Earlier this month, Boris Johnson handed in his resignation to the Prime Minister from the post of Foreign Secretary. In the 800-word resignation letter, Johnson refers to Theresa May’s “needless self-doubt” in the Brexit negotiations as the cause of his exit, before making a bizarre reference to his tenure as Mayor of London. Here, Johnson refers to TfL’s calls for lower cabin windows on heavy goods vehicles in order to prevent the deaths of “mainly female cyclists”. He then goes on to assert the moral high ground, proclaiming: “If a country cannot pass a law to save the lives of female cyclists – when that proposal is supported at every level of UK Government – then I don’t see how that country can truly be called independent”.
Johnson has proven himself a self-interested individual with ambitious hopes of party leadership ever since his Oxford classmate David Cameron stepped down in 2016. Often ridiculed as a “buffoon” or an “oaf” due to his politically incorrect (read: racist) “slip ups” or his messy hair, Johnson is in fact a dangerous man that represents everything not great about Britain for people of colour and women.
A man that is using the horrific and disproportionate deaths of women cyclists on London streets in order to further his own political agenda and set the scene for a possible leadership challenge is the last person that should be holding office as Foreign Secretary.
“Johnson is in fact a dangerous man that represents everything not great about Britain for people of colour and women”
The same person who referred to African children as “picanninnies” with “watermelon smiles” is evidently in no position to “maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward looking global economy”: an output he claims will result from leaving the EU. When has Boris Johnson ever cared about women? It certainly wasn’t when in his farewell piece as editor of The Spectator, he advised his successor to “pat [a colleague] on her bottom and send her on her way”.
Johnson’s most impressive feat, however, is managing to liken a post-Brexit UK as “headed for the status of colony”. Here, a journalist and editor who has demonstrated that he very much still sees the Foreign Office as the Colonial Office of the British Empire’s heyday has managed to liken the calculated murder and oppression carried out in Asia, Africa and the Middle East to Britain leaving the European Union. Before being Foreign Secretary (one of arguably the three most important roles in the entire government) Johnson was Mayor of one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse cities in the world. Isn’t it ironic that somebody who had such power over public policy affecting minorities, seems so uninterested in actually solving their actual issues? As Mayor, Johnson oversaw rising rates of knife crime that disproportionately affects young black boys, the gentrification of East London following the 2012 Olympics – which priced out many cultural and social community hubs, and a gender gap in demographics earning the national living wage – which he blamed on immigrants. Obviously.
Of course, the resignation of a government minister whom Trump called “a friend of mine” is only one piece of a particularly haphazard puzzle as Theresa May’s party loses confidence in her “Soft Brexit” style of negotiations with the European Union. The same politicians that exploited the fears of those feeling marginalised and alienated by society in order to secure an exit are the same ones that portray the EU itself as an oppressive, faceless institution that takes away a nation’s right to “rule itself”. With the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis, whose one job was to oversee and facilitate this politically and economically turbulent process, things aren’t looking so strong and stable. Theresa may be coming to her end.