Boris Johnson is one of the very few politicians in the UK who is well known abroad, where he has an enviable reputation. Whereas nobody would recognise George Osborne, Philip Hammond or Theresa May, Boris is instantly recognised and admired.In Germany, Boris has a reputation for sound common sense, he is described as a man who gets things done. He got a rave review in Die Welt. The gist of the article was that apart from being charismatic, amusing, cultured and highly educated, he has achieved, even though he has less power than the Mayor of Berlin, so much more.
It was Boris who first established that lucrative trading links could be forged with India. David Cameron this week built on that foundation.In 2013, Boris was mobbed in China when he went on a hugely successful trade mission there. At the last minute, he was accompanied by the Chancellor. Boris made such an outstanding impression, he was described by a media expert as The King of Sizzle, with box office appeal. She speaks of his “outstanding rhetorical gifts”. She speaks with admiration of his ability to “pick up a metaphor and run with it”, how he can glide into story telling mode, only to pull statistics believably out of the air to meld smoothly into a glorious whole.
It is no exaggeration to say that Boris is adored in France. He had a French grandmother and is fluent in the language. Having bashed the French with huge abandon in the media, once in Paris, Boris turned on the charm with such success, the interviewer gushed “Next to him, conservative Paris seems as dry as a utility bill. He makes London the new Rome, the most exciting city in the world.” Boris was in Paris in February this year, and his interviewers were universally charmed by the way he spouted French like a native, showing an intimate knowledge of French history.
In the US, Boris is a hugely popular and respected figure. He has appeared on all the chat shows such as Letterman, (he went down a storm) and Jon Stewart’s the Daily Show, but has dazzled on heavyweight economics programmes such as Charlie Rose.
In spite of the attempt of some well wisher to wreck his meeting with Hillary Clinton, by sending her a copy of the article Boris wrote comparing her to Nurse Ratchett, Boris completely won her over. Her final comment was “He’s quite a guy!”. Best of all, President Obama was so impressed by Boris’s outstanding Olympomania speech, he used it in his election campaign to win the a second term in the White House.
No other British politician, not even the Prime Minister, is so well known, popular and respected abroad as Boris Johnson.