Should the foreign secretary listen to advisers with years of experience and a higher intellect? Wouldn’t have thought so
Boris Johnson is living proof of just what you can achieve when you have a privileged upbringing, limitless amounts of self-belief and a thirst for power.
Having hit on his bumbling approach early on in his career, bolstered by some well-placed TV appearances, he managed to convince everyone that he was a ‘harmless buffoon’; a guy who, even if you didn’t necessarily agree with, you could not help but like.
However, it’s now become clear, following a shambolic and wasteful spell as London Mayor, followed by his Brexit vote-leading volte face - a cause which, by all accounts, he did not believe in, merely thinking it his best route to becoming Prime Minister - and finally his woeful time as Foreign Secretary, that he is far from harmless.
And a new clip has surfaced which confirms everything that you thought you knew about Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.
It went out as part of the second episode of the BBC Two documentary Inside the Foreign Office last week, a show which saw film-maker Michael Waldman go behind the scenes in Whitehall to find out the realities of diplomacy.
The clip, which has gone viral, sees Johnson discussing an upcoming speech he is about to make in Paris with Caroline Wilson, Europe Director at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Wilson, a qualified lawyer, fluent French speaker and experienced diplomat of more than 20 years, is forced to listen to Johnson talk about what is going to be in his speech, before calmly trying to explain - as a parent would to a child - why that is not necessarily the best thing to say, for a variety of intelligent reasons. Meanwhile, she implores him not to do the speech in French, for the extremely valid reason of things getting ‘lost in translation’, due to Boris’ pitiful command of the language.
Throughout, she manages the impressive feat of being completely calm and composed while also clearly being totally exasperated at having to deal with this utter fool.
Needless to say, Twitter summed up the exchange perfectly.
Also, needless to say, in the part of the program that follows this clip (you can watch the whole episode on iPlayer here), Boris decides to ignore her advice, both of the content of his speech, and in the language of delivery.
Thankfully for everyone, Boris Johnson is now no longer Foreign Secretary.
Boris Johnson is 54 years old.
Inside the Foreign Office continues on BBC Two on Thursday at 9pm