.

The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge any more.

Great job Boris. A true diplomat.

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HT Big Think and BBC

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