New Times,
New Thinking.

European leaders give Boris Johnson the cold shoulder

The Prime Minister was left all alone at the Nato summit after his comments on Ukraine and Brexit.

By The Chatterer

When world leaders gather at diplomatic summits to discuss great matters of state their interactions are often reduced to awkward snippets of small talk and excessive bouts of handshaking. In any case, the crowning moment of a summit is the family photo of leaders arranged atop a podium at a metre or so intervals. This is the moment you finally see the commanding heights of western leadership in one place and you remember just how short Emmanuel Macron is.

But on the podium at a Nato summit on 24 March, it was Boris Johnson in the spotlight. The Prime Minister was left awkwardly standing alone as Macron greeted leader after leader behind him. Johnson — the only leader to leave their jacket undone, revealing an exceedingly long light blue tie — painfully turned around to witness the abundant conviviality. With no one to talk to, he placed his hands in his pockets, looked around and wistfully waved into the distance.

Much has been made of Johnson’s comment at the weekend that Brexit showed British people had an instinct for freedom, much like the Ukrainians. Was Macron’s cold shoulder therefore a snub?

We’ll never know. But thankfully for the people of the United Kingdom, as the leaders left the stage, Johnson pulled Macron down from the podium into a three-way hug with Joe Biden. Now that’s British diplomacy in action.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy