SUZANNE HARRINGTON: Boris Johnson foreign secretary appointment is a joke, but it’s definitely not funny

YOU will have read the vast scope of Boris Johnson’s insults by now, the kind used by an elite colonialist with a sweeping contempt for women and foreigners, and gleefully reproduced in newspapers everywhere, writes Suzanne Harrington

So why did the newly unelected British prime minister, Theresa May, give the job of foreign secretary to Johnson? Revenge? Incompetence?

Or does May, Britain’s very own Cruella De Vil, have a covert, black ops sense of humour that none of us has ever seen? Had she been so busy as home secretary, closing down nursery schools and domestic violence units, that we somehow missed her hilariously GSOH?

The US state department guy, Mark Toner, nearly swallowed his face trying not to laugh at the news of Johnson’s appointment. Not sure how Turkish president Recep Erdogan reacted, but perhaps the most politely accurate response was from France’s Le Figaro: That Johnson “gives the impression of being guided by opportunism.”

Theresa May
Theresa May

Which is like saying Hitler gave the impression of being guided by anti-Semitism. And, no, the Hitler reference is not disproportionate. All through this Brexit debacle, Hitler has been bandied around by just about everyone, including Johnson himself. Because let’s not call him ‘Boris’ — it’s just too matey. Boris Johnson is not your mate. He is not anyone’s mate.

Living in the UK is like having a non-speaking part in an Old Etonian production of ‘Alice In Blunderland’, with lots of people screaming ‘Off with their heads!’. I just got a t-shirt, from Etsy, with the word ‘immigrant’ across the front in large letters — being white, and since the Brexit referendum, I can wear it without a 57% increased chance of being racially abused by strangers. Thanks, Mr Foreign Secretary, for your part in that.

We are in the era of the ‘celebitician’. It’s personality over policies, style over substance, sound bites over sound thinking. It’s as if we are being run by a bunch of Lindt chocolate bunnies, if Lindt chocolate bunnies were made of actual crap — shiny on the outside, hollow on the inside, all spouting populist bile. Obviously, Donald Trump is the king of hollow hatred, but it turns out the British are not above it, either. And, as ‘coiffeurgate’ has revealed, even Monsieur ‘Normal’ Francois Hollande spends nearly €10,000 a month on his hairdresser. Why? So that people listen to his policies?

Imagine if there were a politician not driven by so much spin as to be permanently sick on his own shoes. Who, instead of courting the corporatocracy, travelled around the country talking to ordinary people at rallies. Who didn’t fiddle his expenses. Who didn’t set up elaborate photos ops to show himself as a man of the people, with cunning stunts hugging huskies and hoodies.

Imagine such a mythical creature, rarer than the last unicorn. Could such a politician exist? And if Jeremy Corbyn did exist, would we turn on him and hunt him down? Of course we would.

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