Isn’t insulting foreigners what a British Foreign Secretary is meant to do?

Boris Johnson


52 thoughts on “Isn’t insulting foreigners what a British Foreign Secretary is meant to do?”

  1. Well, he could start by releasing a statement of support for his old pal, Erdogan. He might even be able to re-use some old scribblings.

  2. Too many lifers in the Foreign Service believe their job is to serve the foreigners instead of the other way around. We got the same problem here in the Foggy Bottom where the State Department think their job is to serve the foreign country, instead of United States.

  3. We got the same problem here in the Foggy Bottom where the State Department think their job is to serve the foreign country, instead of United States.

    A situation not helped by the incumbent in the White House thinking much the same thing.

  4. As Norman Tebbit put it: “Departments tended to see themselves as spokesmen for particular interests. The MoD for the armed services, the Department of Labour for the TUC, the Department of Trade and Industry for business, the Foreign Office for foreigners”.

  5. The Meissen Bison

    First Brexit, then Boris? These are the ingredients for a Nightmare on King Charles Street.

    UKREP may be heading for melt-down, presumably under David Davis.

    A spot of creative destruction is the order of the day.

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    Yes, but isn’t the point that that recipient doesn’t know they’ve been insulted?

  7. Well absolutely. I have watched our country being routinely sledged by particularly the French and EU over the last 20 years whilst we have stood by and just taken it on the chin.

    It’s about time we have them some of thier medicine back. The first step was the Brexit vote, stage two is to send Johnson into bat for team England. Watch out, Frenchies!

  8. Nobody important will meet with him if he has a reputation for being insulting. What’s the point in sending your foreign secretary to meet the third in command at some other poor country’s equivalent ministry?

    On the other hand, they might welcome someone so plain-speaking. In which case it’s even worse than we thought – Boris could actively damage this country’s interests, not just be ignored.

  9. What would the Guardian have said had Johnson said about someone what the French foreign minister said about him? I’m thinking they would have been wringing their hands for a week… but they are more than happy with the Frenchman leveling that at Johnson.

  10. There’s some twat trying to pass himself off as me on Marginal Revolution. He can’t even write in British English.

    Hm. There’s a thought – could it be Worstall?

  11. The Guardian is happy with foreigners slagging off Britian. Delighted sometimes. After all, who doesn’t want to hear someone saying things they agree with?

  12. Is this the Boris J who was Mayor of London for 8 years, including during the Olympics?

    If yes, why all the hysteria?

  13. The Inimitable Steve

    Jack C – Yarp. Reading the Guardian of late, you’d think our new Foreign Secretary was a Frankenstein composite of Jack the Ripper, Enoch Powell, and Raffles the gentleman thug.

    I think they’re still very, very angry about Brexit and impotently lashing out at BoJo via peevish newspaper columns is their sad middle aged equivalent of Violet Elizabeth Bott thcweaming till she’s thick.

  14. The Germans have found a way, they are now saying that their command of English language isn’t that good, and so they don’t think they’ve been insulted.

    The cretins who describe Britain as a tiny island have no idea of the strength of our bargaining position. May has likely played a blinder by showing the world how strong we are when she sends Boris out to bat. She’s showing them that we’re not scared of them taking their ball home.

  15. “Hm. There’s a thought – could it be Worstall?”

    Heh. Tim can write well but it seems he can’t be arsed to look back and check, let alone correct (I think he may have something called “a life”). I suspect such can’t-be-arsedness precludes internet trolling.

  16. Yes precisely. The job of the Foreign Secretary is not to be nice to foreigners, it’s to represent Britain’s interests abroad. Sometimes (occasionally) those interests will be best served by being nice, more often they will be best served by being assertive and sometimes they will be best served by spitting in Johnny Foreigner’s face and telling him to f*ck off.

  17. Is it possible that Boris has been placed to fail? Foreign Secretary seems like the job most likely to challenge his eccentricity.

    I love it, of course. Apparently Hilary Clinton and John Kerry are examples of grown ups in charge of things that matter speaking firmly but politely. Well, wheee.

  18. As I see it, he might make some terrible mistake that will send him to the back benches; or the other hand the buffoon is just an act, he’s not stupid and managed eight years a Mayor of London —quite successfully in my opinion, so appointing Boris signals to the world that Brexit is official policy, he provides popular interest/amusement, and any gaffes can be brushed aside as ‘that’s just Boris being Boris….

  19. The reason that Boris is not fit to put before foreigners is that he’s part British, part Turkish, part French, part German, part American, part Russian, and part Lord knows what else. His wife is half Indian. He was born in NYC; part of his schooling was in Brussels. He’s intelligent, well educated, and well travelled. His ancestors have variously embraced Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Roman Catholicism.

    He’s a noxious Little Englander in fact.

  20. The same pretend Longrider is also posing as Longrider at Samizdata. The cretin even said the same thing.

  21. No. Insults are for blog commentators. Grown ups in charge of things that matter speak firmly but politely.

    So not Obama then .

  22. Bloke in North Dorset


    I like that cement, consider it stolen and used elsewhere, with a hat tip.

  23. Bloke in Costa Rica

    What is Johnny Foreigner going to do? Make it known he refuses to meet with Boris because he’s been a bit plain-spoken? Oh, do fuck off. The UK is 5% of the world’s ecomony, it has UN veto power, it has nukes and a navy (albeit not as much of one as it should). Buggering us about right now would be like firing a Mossberg 500 up one nostril to spite your face.

  24. The Inimitable Steve

    BiCR – Yarp. Not to mention, the Chinee and the Hindoos and whatnot don’t actually give a toss who our Foreign Sec is. They just want to sell stuff to us, like normal people do.

    Though BoJo’s celebrity can’t hurt. Not many politicians are famous and widely liked. He’s the kind of guy you can imagine Asian billionaires wanting to have their photo taken with.

    Now that we’re Brexiting, we really need to build up our pitifully small navy tho.

  25. What do we do about Turkey – where Erdogan’s thugs have been decapitating Turkish army soldiers and dragging their corpses through the streets?

    Why is it the people in Islamic countries have such capacity for evil?

  26. The Inimitable Steve

    Flubber – pretty much nothing we can do about Turkey. Longer term, we’re gonna have to physically separate ourselves from Islam much like Charles Martel and co. did.

  27. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I like the cut of this Worstall character’s jib. I should read his blog more often.

    “I didn’t come here to be insulted!” “Where do you normally go then?”


  28. TiSteve,
    More Navy? – sounds expensive. I quite liked the carrier sharing deal with France because it was a specific intergovernmental one, and it saved money. We’ll watch each others back while you refit – wasn’t it? If you said that we need more Navy to protect the carrier(s) then that obviously would be a serious gap, but what else do we need more Navy to do?

  29. We may end up needing more navy to protect the country. It’s not a quick thing building a navy and I don’t think we really have one at the moment.

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