Here’s a Libyan joke, Mr. Johnson: You’re silly for a diplomat

If you are looking for a top diplomat of one of the most powerful countries in the world – the United Kingdom – to turn a conference on internal matters in his country to a platform to insult the dignity of another country, then you should definitely call the UK Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson.

Mr. Johnson has used his wits and diplomatic knack to turn a Conservatives conference speech in Manchester to a venue for his crass and inappropriate jokes on the dead bodies of Libyans! Yes, a joke on dead bodies of Libyans from a conference hall in Manchester.

For the ordinary Libyans in the country, neither the joke of Mr. Johnson nor he himself rang a bell. However, for the political stakeholders and the people interested in politics and in social media as well, it really was another remarkable disappointment in the western countries’ stance on Libya.

Some Libyans thought Mr. Johnson’s joke was a cheap farce that he used at the conference to try somehow to score some internal points to his side and to his party’s side by representing himself as the know-it-all figure, who knows all about Libya and the potentials Sirte has once the city is cleared of the dead bodies – the bodies of the true Libyans who fought ISIS militants for months and managed to defeat them for Libya’s sake, but also for Europe’s sake as they had been an imminent threat to Europe vowing to attack it from the coasts of Sirte.

With all the professionalism expected from Mr. Johnson, it was surprisingly shocking to see Libyans’ opinions and responses to his gibe even more professional, denouncing the cheap representation of their “martyrs” as piles of dead bodies that need to be cleared away from the streets as if he was referring to piles of garbage, and only asking him respectfully to extend an apology or leave his office as he won’t be any more welcome on the streets he offended.

With all the give and take that Mr. Johnson’s statements have created so far in the UK, will he at least admit his mistake and extend an apology to the Libyan people? Or he is going to just ignore that and continue to tweet justifications about his superior knowledge of Libya and his promising vision for it, Libyans ask.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Libyan Express's editorial policy.

Abdulkader Assad

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Freelance journalist, writer and linguist.

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