New Foreign Secretary's racist comments don't auger well for foreign relations

In the UK, new Prime Minister Theresa May, has appointed Boris Johnson as her Foreign Secretary.

Throughout the day, statements he has written about Africa and race have now come to the fore.

In 2002 he wrote that "It is said that the queen has come to love the commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccanninies."

In that same year he wrote in the Spectator magazine, "The best fate for Africa would be if the old colonial powers, or their citizens, scrambled once again in her direction, on the understanding that this time they would not be asked to feel guilty."

On another occasion, while he was editor of the Spectator, he allowed a columnist to write this "Orientals have larger brains and higher IQ scores. Blacks are the other way."

These are just some of the comments made by Johnson.

In light of these racist comments made by the new British foreign secretary, was he a wise choice?

At some point he will have to deal with the African Union and his track record does not bode well for international relations.

But Jakkie Cilliers, Head of African Futures Innovation at the Institute for Security Studies, says it is indicative of the new direction in UK headed by Prime Minister Theresa May.

It reflects the priorities of Theresa May as she heads into her Brexit Cabinet. Her priority is to get the United Kingdom negotiating it's exit from the European Union.

Jakkie Cilliers, Head of African Futures Innovation at Institute Security Studies

Cilliers says May's appointment of committed Brexiteer David Davis to lead the negotiations is evidence of her plan.

The appointment of Boris Johnson is a reflection that foreign policy is not going to be a priority for the UK.

Jakkie Cilliers, Head of African Futures Innovation at Institute Security Studies

Cilliers says Johnson's schoolboy style remarks are just further proof of his lack of substance or leadership on foreign policy issues.

He has offended everyone from the Germans, French through to Africans.

This move shows the end of the Empire as Britain will have less and less global influence.

The world is shifting, and the United Kingdom's role is becoming much more minor and less significant than it used to be.

Jakkie Cilliers, Head of African Futures Innovation at Institute Security Studies

Listen to the full interview below:


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