In the days since his appointment as the UK’s foreign minister, Boris Johnson’s offensive statements about Africans, Americans, Europeans, Papua New Guineans, Russians, Turks and pretty much everyone in the world outside Britain have received significant coverage.
This comes as no surprise. Johnson has been a public figure for many years, and in that time he has penned some fairly remarkable commentaries. He is often witty, but lately his humour has grown rather tiresome. The schoolboy who makes jokes about blowing up his farts doesn’t seem so funny when the school is burning down after one of his stunts.
But his is a carefully cultivated image, the eccentric man-boy who stumbles through life getting stuck on zip lines and accidentally winning poetry competitions. Where that other comedy villain, Donald Trump, aims to offend and is loathe to apologise or admit to wrong-doing, Johnson happily says sorry when he has been caught out.