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Boris Johnson: UK's new foreign secretary loves insulting other countries

Ranjan Crasta | Updated on: 15 July 2016, 0:19 IST

When the Brexit result was confirmed, members of the 'Leave' camp were ecstatic. But even then, in their moment of victory, there was still palpable worry in their camp. But why would they be worried? They'd just won a landmark referendum, one they thought would keep immigrants from stealing their jobs and pour money into the ever-ailing National Health Service.

They thought they'd managed, to paraphrase 'The Donald', to make Britain great again.

But, even as 'Stay' supporters panicked over the inevitable shit storm that was to come, a horrible realisation was dawning on many in the 'Leave' camp - Boris Johnson, the bumbling, loose lipped mayor of London, could actually become Prime Minister.

Yes, this Boris Johnson:

Luckily, the UK realised that having a Trump in power either side of the Atlantic, albeit one with his hair on backward, was a bad idea. Instead Theresa May was made PM. But, while the UK dodged the prospect of clown prince Boris, he's somehow managed to get appointed as Britain's Foreign Secretary.

Foreign secretary or clown prince?

The joke goes that when Theresa May's office presented her a list of possible Cabinet members, she saw Johnson's on the list and wrote 'FO' next to it. Thinking she meant foreign office, Johnson was made foreign secretary.

Sure it's a joke, but we wouldn't be a surprise if it were real, because when commenting on Johnson's negotiating prowess this month, she said, "I seem to remember last time he did a deal with the Germans, he came back with three nearly-new water cannon."

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Maybe we just don't get British humour, but it matters not, because Boris is here and the once proud country of Britain suddenly doesn't seem so sure of itself anymore:

Heck, the Daily Mirror even ran a front page that consisted only of a photo of Johnson's now immortal zip line fail with the words, "Dear World... Sorry".

The Daily Mirror cover (Daily Mirror)

His appointment didn't just horrify his fellow countrymen, the German foreign minister, the literal height of German diplomacy, called the move "outrageous" and "bitter for Great Britain". The former Danish PM meanwhile, said, "I wish it were a joke".

But while the world seems to have picked Johnson as its whipping boy for today, it's not undeserved. Because if there is one thing Johnson cannot manage, it's diplomacy.

Diplomacy is dead

Boris is known for babbling a lot, often repeating himself and sounding unintelligible, not to mention unintelligent. But it's what happens when he speaks clearly that has got people worried. Already, Johnson has offended a lot of heads of state. And that's without even actually having had to deal with any of them.

After all, this is how Boris Johnson tackles foreign issues:

Did we say foreign issues? We meant foreign children. While on a goodwill visit to Japan. But his take no prisoners approach doesn't just apply to children.

Friendly fire

It's not even like he spares his allies. If America is the UK's greatest ally, Boris doesn't seem to have received the memo, because he's already managed to insult their sitting president Barack Obama.

Speaking on Obama's decision to remove a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office, Johnson remarked that the decision was "a symbol of the part-Kenyan President's ancestral dislike of the British Empire". That's right, he called Obama "part-Kenyan". But hey, at least he didn't call Obama a piccaninny, because that's how he referred to black people in his own country.

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But Obama won't be in office much longer, so Johnson can breathe a sigh of relief... knowing that he's offended both people who could step into Obama's shoes.

Ever the charmer, he had this to say about Hillary: "She's got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital."

And while you'd imagine he'd be best friends with Trump, he said this,"the only reason I wouldn't go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump."

For good measure, he even insulted Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, calling him "a cross-eyed Texan warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, who epitomizes the arrogance of American foreign policy."

Sure he may not be entirely off about Trump or Bush, but given the evidence, we can bet he wouldn't know diplomacy if it danced naked in front of him.

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An equal opportunity offender

In addition, he's compared the EU to Hitler, called citizens of Papua New Guinea cannibals, mocked the people of the Congo - insinuating they were savages and even managed to insult the China in China, telling them their cultural impact was "almost nil" and claiming ping-pong was actually invented on the dining tables of the British.

But his greatest diplomatic transgression? This limerick penned specially for Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan:

There was a young fellow from Ankara

Who was a terrific wankerer.

Till he sowed his wild oats

With the help of a goat

But he didn't even stop to thankera.

While the limerick won him 1000 pounds, it's going to make for one hell of an awkward conversation in the coming months.

Britain, if this is the best man for Foreign Secretary, maybe you should start letting the migrants back in.

First published: 15 July 2016, 0:19 IST