Prime Minister Johnson offered an oblique defence of U.S. President Joe Biden when asked if he thought he was “woke”, saying there was “nothing wrong” with that.
Prime Minister Johnson, a notionally conservative politician, made the comments after Lisa Nandy, shadow foreign secretary for the opposition Labour party, had praised Mr Biden, 78, as “a woke guy”.
“[H]e appointed an amazingly strong woman of colour who is also pro-[abortion] as his running mate, he mentioned the trans community in his victory speech, he stood up for the Black Lives Matter protesters, he spoke out about the policing of that movement,” Nandy gushed to the left-wing Guardian newspaper, claiming that the Democrat politician has “never shied away from standing up for his values”.
Asked if he believed Mr Biden was “woke”, the British leader responded awkwardly, insisting that “There’s nothing wrong with being woke” — before adding the long-winded caveat that “what I can tell you is that I think it’s very, very important for everybody to… I certainly put myself in the category of people who believe that it’s important to stick up for your history, your traditions and your values, the things you believe in.”
It is believed that this was a reference to his government’s belated efforts to make it harder for local government officials such as London mayor Sadiq Khan to remove historic monuments to once-celebrated Britons in the wake of the Black Lives Matter disorder that saw many vandalised or even toppled in 2020, with few real consequences for the vandals or their enablers.
Anti-iconoclasm campaigners seemed less than impressed, however, with the Save Our Statues campaign responding to Johnson’s comments saying: “Wrong. Woke is the enemy of our history, traditions and values.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 31, 2020
Johnson more or less openly welcomed Donald Trump’s ouster by Biden, saying it was a fantastic thing for America, for a country that’s been through a bumpy period and for us and America” that the anti-Brexit Democrat had replaced the pro-Brexit populist at the White House.
While this stance may come as a surprise to both right- and left-leaning voters in Britain, many of whom were by turns either encouraged or horrified by the mainstream media’s depiction of Johnson as “Britain’s Trump”, it will fail to shock those more familiar with Johnson’s record as a social liberal and supporter of amnesty for illegal aliens.
“I would invite him to come and see the whole of London and take him round the city except that I wouldn’t want to expose Londoners to any unnecessary risk of meeting Donald Trump,” Johnson sneered in 2015, after then-candidate Trump had referenced no-go zones in Britain’s multicultural capital, also branding him “out of his mind” for suggesting Islamic immigration should be temporarily halted in response to a series of terror attacks in America and Europe.
Indeed, the Johnson administration is now claiming it was never particularly close to the Trump administration, with Johnson’s ambassador to the United States, Karen Pierce, insisting in an interview that “we did speak out against” the former president, “on Iran, on climate, on some of the so-called social issues around Black Lives Matter”, for example.
“[M]ost recently the Prime Minister was very critical of what happened at the Capitol and of President Trump’s role in that”, Pierce added, referring to Johnson’s claim that Trump had “encouraged people to storm the Capitol” on January 6th.
Johnson also asserted that Mr Trump was “completely wrong” to “cast doubt on the outcome of a free and fair election”.
Boris Johnson: Trump ‘Encouraged People to Storm the Capitol’ https://t.co/QZJAUEbBxT
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 8, 2021