A MERE month after managing to insult Russia by calling off an arranged visit with Sergey Lavrov, Boris Johnson jetted off to Milan to persuade his G7 colleagues to take further sanctions against Russia and Syria. He was using the pretext of some “window of opportunity” opened up by the United States following its retaliatory air strike on a Syrian airfield. His initiative failed spectacularly; nobody thought it was a good idea.

Fresh from this humiliating failure and our deteriorating relations with Russia after his snub, he calmly moves on, as our Foreign Secretary, to declare on radio possible further opportunity to bomb Syria, without the assent of Parliament or the British people. He maintains not only that Theresa May supports this idea but that she would find it “hard to turn down” any request from the Americans to do so (“Johnson: May would find it hard to deny Trump help on airstrikes”, The Herald, April 28).

It is odds-on that any intervention in Syria which causes the loss of Russian lives or even damages the Russian national interest will be met by an “appropriate response” and we should know what that phrase means – we use it enough – a potential Third World War in the making, if only through an “unintended consequence’”.

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Mr Johnson is a buffoon, a disaster of a Foreign Secretary who seems to know little or care very much about foreign relations or the damage caused by acting publicly and provocatively in matters outwith our sphere of influence. It is possible that he is simply talking tough to look tough - that seems to be theme for the upcoming election, but this kind of talk is more than mischievous, it is foolhardy.

In a world where only President Trump determines who the “baddies” are and makes plans for the US to deal with them if nobody else will, it would have been prudent for the UK to stay well away from his current series of mad initiatives, but we haven’t and the US just might come calling to cement our special relationship.

I well remember when, during the opening events of the London Olympic Games, Mr Johnson was asked cheekily if he knew what the five rings on the Olympic flag symbolised. He didn’t, and just blustered a guess – he was wrong. That says all about the man who represents us across the world.

Bomb Syria, follow the US down its path of confrontation across the world with Boris? I shudder at the thought.

Ian McLaren,

27 Buchanan Drive, Lenzie.