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Boris Johnson

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    Posted: 01 May 2021 at 7:35am
I thought it was a bit odd that there is a 'Keir Starmer' thread, but not one on Johnson, so here it is.

I looked briefly at comments on the Starmer thread just now, and can see that many were (rightly) impressed by the beating he gave Johnson at PMQs recently... however, the public memory is short, so I thought it might be of use to have a list of what Johnson has been up to... this is not complete by any means, but is a good summary of a lot of his 'doings', from a piece in yesterday's Guardian:


Yes, it’s a real scandal. Despite the apparent absurdity of a Westminster village obsessing over soft furnishings and the precise class connotations of the John Lewis brand, there is a hard offence underneath all those cushions and throws. By refusing to tell us who first paid for the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat, Boris Johnson is denying us – his boss – the right to know who he owes and what hold they might have on him.

Offence is the right word because, even before the Electoral Commission determines whether the law on political funding was broken, Johnson’s failure to come clean may well be, by itself, a breach of the ministerial code. That bars not only actual conflicts of interest between ministers’ “public duties and their private interests” but even the perception of such conflicts. In refusing to tell us who first paid that bill for overpriced wallpaper, or to give full details of who paid for his December 2019 holiday in Mustique, Johnson has offended the public trust.


So yes, this is a scandal. But do you know what else is a scandal? That while Johnson was racking up an estimated £200,000 on home decor, his government was pushing through a post-Grenfell fire safety bill that threatens ordinary leaseholders with financial ruin, saddling them with the cost of ridding their homes of potentially lethal cladding and other hazards: one woman is facing a bill of £70,000 to make her one-bedroom flat in Bristol safe. That is a scandal.

Or that by breaking his 2019 manifesto pledge and slashing the UK’s aid budget, Johnson has cut our contribution to the UN effort on HIV/Aids and to lifesaving water projects by 80%, and to the UN family planning programme by even more – money that could have prevented maternal and child deaths in the world’s poorest countries. That, too, is a scandal.

A coronavirus death toll of 127,500 that remains the highest in Europe, alongside the deepest economic slump in the G7. The mistake Johnson made three times over in 2020, delaying lockdowns in March, September and the following winter. The seeding of Covid in nursing homes. The decision to keep the borders open even during the height of lockdown, as smart as putting a double bolt and extra chain on the front door while leaving the back door swinging wide open. Johnson’s absence from the first five Cobra meetings on Covid, preferring to flick through swatches at his weekend home at Chequers. They’re all scandals.

The VIP lane for ministers’ pals when the PPE contracts were being doled out, when so many politicians’ chums looked at Covid and saw a commercial opportunity. The £276m contract that went to P14 Medical, run by a Tory donor, or the £160m deal with Meller Designs, also run by a Tory donor, both revealed just this week. The staggering sum of £37bn committed to a test-and-trace programme that never really worked. Johnson’s support for Dominic Cummings, even as he torched the most important public health policy in a century and insulted the country’s intelligence with a tall story about an eye test on wheels. Every one a scandal.

The failure to sack Robert Jenrick, even after he rushed through an “unlawful” planning decision that would save Richard Desmond, yet another Tory donor, £45m in local taxes. The failure to sack Priti Patel, even after she’d been found to have broken the ministerial code. The failure to sack Gavin Williamson, even after he’d presided over an exams fiasco that threatened to damage the life chances of tens of thousands of young people. The appointment of Gavin Williamson, not two months after he’d been fired by Theresa May for leaking sensitive information from the national security council. That, too, is a scandal.

Johnson’s Brexit protocol that put a border down the Irish sea, even after he’d vowed never to put a border down the Irish sea, thereby imperilling a union he swore blind he would protect. His proposal of an internal market bill that proudly declared its intention to break international law, prompting the UK’s top legal civil servant to quit – one of a disturbing number of mandarins driven to resignation on Johnson’s watch.

His illegal suspension of parliament, overturned as a violation of fundamental democratic practice by unanimous verdict of the supreme court. The lies that led to that moment: the £350m on the side of the bus or the scare story that Turkey was poised to join the EU and that Britain would be powerless to stop it. Siding with Vladimir Putin to suggest that the EU had provoked the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Scandals, all.

