Regret, relief at departure of Boris Johnson as top UK envoy
By JILL LAWLESS
Tuesday, July 10
LONDON (AP) — Diplomats and politicians around the world were bidding a not-always fond farewell Tuesday to Boris Johnson after the blond foreign secretary’s bombshell resignation.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said her government would “miss Boris.” But John McKendrick, attorney-general of the British overseas territory of Anguilla, called Johnson “the worst Foreign Secretary we’ve ever had.”
Johnson quit Monday with an attack on Prime Minister Theresa May, whom he accused of killing the “dream” of Brexit and leading Britain into the status of European Union “colony.”
Not content to send the letter, Johnson had himself photographed, pen in hand, about to sign it. The image adorned the front page of the Daily Telegraph, a newspaper he once worked for.
It was a typically grandiose gesture by the attention-hungry Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Many people were surprised when May gave Johnson the job of Britain’s top diplomat in 2016. The garrulous Conservative lawmaker, sometime journalist and former mayor of London has never been known for tact or diplomacy.
Johnson, 54, has earned a reputation for gaffes — and a Teflon-like ability to survive them — during a long political career.
He once used the derogatory term “piccaninnies” to refer to members of the Commonwealth, and likened his party’s internal conflicts “to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing.”
While foreign secretary he was recorded saying that a violence-torn Libyan city could become a tourism hub once authorities “clear the dead bodies away.” He inadvertently worsened the plight of a British-Iranian woman detained in Tehran by repeating an Iranian allegation that she was a journalist.
“It has been a misfortune for Britain that through two years when diplomacy has been critically important we have been represented abroad by a jester,” historian Max Hastings wrote in the Times of London.
He called Johnson “a man of remarkable gifts, flawed by an absence of conscience, principle or scruple.”
The New York Times ran an editorial about the resignation under the headline “Good Riddance, Boris Johnson.”
Johnson is one of Britain’s best-known politicians, famous at home and abroad for his tousled blond hair, and florid speeches studded with Latin phrases.
But his rumpled, eccentric exterior covers a core of steely ambition. He has made no secret of his ambition to be prime minister, though when David Cameron’s resignation after the 2016 EU membership referendum sparked a leadership contest, Johnson was abandoned by a key ally and outmaneuvered by May, who became prime minister.
Now critics and allies are waiting to see whether Johnson will challenge May for the top job.
Guto Harri, Johnson’s former communications chief, said Johnson’s popular image as a politician of character and integrity had been destroyed by Brexit. Many believe Johnson’s support for an EU exit was motivated more by a desire to make himself leader of the rebellious “leave” movement than by true belief.
He has been indelibly linked to the campaign’s exaggerated claim, emblazoned on the side of a bus, that Britain paid 350 million pounds a week to the EU. The true amount is about half that.
Harri told the BBC that Johnson’s support for Brexit “was a bad miscalculation.”
“Brexit destroyed him … because nobody genuinely believes that he was sincere about Brexit,” Harri said.
Victoria Honeyman, a lecturer in politics at the University of Leeds, said Johnson sill wants to topple May — but not now, when the complex and compromise-laden work of negotiating Brexit drags on.
Once Britain leaves the bloc in March, “I don’t doubt that we will see Boris Johnson launching a leadership campaign. Because at that point it becomes a much more attractive job, once someone else has done the dirty work.”
“What he wants is to take over once it’s done and then blame his predecessor for it not being what he thought that it would be,” Honeyman said.
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You say you support some of Trumps policies? In doing so you’re supporting all his policies including those discriminating others.
Trump Steaks… Years in business: 1
GoTrump.Com… Years in business: 1
Trump Airlines… Years in business: 4
Trump Vodka… Years in business: 5
Trump Mortgage… Years in business: 1.5
Trump: The Game… Years in business: 1
Trump Magazine… Years in business: 2
Trump University… Years in business: 6 — PLUS $25,000,000 FRAUD
Trump Ice… Years in business: Less than 1
The New Jersey Generals… Years in business: 2
Tour de Trump… Years in business: 2
Trump on the Ocean… Years in business: 0.3
The Trump Network… Years in business: 2
Trumped!… Years in business: 4
Trump New Media… Years in business: None
Trump Taj Mahal… BANKRUPT
Trump Plaza and Casino… BANKRUPT
Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts… BANKRUPT
Trump Entertainment Resorts… BANKRUPT
Trump Castle… BANKRUPT
Plaza Hotel… BANKRUPT
Trump Tower Tampa… BANKRUPT
Trump Tower Montreal… BANKRUPT
Trump Baja Oceanfront Condos… never even broke ground.
Trump Tower Moscow…
North Korea seaside condos…
ALSO – The New York Times published copies of the first page of Donald Trump’s 1995 state tax returns from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. They show that Trump declared a net operating loss that year of $916 million—about $1.5 billion in today’s dollars.
There is this thought, that this “tariff war” is designed to bring on a recession,
“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.”
