Boris Johnson Resignation
Boris Johnson and David Davis have both resigned from Theresa May’s cabinet. Davis’ may have been the first resignation, but Johnson appears to have taken centre stage.
Johnson has been an unpredictable player in a post-European Referendum United Kingdom. After the referendum itself and David Cameron’s own resignation he was seen as a popular choice to take up the mantle of leader of the Conservative Party. However, in a move that shocked many of his supporters, he made clear his position not to run for party leader.
Theresa May’s induction of Mr Johnson into her cabinet was seen as a means to placate the ardent Leave members of the Tory party. Johnson’s stint as Foreign Secretary, however, was not without controversy.
In September 2017, he verged on the imperialistic, starting to recite a colonial era poem by Rudyard Kipling in a Buddhist temple in Myanmar (previously Burma). The poem is a lament by a retired English soldier who reminisces on a Burmese woman he kissed. This nostalgic work is set during Myanmar’s colonisation by the British from 1824 to 1948 amid widespread resistance from the indigenous people. Johnson was stopped by the English Ambassador, but the embarrassment endured.
Whilst this might be viewed as distasteful or simply poor judgement, Johnson also demonstrated a lack of empathy during his tenure as Foreign Secretary.
During the 2017 Conservative Party Conference, Johnson theorised that Sirte in Libya could be as lucrative a tourist destination as Dubai once “the dead bodies” were cleared away. The dead bodies he referred to were hundreds of Libyans who were killed in an attempt to liberate the coastal town from Daesh and who were widely considered martyrs.
This pattern of trivialisation followed by apology was the vicious cycle within which Johnson functioned in May’s cabinet. Perhaps Johnson should have resigned earlier; perhaps he should have been removed.
Johnson’s own reason for resigning was Brexit. If this resignation tells us anything, it’s that even the most ardent Leave voters do not have faith in the UK’s current exit strategy. A referendum that was built on misdirection and inaccuracy continues to bewilder.
Johnson’s resignation is under the assumption that he had integrity in his role as Foreign Secretary as he “cannot in good conscience champion [May’s] proposals” and therefore has to resign. However, I do not believe Brexit has been manifested under any ‘good conscience’.
As the cabinet deteriorates and the electorate are deprived of answers, we must ask ourselves if leaving the European Union should or even can happen at all. For me, it is a resounding ‘no’.
Global Seven News
By Catherine McNaughton