Britain’s Johnson is bowing & scraping to Washington and that’s something for the world to dread
Gaffe-prone Boris Johnson is in a bind. He has been an ardent fan of Donald Trump but now finds himself on the wrong side of Washington if Joe Biden, who has declared victory in the election, makes it to the White House.
Downing Street’s dilemma was apparent in the mix-up over a congratulatory note sent to Biden by Johnson over the election result which appeared to have originally been intended for Trump.
The Republican incumbent has refused to concede victory to his Democratic rival citing voting fraud claims over Biden’s majority of popular votes and nominal Electoral College ballots. Nevertheless Downing Street has joined other foreign leaders in acknowledging Biden as the winner who will be inaugurated as president on January 20.
The British prime minister was keen to emphasize that he had a “warm” telephone conversation with the new presumed president. Johnson underscored the “special relationship” between the US and Britain, and the “shared priorities… from tackling climate change to promoting democracy.”
Given how disastrous Anglo-American attempts at “promoting democracy” have been in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and many other countries, the mention of this dubious concept as “a shared priority” for Johnson and Biden is something to dread.
Britain’s so-called “special relationship” with the United States has always been a euphemism for partnership in aggression against sovereign nations in flagrant violation of international law. London as the “junior partner” to Washington is more realistically an underling that gives political cover for American imperialism. Arguably Washington’s lawlessness in waging wars and foreign subversions over past decades has been, and will continue to be, enabled by London’s subservience.
But, ominously, what we are seeing now is a British government that is desperate to crawl back into Washington’s favor.
Having been perceived as pro-Trump (Biden previously disparaged Johnson as a Trump “clone”), the London government is now bending over backwards to please Biden. One can expect too that the Democrat will extract eye-watering concessions from the hapless Johnson.
The desperation stakes have been raised by Johnson’s backsliding over his Brexit withdrawal from the European Union. The British premier was counting on gaining a big free trade deal with the US under a Trump administration, which seemed to have emboldened Johnson to play hard ball with Brussels over earlier commitments on avoiding a hard border in Ireland.
Biden, who is proud of his Irish ancestry, has warned Johnson that any undermining of Irish political peace and stability from the return of a hard border on the island would mean no trade deal with the US. Without a US trade pact, Britain’s post-Brexit economy will be denied a lifeline. British businesses are already fretting over collapse at the prospect of no trade arrangements in the near future.
Having thrown his lot in so obsequiously with the Trump administration (for example bowing to US pressure to scrap partnership with China’s telecom giant Huawei), Johnson is now squirming to readjust to a possible Biden administration, and one that appears to take a dim view of him.
That’s why the sudden flurry of vows from Downing Street to “strengthen our special relationship” sound all the more menacing and Machiavellian than ever.
In seeking to play down estrangement between Washington and London, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab explicitly offered any new US administration a license to do whatever it likes in international conduct backed by unswerving British support.
Raab told the media: “What I’m saying is I’m absolutely confident in the bedrock of values and interests that we share because when America wants to act in the world it has no more reliable friend than the United Kingdom.”
But here’s a sting in the tail. Say if Trump somehow manages to overturn the election results through litigation and the Supreme Court, then Johnson and his crew will have to perform groveling gyrations like the most abject slave in order to reingratiate.
One way or another, the Anglo-American axis is spinning for more international conflicts and subterfuge. Britain’s servile role is an accelerant of American aggression. Clown or clone, Boris Johnson takes that servility to even more dangerous levels.