Earlier this week, prior to Donald Trump's first visit to the UK since becoming President of the United States, it was mooted that he would like to meet his "friend" Boris Johnson. Indeed the US Ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, said:
Boris Johnson has been a friend of the President"
Trump himself has said that Johnson would:
make a great Prime Minister"
All of which makes you wonder if they know what Johnson has said about Trump in the past.
In 2015, during his campaign to become the Republican Presidential candidate, Trump claimed that there were no go areas in London, where even police were too scared to go. He had been talking about banning Muslims from America when he said:
We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised that the police are afraid for their own lives. We have to be very smart and very vigilant"
To which Johnson replied:
I think Donald Trump is clearly out of his mind if he thinks that's a sensible way to proceed, to ban people going to the United States in that way, or to any country. What he's doing is playing the game of the terrorists and those who seek to divide us. That's exactly the kind of reaction they hope to produce.
He went on to say:
Crime has been falling steadily both in London and in New York - and the only reason I wouldn't go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
Surely Trump and Woody Johnson know this? If they don't, should we tell them? Should we warn them of his hypocrisy, duplicity and disloyalty? That the only person to whom Boris Johnson is a friend, is himself? Because, as Theresa May has found out, with friends like Johnson who needs enemies? Or would it be much more fun to let them find out for themselves?
For most of today, no-one knew where Boris Johnson was. Chris Grayling was on Radio 4's Today programme this morning and said:
“I have no idea where Boris is, genuinely no idea where Boris is.”
The reason for Johnson going AWOL is that tonight MPs are voting on plans to expand Heathrow and because he is not in favour of the proposed third runway, he wants to avoid the vote. The Tories are being whipped to vote for expansion. Therefore, in order to vote against expansion, Johnson would have to resign his role of Foreign Secretary and his principles obviously don't stretch to that.
This is a divisive issue for the Tories. Zac Goldsmith famously resigned as an MP over expansion plans and in the following by-election stood as an independent, where he amusingly lost the seat to the Liberal Democrats. Sadly, his principles didn't last long and he stood as the Tory candidate in the 2017 general election and won the seat back.
Johnson famously said that he would join John McDonnell in lying down in front of bulldozers should the expansion get the go ahead.
However, Jacob Rees-Mogg was quick to point out that he made this promise while Mayor of London, not an MP, so it wasn't binding.
Theresa May has spent some time recently deleting her anti Heathrow expansion posts on her website. It's almost like she's hoping no-one will notice that she has gone from being against expansion as a constituency MP to pro expansion as prime minister.
Principles don't seem to be something May understands, as her history of going from being a Remainer to trying to implement the hardest Brexit possible shows.
Johnson did eventually turn up in Afghanistan, confirmed by the the Afghan Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Perhaps the bulldozer he was talking about is in Afghanistan.
It's not just the Tories who are divided on Heathrow expansion. Labour MPs have been given a free vote, the party being officially opposed. However, possibly 40 Labour MPs are in favour due to the jobs they believe expansion will bring. The usual suspects it has to be said. Unite the Union, one of Labour's biggest backers, are also in favour for this reason.
The SNP haven't yet decided on their position.
Greenpeace, in 2016, gave "10 big reasons a new runway at Heathrow is bad for the UK" which is worth a read. They are also running a campaign to tweet MPs who are as yet undecided. You can join in with that campaign here. It's not too late. 50 Tory MPs are expected to "rebel" so, even though the government is unlikely to be defeated especially with the backbone Tory "rebels" have shown so far, it's worth a shot. Perhaps we can show the backbone that Johnson lacks.