The blame he bears for wrongly saying, when foreign secretary, that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been training journalists in Iran, further condemning a woman who this week was sentenced to yet another year as a prisoner in that country. His quip about clearing away “dead bodies” in Sirte, Libya, a phrase that makes all too plausible the multiply-sourced claim that he told a Downing Street meeting on Covid he was happy to let the virus rip and “let the bodies pile high” rather than impose another lockdown.

His record as mayor, spaffing Londoners’ money up the wall on failed vanity projects that were either unused or unworkable, yet somehow managing to boost the entrepreneurial efforts of his lover, Jennifer Arcuri, cosy in her very own VIP lane with Johnson as the recipient of £126,000 in public money. That, too, is a scandal.

His racist musings about a “half-Kenyan” Barack Obama, his casting of Muslim women as “bank robbers” and “letterboxes”, and Africans as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”. His running of a Spectator editorial that falsely accused “drunken fans” of causing the Hillsborough calamity, and suggesting that the people of Liverpool wallow in “vicarious victimhood”. His firings from the Tory frontbench and the Times newspaper, both times for lying.

They’re all scandals. So is a system that makes the prime minister the ultimate arbiter of the very code that he has broken, so that Johnson decides when and whether to investigate himself, making him judge and jury in his own case. Not much better is an opposition party that was walloped by him in 2019 and struggles to lay a glove on him now.

Or maybe the real scandal lies with us, the electorate, still seduced by a tousled-hair rebel shtick and faux bonhomie that should have palled years ago. Americans got rid of their lying, self-serving, scandal-plagued charlatan 100 days ago. They did it at the first possible opportunity. Next week, polls suggest we’re poised to give ours a partial thumbs-up at the ballot box. For allowing this shameless man to keep riding high, some of the shame is on us.

Jonathan Freedland is a Guardian columnist
“You cannot reason a man out of what he never reasoned himself into.” (Jonathan Swift)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trident Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2021 at 9:12am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PenScarlet44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2021 at 1:35pm
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Edited by PenScarlet44 - 01 May 2021 at 1:59pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RR1972 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2021 at 1:50pm
Hes useless but hell win the next election with ease if he still in place by then
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ap sior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2021 at 3:31pm
Can I recommend the excellent 'Failure of state', recently published, a blow by blow account of the Covid pandemic and the multiple failures of the Johnson government and the lies they told to try and cover their errors.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SA14 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2021 at 8:53pm
The vaccine is going ok. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SVD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2021 at 9:10pm
Can I also recommend, ‘The Assault on Truth: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Emergence of a New Moral Barbarism’ by Peter Oborne?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eastern outpost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2021 at 9:22pm
I clicked on this topic and the advert was entitled “A Resource You Can Trust”.

IRONY WRIT LARGE
In a world where you can be anything – Be Kind.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ap sior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2021 at 10:16pm
Originally posted by SVD SVD wrote:

Can I also recommend, ‘The Assault on Truth: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Emergence of a New Moral Barbarism’ by Peter Oborne?

An excellent read, finished it a few weeks ago. 

Another one people may like to try is Merchants of Doubt, in the same vein, about how lies are spread by multinationals amongst others.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PenScarlet44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2021 at 10:03am
Can I recommend the madness of crowds
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Legendinmybathroom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2021 at 10:45am
The guardian correspondent is correct when he said at the end of the article that we are part of the problem with Boris.  A huge percentage of the electorate have fallen for his charms and promises (many of which have been proven to be lies such as no border in the Irish Sea, no issues with importing/ exporting, businesses being better off after brexit etc) and given him and the Tory party a free pass to change whatever policies they want to, by electing so many of them into Westminster, allowing them to vote any changes they want through parliament.
There are a lot of similarities between Boris and Trump and look what’s happened in the USA in the past 4 years.  Thankfully enough people in the USA saw sense and did what was needed for the greater good of the citizens of the USA and for the rest of the world and got shot of him at the first opportunity.
Boris is a born liar, he allegedly lost his last 2 jobs prior to leading the brexit campaign (and again based on what appears to be yet more falsehoods) so why should anyone believe anything he says anymore.
I could understand the notion of voting in someone who doesn’t fit your usual Tory Party leader norms, as labour did with Corbin but observing what happened in the USA and seeing the disastrous mess left by Corbin’s legacy, should surely be enough of a warning to the British electorate moving forward.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SA14 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2021 at 11:17am
Originally posted by Legendinmybathroom Legendinmybathroom wrote:

Boris is a born liar, he allegedly lost his last 2 jobs prior to leading the brexit campaign (and again based on what appears to be yet more falsehoods) so why should anyone believe anything he says anymore.

