What Can We Expect From Boris?
Boris Johnson is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He has a history of outrageous quotes; you honestly wouldn’t believe this carry on. But now he has power. What can we expect from him?
As of July 23rd, 2019, Boris Johnson has been voted into office as prime minister of the United Kingdom. No this is not a false alarm, yes the man who once compared gay men to "tank-topped bumboys" and stated "My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive" now runs one of the most powerful nations in the world. Brace yourselves because we're in for a wild ride.
Before we get into it, how did we get here? In May 2019 Theresa May informed the public that she would be resigning as PM due to her failure in reaching a Brexit deal after 3 years in office. Boris then won the Tory leadership contest to put him into office. It's safe to say Boris does have political experience, he served as an MP for Henley from 2001-2008, Mayor of London from 2008-2016 and Foreign Secretary from 2016-2018. He has achieved a lot. But in this stacked career, he has caused a long string of controversies. Before politics, Boris was a writer for Times London. After being fired for falsifying a quote, he later switched to the Telegraph. While at the Telegraph, Boris tended to draw controversies in his columns. In 2002 upon the then-current PM Tony Blair visiting Congo, he wrote that:
"The tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down"
He also stated that:
"The Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnie."
For anyone unaware of the meaning of 'piccaninnies', it is a North American racial slur which refers to a dark-skinned child of African descent. It's important to note that Boris published these columns while serving as MP.
More recently, in 2016 while serving as mayor of London, Boris again caused controversy in one of his columns for The Sun. He suggested that part of the reason former US president Barrack Obama's decision to remove a bust of Winston Churchill in the oval office was
"symbolic of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire."
In 2018 Boris was accused of Islamophobia after referring to Muslim women in burqas as letterboxes. In his column for the telegraph, he stated:
"I would go further and say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes."
These comments received consequential backlash and he was subjected to an investigation by The Conservative Party but was later dismissed. In an appearance on LBC radio, Boris stated he does not regret his comments made towards Muslim women in burkas and believes politicians should be free to say what they want.
While many of us don't find comfort in Boris Johnson's leadership, myself included, I believe we can find an even bigger discomfort in the fact that he may be the one to clean up the mess of Brexit. He was a prominent figure in the 2016 referendum to leave and with no surprise caused controversy while doing it. In a sit down with the Telegraph in 2016 Boris compared the EU's agenda to that of Hitler and Napoleon.
"Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods."
Boris has replaced his cabinet with firm Eurosceptics and people who are pushing for a no-deal Brexit and essentially throwing away all the work done by Theresa May. He has guaranteed to pull Great Britain out of the EU - deal or no deal - by the October 31st deadline. If this is the case, we can more than likely expect another general election, referendum or vote of confidence in the fall as it is highly unlikely MPs will agree to a no-deal Brexit. As prime minister, Boris may still have the option of proroguing parliament, which basically means shutting down the government. An extreme route, but still possible as Boris claimed he would “not take anything off the table". Will this work? We'll just have to wait and see!
Written by: Tamilore Awonusi