Trump is not an intelligent person but he is a smart criminal, a smart scammer, smart in how to use people & how to brainwash some people. And to a certain degree has convinced many that the FBI/Mueller are corrupt.
He knows how to use people, how to brainwash people.
Formaldehyde causes cancer. The EPA doesn’t want to acknowledge it.
All right trump supporters. Please explain how you can defend trump discharging immigrant American heroes from the military.
Does everyone understand what, EXACTLY, was the issue with Hilary’s emails? So many people act as though she did something so corrupt. Well guess what? Her IT tech set up a private server email for her. Do you understand that is like setting up @gmail or yahoo email for your use. She had NO idea that because the email was on a “public” server that it could be easier to hack. Yet, her emails were never hacked either. Now, trump, et al, and a great majority of Republicans also have the same type of email. The crime, just like the nonsense of Pizzagate, is no crime at all. Can people get a handle on who the real criminals are?
Retweeted David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL):
To my conservative friends who insist accepting Trump is a necessary price to preserving a Supreme Court majority, consider whether protecting the ideology of one branch of government is worth abandoning the proper function and very integrity of the two other co-equal branches.
Liberals gave us weekends off, worker protections, Social Security, Medicare, clean air, clean water, overtime, civil rights, affirmative actions, unions, Female votes, democracy, Constitution, unemployment insurance, welfare, and the dream we once called the USA. Conservatives wanted us to stay with England, keep slavery, back the Nazis, promoted death to our electoral process with laws like Citizens United, and hold down wages and collective bargaining rights..Liberals make America better, Conservatives make America bitter.
There are no conservatives in the Republican party, they are all fascist. Conservatives indicate conserving something. But the only things they conserve is white privilege and corporate profits. They do not conserve finance, they outspend every Dem, and promote tax cuts for the most wealthy, that ruin us. They do not conserve our clean air, clean water, social justice or even democracy, in fact they destroy all these things. No, they conserve nothing but autocracy, oligarchy, selfishness and racism. The conservatives of the past tried to conserve, but today they sell out to Russia, and destroy the USA. They conserve nothing but fascism and greed. Conservative means fascism today.
Tomorrow I’m having a “Trump free” day. One day with no Trump posts, no television etc. I need to have a day where everything is POSITIVE.
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Opinion: An AMLO Presidency and the Future of Mexican-U.S. Migration Policy
By Rachel Schmidtke
As Mexico begins the process of transition to a new administration, there is considerable doubt about the true nature of the new president, Andres Manual Lopez Obrador, or AMLO as he is commonly known.
AMLO won Sunday’s election with an extraordinary 53 percent of the vote, giving him a clear mandate. Throughout his career, he has taken strong stances on topics like corruption, on what he calls “the mafia in power,” and on poverty and inequality. As a result, he is a figure that inspires hope or fear, dividing Mexicans neatly down the middle.
In the United States, AMLO has drawn a similar reaction, with many worrying about the future of the bilateral relationship. Of particular concern is the future of cooperation on migration. It is a topic that will likely lead to some tensions between the Trump administration and the new government, who will likely re-evaluate its alignment with the United States on topics regarding Central American migration and Mexican emigration to the United States.
Given the controversial nature of the issue and its importance for President Trump, the future of the Mexico and U.S. relationship might just depend on how willing each leader is to work on migration.
AMLO’s platform has focused on combatting corruption and working on poverty reduction, prioritizing his attention to the development of Mexico’s poorer areas. He is calling for drastic reforms to improve conditions for poorer Mexicans, such as increased social spending.
In line with this, his migration agenda wants to tackle the root causes of migration, like economic deprivation, and largely focuses on keeping Mexicans in Mexico. He states, “People want to live where their families, their customs, their traditions and their culture are from. If people want to emigrate, let it be by choice not necessity.”
For Mexicans in the United States, AMLO has proposed a 5-Step Plan to provide support abroad. The plan will turn the 50 Mexican consulates in the United States into “advocates” for the defense of Mexican migrants.
Placing Mexicans residing in the United States at the forefront of his migration policies is a smart move. Historically they have played a vital role in defending migrant rights, and in providing services and support to Mexicans abroad. Mexico has 50 consulates in the United States, covering almost all of the national territory. AMLO wants to improve and increase their capacity to engage more fully with this migrant population
The migration crisis from Central America is also an area ripe for disagreement between Trump and AMLO. Current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is mostly aligned with U.S. interests, militarizing Mexico’s southern border to stem migratory flows from Central America. Mexico is the first line of defense to prevent migrants and asylum seekers from reaching the United States, so the United States poured hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund Mexico’s Southern Border Program. Furthermore as Mexican migration flows decrease, Central American migration will continue grow in importance.
AMLO has strongly condemned the separation of Central American families, calling the practice racist and inhumane. He has spoken of his desire to treat migration as a human right. AMLO’s nominee for secretary of the interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero, said they would craft a migration policy that respects and upholds the human rights of Central American migrants.
