After four decades of reporting from the continent, Jonathan Dimbleby returns to Africa on a 7,000-mile journey to discover how it is changing.
Runtime: 60 minutes
An African Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby - Boris Johnson - Netflix
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (born 19 June 1964), best known as Boris Johnson, is a British politician, popular historian and journalist serving as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs since 2016 and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015. He had previously been the MP for Henley from 2001 to 2008 and Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016. A member of the Conservative Party, Johnson identifies as a one-nation conservative and has been associated with both economically and socially liberal policies. Born in New York City to wealthy upper-middle class English parents, Johnson was educated at the European School of Brussels, Ashdown House School, and Eton College. He studied Classics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was elected president of the Oxford Union in 1986. He began his career in journalism at The Times but was sacked for falsifying a quotation. He later became The Daily Telegraph's Brussels correspondent, with his articles exerting a strong influence on growing Eurosceptic sentiment among the British right-wing. He was assistant editor from 1994 to 1999 before taking the editorship of The Spectator from 1999 to 2005. Joining the Conservatives, he was elected MP for Henley in 2001, and under party leaders Michael Howard and David Cameron he was in the Shadow Cabinet. He largely adhered to the Conservatives' party line but adopted a more socially liberal stance on issues like LGBT rights in parliamentary votes. Making regular television appearances, writing books, and remaining active in journalism, Johnson became one of the most conspicuous politicians in Britain. Selected as Conservative candidate for the London mayoral election of 2008, Johnson defeated Labour incumbent Ken Livingstone and resigned his seat in parliament. During his first term as mayor, he banned alcohol consumption on public transport, championed London's financial sector, and introduced the New Routemaster buses, cycle hire scheme, and Thames cable-car. In 2012, he was re-elected mayor, again defeating Livingstone; during his second term he oversaw the 2012 Summer Olympics. In 2015 he was elected MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, stepping down as mayor the following year. In 2016, Johnson became a prominent figure in the successful Vote Leave campaign to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union. He became Foreign Secretary under Theresa May's premiership. Johnson is a controversial figure in British politics and journalism. Supporters have praised him as an entertaining, humorous, and popular figure with appeal beyond traditional Conservative voters. Conversely, he has been criticised by figures on both the left and right, accused of elitism, cronyism, dishonesty, laziness, and using racist language. Johnson is the subject of several biographies and a number of fictionalised portrayals.
An African Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby - Second term: 2012–2016 - Netflix
In February 2012, he criticised London's Saint Patrick's Day gala dinner celebrations, linking them to Sinn Féin and branding the event “Lefty crap”, for which he later apologised. In February 2013, during a London Assembly meeting following the publication of the 2014 budget for London, Johnson was ejected from the meeting following a vote and on the grounds that his Deputy Victoria Borwick had left the chamber. Upon realising that the vote meant that he would not be questioned on the budget, Johnson referred to his political opponents as “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies”. Johnson attended the launch of the World Islamic Economic Forum in London in July 2013, where he answered questions alongside Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. He joked that Malaysian women attended university in order to find husbands, causing some offence among female attendees. In 2014, Johnson pushed his biography of Churchill, The Churchill Factor, with media emphasising how Johnson repeatedly compared himself to Churchill throughout. In April 2016, in an article for The Sun, in response to President Barack Obama comments that he thought Britain should remain in the European Union, Johnson called Obama “part-Kenyan” with an “ancestral dislike” of Britain. The comments were branded “idiotic” and “deeply offensive” by Churchill's grandson, Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Soames, who called the article “deplorable” and “completely idiotic”. A month later, during campaigning, he said there was an attempt to create the Roman Empire's united Europe. He said, “Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.” In 2016, three German-made water cannon, which he had bought for the Metropolitan Police without waiting for clearance for use by Theresa May, were sold by his successor, with the funds going to youth services. Johnson may be investigated for Misconduct in public office due to excessive money spent on a proposed Thames Garden Bridge that was never built. Labour MP Andrew Gwynne said, “Boris Johnson drove forward this project during his mayoralty, and he needs to provide answers on the role he and his office played in the reckless decision to release public funds for the construction contract.” Pressure on Johnson is increasing and there is skepticism over his attempted explanations.
London was successful in its bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics while Ken Livingstone was still Mayor in 2005. Johnson's role in the proceedings was to be the co-chair of an Olympic board which oversaw the Games. Two of his actions subsequent to taking on this role were to improve the transport around London by making more tickets available and laying on more buses around the capital during the busy period, when thousands of spectators were temporary visitors in London, and also to allow shops and supermarkets to have longer opening hours on Sundays. However Johnson was accused of covering up pollution ahead of the games by deploying dust suppressants to remove air particulates near monitoring stations. In November 2013, Johnson announced major changes to the operation of London Underground, including the extension of Tube operating hours to run through the night at weekends. The announcement also revealed that all staffed Underground ticket offices would be closed with the aim of saving over £40 million a year, with automated ticketing systems provided instead.
An African Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby - References - Netflix