Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Boris Johnson: Master of Diplomacy

From a complaint sent by an annoyed New Zealander to Boris Johnson's office last week:

"Please tell me just which century the Mayor of London is living in? I have just seen him on New Zealand Television talking about the upcoming rugby match between New Zealand and England. In that interview he stated that he hoped the "mother country" would win.

"I take it he does realise that for the majority of New Zealanders the "mother country" is New Zealand, an independent Pacific Nation. Because quite frankly, few people in New Zealand, apart from a small number of elderly Pākehā and expats would ever consider England as being the "mother country".

"For the rest of us, the Mayor's comments are actually insulting. I would certainly hate to think that the Mayor was glorifying England's colonial past, because I am sure he knows as much as any person, that England has a lot to be ashamed of in her treatment of her former colonies, and in particular here in New Zealand, the Maori People.

"I know I am certainly not the first to say this, (and I somehow doubt I'll be the last), but perhaps he could choose his words more wisely?"

Alison
New Zealand

Oh Boris. Is there a nation you haven't offended yet?

7 comments:

John B said...

How very odd. While the British Empire has a lot to answer for, the suggestion that the UK (rather than white New Zealanders, who've run the country on a de facto autonomous basis since it was founded and a completely autonomous basis since the early 20th century) is responsible for crimes against the Maori people is clearly on the barking side of the spectrum...

The Troll said...

I think I will avoid getting involved in the details of this historic debate. I'd rather not be the next recipient of one of Alison's letters.

Anonymous said...

Remminds me of the old Van de Meuve joke dating from the 1960's

"Van - the English are winning the Test Match!"

"Our English, or the English English ?"


gw

Anonymous said...

"Please tell me just which century the Mayor of London is living in?"

Sometime between early millennial Rome and 19th Century England. I think they call it La La Land.

Tom said...

I thought we'd established it as:
* 1970 for public transport,
* 1965 for roads policy,
* 1955 for education and social policy and
* 1979 for economic policy?

No wonder he's a bit mixed up, really.

tory boys never grow up said...

I'd make him fly there economy - our man of the people obviously doesn't like slumming it with us proles http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/nov/29/best-books-year-2008-review1

Harold said...

It's difficult to know which Boris knows less about - colonial history or rugby. It says a lot about Boris in that I know nothing about rugby, but new New Zealand would thrash England.
Does boris know that the Empire is now one where the sun hardly ever rises?