New British Prime Minister Theresa May has made Boris Johnson the Foreign Secretary, and the laughter has come from reviews of his past, decidedly undiplomatic comments.
The concern comes from fears over what else this Little England champion might say when let loose on the world.
Mr Johnson, who fought for Britain’s exit from the European Union — the UK’s biggest foreign affairs wrench since the independence of India — was extremely frank when there was no chance he would be the mottled face of his country overseas.
So enjoy some comments from the former London mayor that show he is ready for the world stage.
And if that fails, he can just take on foreign leaders on the football pitch.
In 2007 he said of Hillary Clinton, possibly the next president of the US: “She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.”
And of the other presidential hopeful: “The only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
More famously, in a Spectator editorial he described former president George W Bush: “A cross-yes Texan warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, who epitomises the arrogance of American foreign policy”.
Closer to our interests, Mr Johnson 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.”
(A piccaninny is a derogatory term for black people).
Johnson was forced to apologise for the comment.
Then there is his approach to diplomatic issues, as seen when he sided with UKIP on Brexit: “I can hardly condemn UKIP as a bunch of boss-eyed, foam-flecked Euro hysterics, when I have been sometimes not far short of boss-eyed, foam-flecked hysteria myself.”
But he does have a distinctive negotiating style: “Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3.”
And voters seem to love it — in short doses.
They were convinced to vote for an EU exit by arguments such as this: “First they make us pay in our taxes for Greek olive groves, many of which probably don’t exist.
“Then they say we can’t dip our bread in olive oil in restaurants. We didn’t join the Common Market — betraying the New Zealanders and their butter — in order to be told when, where
and how we must eat the olive oil we have been forced to subsidise.”
His most noted venture into foreign policy matters came in 2009 when President Barack Obama apparently removed a bust of Johnson hero Winston Churchill from his office.
“Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British Empire — of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender,” said the future Foreign Secretary.
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