They may be snotty in public, but secretly, European diplomats are lining up to meet the bad boy of British politics on his first official trip to the capital this week. The real reason the dinner for the 28 member states was cancelled is because they want to avoid any appearance of Brexit discussions before the process is triggered. It is Boris’s journalism that has them all rigid with fascinated horror. He called George W Bush a cross-eyed Texan war monger and won the Spectator prize for the dirtiest political limerick that rhymed “Ankara” with “wankerer”. These are milder examples of Boris’s outrageously rude but wildly lucrative style.
Stanley Johnson was a senior EU official, so the new Foreign Sec. spent part of his childhood in Brussels. He later returned as a fiercely anti-EU columnist for the Daily Telegraph, to become the enfant terrible of political journalism.
A journalist who remembers Boris from that time reported that his writing might have been scandalous, but he was renowned for his charm and intellect, the one guest Brussels hostesses wanted at their dinner tables. And at French social functions Boris has attended as Mayor, Boris has enthralled the guests with his fluent French and his quotations from the French medieval poets, delivered of course in French.
After a quiet dinner tonight with the EU foreign policy supremo, next week Boris is due to attend a solemn ministerial gathering to discuss relations with Latin American and China. The Sunday Times reported today “an ambassador from a large European country has insisted that Boris’s attendance would be the highlight of the gathering. See you when Boris arrives! the ambassador told slavering journalists.”