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Boris Johnson - what are the odds

(79 Posts)
Riverwalk Thu 08-Dec-16 17:45:28

..... of his remaining Foreign Secretary for the rest of this parliament?

whitewave Thu 08-Dec-16 17:46:56

100 to 1

Ana Thu 08-Dec-16 17:49:01

Can't really get worked up about it...

Riverwalk Thu 08-Dec-16 18:07:07

He was quite right in what he said but so at odds with government policy. I can't believe he didn't know that his words would get out.

I wonder what he's up to! hmm

Luckygirl Thu 08-Dec-16 18:28:20

I do not think he is up to anything - I just think he does not have the professional skills for the job and will continue to drop clangers that put international relations in jeopardy. I am not saying that what he said was wrong; but the decision (does he decide anything, or do words just drop out of his mouth?) to say it was a mistake at this stage. He needs to go.

aggie Thu 08-Dec-16 18:42:54

Does he think he is the Duke of Ed spokesman wink

Luckygirl Thu 08-Dec-16 18:48:38

aggie - smile

annodomini Thu 08-Dec-16 18:50:15

The fault is entirely the Prime Minister's. Surely almost every politically aware citizen of this country gasped in horror at his appointment - except Theresa May. It was, at best, a risky appointment, at worst, disastrous!

Jalima Thu 08-Dec-16 18:55:32

Perhaps Boris was thinking of Houthi rebels like this one when he made his remarks


Boris, you may not toe the political line but at least you have a heart.

shandi6570 Thu 08-Dec-16 19:04:41

annodomini you have taken the words out of my mouth, I couldn't believe it when I first heard of the appointment confused. It made my hopeful thoughts of a May government disappear like a cloud of smoke.

whitewave Thu 08-Dec-16 19:11:17

What he said I think most people would agree with.

Rinouchka Thu 08-Dec-16 19:51:20

Perhaps, but he is meant to be a diplomat, the chief one as FS and his behaviour is anything but diplomatic.

Elrel Thu 08-Dec-16 20:53:55

Like Jalima says, he has a heart.
Diplomat : one who lies abroad for his country!

Iam64 Thu 08-Dec-16 21:52:47

I find it difficult to believe Boris was unaware of the significance of what he was saying. It all feels a bit yes minister to me. I maybe totally wrong, wouldn't be the first time but I wouldn't be surprised if Theresa knew exactly what she was doing in appointing Boris. Does anyone think Boris was wrong in his assessment of the Saudi's part in the wars?

Luckygirl Thu 08-Dec-16 22:06:46

It is all such a bloody mess and no-one can get their heads round the machinations that motivate politicians and their actions. I find it all utterly sickening.

Anya Thu 08-Dec-16 22:23:18

Iam64 he spoke the unpalatable truth.

Jane10 Fri 09-Dec-16 07:09:11

I agree.

thatbags Fri 09-Dec-16 07:32:49

Roger Boyes as Thunderer today:

Ever since his days as a combative and colourful Brussels correspondent, Boris Johnson has been a source of anxiety among Whitehall mandarins. The Foreign Office reportedly set up a busy Boris damage limitation unit. Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, then British ambassador to the EU, told guests in Brussels “we’re working on Boris”. That twitchiness has survived his elevation to foreign secretary. It seems the enfant terrible has been horrid to the Saudis; staff at No 10, who not so long ago were drafting anti-Boris jokes for the prime minister, say he is out of order.

Since the minister will soon be in the Gulf, since Theresa May has this week broken bread with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and since a new arms deal could be in the offing, you might agree that Boris should be bludgeoned into silence. Or at least more carefully filtered. Hang on, though, what did he actually say? That there was inadequate regional leadership in the Middle East. That proxy wars had filled the vacuum and that “the Saudis, Iran, everybody” were acting as puppetmasters for feuding groups.

The prime minister appears too eager to soothe Saudi feelings
A fair description, surely, of the unfolding tragedies in Yemen. And pretty much in line with the analysis of every major western state. The Saudis claim the war there is not so much a power-play as an existential struggle against an Iranian-backed force which has fired Scud rockets on to their soil. But Boris Johnson does not dispute this version. Rather he has committed the sin of having possibly, just possibly, offended the Saudis, doubted their capacity to lead, and therefore perhaps endangered our post-Brexit trade with the Gulf states. Our exports to the Gulf and Saudi Arabia exceed those to China and are double those going to India.

This infantilises the Saudis, makes them appear impossibly thin-skinned and our prime minister too ready to protect their feelings. The foreign secretary has understood something important about the way diplomacy now has to operate. There is still a place for secrecy and discretion but in a populist age voters want ministers to present things as they are; they value candour in international relations. Donald Trump has shown the direction of travel by tweeting a fierce riposte to criticism from Beijing; a veritable bull in a China-shop. We don’t need Trumpian bombast from Boris but let him at least robustly state some basic truths. British foreign policy will be the better for it.

thatbags Fri 09-Dec-16 07:36:51

Among other things, Boyes is arguing that Boris hasn't said anything that isn"t already agreed by Western governments.

Could it be, as he says, that Theresa May doesn't want to upset an arms deal with the Saudis?

Could it be that Boris just told the plain truth?

On the one hand we complain about arms deals with Saudi Arabia and other countries involved in horrendous wars. On the other hand we complain when our Foreign Secretary says it how it is.

thatbags Fri 09-Dec-16 07:39:28

I also read in the paper today that Boris doesn't intend to apologise. Good. I like a stance of not apologising when you think you have done the right thing, even when other people object out of a sense of prissy propriety.

Lisalou Fri 09-Dec-16 07:46:24

Iam64, so he did, and if he were just a politician, I would applaud his comment and agree with him. Only he isnt, he was appointed, and accepted, the position of foreign secretary. He has a job to do, which does NOT include alienating Britain's allies. Not fit for purpose.
To make a silly analogy, albeit an apposite one; you don't tell a client his wife is fat, regardless of how true it may be, if you want to continue doing business with said client.

thatbags Fri 09-Dec-16 07:48:50

Whether he survives for long as Foreign Sec is another matter entirely but if he's axed because of speaking the truth about repression and incompetence, that will say more about the axers than about him. As far as I'm concerned that same would apply whoever the FS was who spoke truths straight out on uncomfortable matters.

In other words, I'm not talking pro-Boris, but pro-truth.

thatbags Fri 09-Dec-16 07:51:14

Boyes (see above at the end of the article) reckons British Foreign Policy would benefit from a bit of straightforwardness. I wouldn't know. What I do know is that one can't argue against arms deals to awful regimes and then get annoyed when you think someone has "upset" those regimes. Not morally, anyhow.

Christinefrance Fri 09-Dec-16 08:53:33

Boris is a very intelligent man but appears to lack the necessary skills required for his job. I agree he speaks a lot of sense but like it or not he has to represent the country and have other countries take him seriously. Reading this back I do wonder if there is a motive to all this.

Anya Fri 09-Dec-16 09:18:11

This country became 'Great' on the back of exploiting other countries and their populations. We had no conscience then, so why should we expect this or any other government to behave ethically? What does it matter if people are dying? We need a trade deal.