Boris has a habit of making fun of people’s appearance and differences, so it’s a bit rich for him to invoke It’s Not Easy Being Green
Boris Johnson is well known for including references to classical literature in his speeches.
But in last night’s speech to the UN general Assembly, he eschewed Keats and Yeats, overlooked the Iliad and skipped Shakespeare in favour of one of America’s great philosophers – Kermit the Frog.
Speaking to a largely empty room at the UN General Assembly in New York, he urged humanity to grow up and tackle climate change head on.
He said: “When Kermit the frog sang It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green, I want you to know he was wrong – and he was also unnecessarily rude to Miss Piggy.”
What you couldn’t see from the broadcast cameras was Muppet stalwarts Statler and Waldorf heckling from the balcony.
- Statler : “He says we’re all going to drown because of climate change.”
- Waldorf : “After this speech it’d be an act of mercy.”
- Both : “Do-ho-ho-ho-ho!”
As it happens, Kermit is an old friend of mine so I managed to get him on the phone to get his reaction to being namechecked by the Prime Minister.
“I sure appreciate the sentiment,” Kermit said.
“Over the years I’ve lived in London and New York, but home to me will always be the swamp.
“Its under constant threat from global warming, loss of biodiversity and Gonzo setting the whole place on fire trying to jump a motorbike through a burning tyre.”
But he questioned whether Mr Johnson had actually listened to the song.
He said: “As I understand it, Boris has a habit of making fun of people’s appearance and differences.
“The whole point of the song is that it can be hard looking different to everyone else – even if those around you are pigs and bears and chickens. But that it’s important to be true to yourself even if life gets difficult.
“And by the look of his hair, Boris self-identifies as a Muppet, so you’d think he would understand that.”
And as for his remarks about his ex-wife*, Kermit said: “Miss Piggy is a dear friend. And as my radiologist will tell you, she gave as good as she got.
“Boris knows what it’s like to have a very public divorce, but I think mine was a little cheaper.”
He added: “Thanks for trying to save my lilypad, Boris. But it’s a bit rich telling the world to grow up when as recently as 2010 you were publicly questioning the science of climate change.
“And maybe talk to Fozzie before going for the cheap laugh next time.”
Well, there you have it. Straight from the Frog’s mouth.
* Readers will surely remember Kermit and Piggy got married at the end of 1984’s The Muppets Take Manhattan, before announcing their separation in 2015.