Johnson’s grovelling is useless.

President-Elect Biden and his transition team hold Britain’s Prime Minister in unique distain, and he knows that. Johnson released a grovelling video congratulating the incoming 46th President and desperately reiterating the special relationship and its importance, in a way that could best be described as either clutching at straws or last minute wishful thinking.

Johnson’s racist comments about Barack Obama set him on the wrong course with the Biden people almost immediately. Obama was their guy, Obama is adored almost universally within the Democratic party to this day, and the attack on President Obama (besides being blatant racism on the part of Johnson) is tantamount to defiling a holy alter for them.

Joe Biden is very proud of his Irish Catholic heritage, and his views on Irish geopolitics are very much out of sync with the likes of the British government, and with most US Presidents. He lobbied John Major in the 90s to get Gerry Adams a US visa. The attacks on the Good Friday Agreement and peace settlement in Ireland through Johnson’s breach of the Brexit deal have already infuriated Biden personally.

Johnson was a cheerleader for Brexit, and Biden and co see Brexit as a damaging endeavour for Britain on the international stage, and are very much on board with the neoliberal view of the European Project.

And ultimately, Johnson represents a politics, of nationalist conservatism, that Biden has worked to defeat in the States, and that he and his team despise to its very core. They see Johnson as a parrot of Trump, a rule breaking opportunist, and a destabilising force in the world.

What can Johnson do? What he seems to be about to do. If he wants to curry favour with the States, which he seems to, he’s going to have to go back to promoting Britain as a bastion of the liberal orthodoxies of the world order, a soft power to aide the States on the world state.

As Biden's attentions shift towards Europe, with Britain becoming increasingly irrelevant and wrapped in a sense of exceptionality, Britain needs to rediscover its role, and become a power that acts more in coordination with Europe than America, and one which strives to be the conscience of the world order, using its membership of NATO and the UN Security Council to be a voice against imperialistic foreign policy, and a voice for justice and human rights. This is not something we’ll see from Johnson, or indeed Starmer’s Labour.

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Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.

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Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.

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