AMLO himself has stated, “We criticize Trump, but we (Mexico) do the same thing with the Central American migrants.”
Obrador himself is from the state of Tabasco on Mexico’s southern border, where the majority of migrants cross through to either settle in Mexico, or begin the perilous journey across Mexico to the United States.
It is no secret that President Trump has projected strong rhetoric against Mexico and Mexicans. AMLO has also spoken out on multiple occasions against the president, even publishing a book called “Listen Up, Trump,” in which he stated the president was xenophobic and Nazi-like in his rhetoric about Mexicans. He has also come out against funding a border wall and advocated for Mexico to move away from taking a deferential stance to U.S. interests. AMLO has pushed for Mexico to take a stronger leadership stance with less reliance on the United States.
Yet, criticism of Trump may not result in conflict. In his book and in a few speeches, AMLO speaks about the importance of a robust U.S./Mexico relationship. He has stated he will have patience with Trump and seeks a relationship based on mutual respect. It is difficult to guarantee diplomatic rhetoric from the U.S. president, but his tweet to the Mexican president-elect was congratulatory and respectful, and subsequent phone call to discuss trade and immigration opens up a window of opportunity for future discussions.
If the mutual respect AMLO seeks does not occur, the relationship could be one of cold shoulders and an increasingly “Mexico First” attitude, that will focus less on foreign policy and bilateral cooperation, and more on Mexicans in Mexico and the Mexican diaspora in the United States.
There is no denying that a bilateral relationship between the United States and Mexico is vitally important to both sides; but there are many opportunities for it to hit the rocks. Migration might just be the issue that tilts the balance one way or the other.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Rachel Schmidtke the program associate for migration at the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute. She wrote this for InsideSources.com.
Immigrants, Refugees and Racism
By Steve Hochstadt
My father arrived in the United States as a refugee in 1938. But he was the wrong kind, because he was a Jew. Although thousands of Jewish refugees from the Nazis were able to enter the United States, the State Department put so many barriers in the way of Jews trying to escape from Nazi Germany that the official yearly quota of immigrants from Germany was not filled from 1933 to 1938. That quota itself was part of the long American history of distinguishing between “good” and “bad” immigrants based on race.
There were no immigration restrictions in the new American republic, but only white people could become citizens. Slaves were excluded from citizenship by the Constitution. In 1790, Congress restricted new citizenship to “any Alien being a free white person.”
Blacks who were already free were barred from entering the Southern slave states. Whites in Illinois, like many northern states, did not want African-Americans either, so they not only denied citizenship rights to blacks already in Illinois but also discouraged slave owners from freeing slaves in Illinois.
A new kind of bad people began to pour into the United States in the 1840s, 2 million Irish fleeing the famine. About the same number of Germans immigrated to America in the middle of 19th century, but the Germans were good Protestants and the Irish were bad Catholics. In 1849, a secret society of Protestant men in New York called the Order of the Star Spangled Banner sought to recreate an America of “Temperance, Liberty and Protestantism” by fighting off the Irish hordes under the banner of patriotism. They became the American Party, often called the “Know Nothings.”
In 1857, the Supreme Court pronounced what it hoped was a definitive statement about bad immigrants in the Dred Scott case: descendants of slaves could never become citizens, because black people were “so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” That ruling lasted only until Lincoln promulgated the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the states passed the 14th Amendment 150 years ago.
Almost immediately another dangerous foreigner threatened white America, Chinese laborers imported to construct the transcontinental railroad in the West. California laws prevented Chinese immigrants from becoming citizens, and popular sentiment labeled the Chinese sexual predators taking jobs from white Americans. Congress in 1882 prohibited all immigration of Chinese laborers under the Chinese Exclusion Act.
Racist immigration restrictions are typically fearful reactions to changes in actual immigration. At the end of the 19th century, floods of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, including millions of Jews, brought a backlash of demands to stop such bad immigrants. In 1924, a comprehensive quota system favored good immigrants from western and northern Europe; not-so-good immigrants from southern and eastern Europe were limited, and all Asians were barred. The quotas were designed so that 86 percent of immigrants came from northwestern Europe and Scandinavia.
The Immigration Act of 1924 remained in force through World War II, although extralegal restrictions had to be employed to prevent too many Jews from Germany from entering the United States. This and the entire history of immigration restrictions accurately represented American public opinion, at least among the white majority, where racist stereotypes of dangerous non-white foreigners mixed with fears of job competition.
A Gallup poll in November 1938, two weeks after the Nazis destroyed Jewish synagogues, businesses and homes, and sent 30,000 Jews to concentration camps during Kristallnacht, asked Americans: “Should we allow a larger number of Jewish exiles from Germany to come to the United States to live?” Seventy-two percent said, “No.”
ABOUT THE WRITER
Steve Hochstadt taught history at Illinois College in Jacksonville from 2006 to 2016, after teaching at Bates College in Maine for 27 years. He has written columns for the Jacksonville Journal-Courier since 2009. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.