Boris Johnson wouldn’t condemn Trump’s immigration order – but is happy to criticise him on trade

Racism is 'controversial' but protectionism is 'profoundly wrong'


We are sorry to report that, yet again, the Foreign Secretary has malfunctioned.

In his speech to the British Chamber of Commerce yesterday — or his ‘narcissistic breakdown’, as John Crace reasonably describes it — Johnson once again made a mockery of his department, devoting more time to tinned pineapple than to the realities of global commerce.

Amid the rantings, there was one decipherable message: globalisation and trade are good, protectionism is bad.

Leaving aside the obvious irony — that Johnson loudly campaigned to leave the world’s largest free trade bloc — his comments were clearly targeted at those international figures who advocate a retreat into protectionism and economic insularity. And the leader of that pack is, of course, Donald Trump.

‘As everybody knows and has been endlessly discussed, we are seeing a series of related but by no means identical political events, in which populations are said to be rebelling, against what had been seen as a settled consensus,’ Johnson said.

“And people feel that they aren’t getting a fair suck of the sauce bottle, as they say in Australia, the wealth gap is growing. And so there’s been a temptation amongst some politicians to respond in what I think is the wrong way, by hauling up the drawbridge and to call time on globalisation. And I think that instinct is profoundly wrong and it makes no economic sense as I’m sure everybody in this room today understands.”

This is an interesting shift in tone from Johnson who, up to now, has been extremely reluctant to criticise Trump publicly. He was perfectly happy to meet with the president’s neo-fascist senior adviser Steve Bannon.

On the immigration order, Johnson would go no further than saying that it was ‘controversial’ and ‘not an approach that [the British government’ would take.’

So, according to Johnson, Trump’s racist immigration policy is ‘not what we would do’, but his protectionist economic policy is ‘profoundly wrong’.

The government has clearly picked its battles — and decided that trade trumps rights.

Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin is editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

See: Brexit is no ‘liberation’: Boris gets schooled on European history by a Swedish MEP

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3 Responses to “Boris Johnson wouldn’t condemn Trump’s immigration order – but is happy to criticise him on trade”

  1. Craig Mackay

    Boris Johnson has a long history of propagating fake news (deliberate lies as it used to be called), long before Donald Trump took it to its present exalted heights. After being fired from the Times he joined the Daily Telegraph’s Brussels bureau to report on the European Commission. His articles were widely criticised as they were full of deliberate untruths designed to discredit the Commission. What has happened since he became Foreign Secretary simply confirms that anything he says today may well be contradicted tomorrow. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, to give him his full name, is what you get if you take Donald Trump and imagine him with a posh English upbringing (Eton and Classics at Balliol), a variety of jobs which he gets from the old boy network and does all pretty badly. He is someone you can reliably look to as a generator and propagator of fake news. The man is a buffoon and an embarrassment to the UK. John Major hinted just how badly the attitude of people like Boris was going down around the EU, and Boris Johnson’s speech to the British Chamber of Commerce was simply another round of embarrassment to all.

  2. Mike Stallard

    On Labour websites I see stale old stale old arguments directed at the same stale old stale old targets. Mr Trump – hehehe. Boris Johnson – turn round and giggle like Angela Eagle did. The same stale old words – racism, fascism – trotted out like a dog whistle.
    As a Catholic I have just been to mass with a complete set of altar servers not one of whom was of pure English descent. The only white server was a chap whose grandparents came from Malta. I should have said that about half the congregation were not “white British”. Go into any superstore and see the races intermingling with each other quite freely. This isn’t France.
    If I start prattling on about Hitler and how we won the Second World War, everyone turns off. That is Fascism! Dead! Gone! Finito! History!
    Here are some things to talk about please:
    The Single Market is NOT THE EEA. The Tories do not know this: someone has to explain to the poor dears.
    I know a lot (see above) of people who are not white British. They are worried that they are going to be thrown out. The Lords understand this. Please will someone explain it, clearly and simply to the Tories who are about to use these excellent people as a bargaining chip.
    Will some kind person also explain to the Tories that if we leave the EU and go to the WTO option, we are screwed? We need to join EFTA.
    So stop warbling on about the vulnerable – who you are not – and start talking sense. God knows, the Tories need a bit of sense! (I am a Tory Troll by the way.)

  3. David Davies

    There are billions available for useless nuclear weapons, but pennies suffice for those who actually fought for their country.

    We can give away our national assets to tax dodging `Wealth Creators’, whilst deliberately running down the NHS

    Quite how there are not riots in the streets shows the way in which we have been sleep walked into this dystopia. If we woke up, there are not enough police or prisons to cope.

    We voted for this. Some did last week.

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