Boris Johnson's comments on Obama were racist

London meets Joe Biden with a hasty charm offensive

After days of silence, the British government reacted quickly to the news from Washington over the weekend. Prime Minister Boris Johnson not only congratulated Joe Biden "on his election as President of the United States", but also specifically congratulated Kamala Harris on "her historic success". He looks forward to working with "our most important ally" in areas such as climate change, trade and security.

Former Secretary of State Johnson never met former Vice President Biden in person. Otherwise, the government leaders and London's diplomats in Washington have hardly any personal contacts with the Democratic camp. This is not least due to their deep skepticism towards "Britain Trump", as election loser Donald Trump tenderly dubbed the Englishman last year.

According to insiders, Biden considers Johnson to be an "emotional and political clone" of the current resident in the White House and, unlike his predecessor, is extremely critical of Britain's exit from the EU. In September he publicly criticized the British government's plan to break the Withdrawal Treaty and thus international law: anyone who endangered the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and thus peace in Northern Ireland could not count on a trade agreement. In any case, the Catholic Biden always proudly refers to his Irish roots.

Difficult relationship

In Washington, Johnson's remark in the 2016 Brexit battle that the then President Barack Obama was "half-Kenyan" and therefore anti-British is also not forgotten. Obama's former vice spokesman, Tommy Vietor, called Johnson a "slipper: we will never forget your racist remarks and your slavish devotion to Trump" after his congratulations on Twitter. The Sunday Times believes that the blond Englishman is almost more hostile than Biden to the future Vice President Harris. The conservative paper elegantly describes the future Anglo-American relationship as a "challenge".

Undaunted, Dominic Raab continued the London charm offensive on Sunday: Biden would have "no better ally and no more reliable friend" than Great Britain, enthused the foreign minister and deputy prime minister on the TV channel "Sky". Even more enthusiastic - and at the same time critical of the government - Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer expressed himself in his congratulations to Biden: Biden had campaigned with values ​​"which we in the UK share - decency, integrity, compassion and strength". (Sebastian Borger from London, November 8th, 2020)