Well thank god he’s a liar. He wouldn’t be a very good politician otherwise. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greypower1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2021 at 12:13pm
The British electoral system of first past the post fails to give a voice to those who didn't vote for Boris (Tory).  In the last election just over two thirds of those eligible to vote actually did vote.  Of those that did vote 55% did not vote Tory.  So we are left with the majority of voters in the country being disenfranchised.  Until our voting system is modernised we will be stuck in the last century and ruled by an undemocratic system.  Some democracy eh?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2021 at 1:57pm
Originally posted by greypower1 greypower1 wrote:

The British electoral system of first past the post fails to give a voice to those who didn't vote for Boris (Tory).  In the last election just over two thirds of those eligible to vote actually did vote.  Of those that did vote 55% did not vote Tory.  So we are left with the majority of voters in the country being disenfranchised.  Until our voting system is modernised we will be stuck in the last century and ruled by an undemocratic system.  Some democracy eh?

Proportional representation has to come before we can get a fairer democracy. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roy munster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2021 at 2:18pm
Despite the endless mistakes ,errors, falsehoods, backhanders ,affairs , dodgy contracts, vanity projects etc Bojo may yet survive to the next election. Look at how blair survived? Despite the Iraq war, the deregulated markets, the corrupt banks, the millennium dome, the endless stealth taxes on the working classes etc The economy seemed strong so they kept backing him

The majority of voters probably still look at the big results, jobs, the economy the nhs , brexit and covid. Boris started badly on most of these issues. In particular the NHS where we ended up with 3 times fewer nhs beds than germany during the pandemic, also nurses and doctor numbers were less than half germanys'

But a recovery may be around the corner and may yet save his bacon at least till the next election. The covid crisis is number 1 issue, we started disastrously and irresponsibly, with the failure to protect the oaps in care homes and the failure to close borders and the ppe contracts etc We had the worst death rates in the world. 

But somehow we seem to be through the worst of it and seem to be following the usual british pathway of start terribly and finishing strongly. We have the 5th highest covid testing per head in the world, top 5 vaccines per head in the world. There are 14 countries now with worse death rates as the cases ,deaths and hospitalizations are down to their lowest in 9 months. Their furlough scheme was generally considered competent, considering the extraordinary circumstances. 

The unemployment rate is 4.9% a lot lower than the EU 8.1% or usa 6.1% so room for a small amount of optimism there.Brexit re-emerge and when things calm down we can really analyse the costs and benefits....But even there the way the eu have totally mismanaged the pandemic plays into bojos hands. He will milk that at the next election. 

Im certain many more corrupt covid contracts, cover ups and huge mistakes and corruption will keep emerging over time and will surely see the end of him eventually and his critics will dance on his grave. But people dont have the stomach for disruption and revolution atm so his departure  may still be a few years away.










ROYMOND MUNTER MBE (FOR SERVICES TO THE COMBOVER)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2021 at 4:41pm
My thoughts are well-known but I'd say there's a dangerous overlap of political and media interests this has highlighted. Thorough investigative unbiased journalism is needed to hold governments and MPs to account, because they will not do it themselves. This has been made apparent with numerous investigation whitewashed. Johnson gets away with all Freedland points out because he can. It's not just because he has a majority and can win elections; this is not be justification for corruption.

An example of how bad this issue has become is present by Laura Kuenssberg's article on the BBC. It starts off asking "why is it a problem if the prime minster lies?" before then saying how skilled a speaker he is in terms of waffling nonsensical rhretoric (my words), comparing him favourably to Steve Jobs in terms of "bending facts to achieve his goals" and ultimately concluding "Johnson just wants to be loved." No Ms Kuenssberg, we are talking about corruption here and you are a political journalist, not a Tory spin doctor. Say the word and say that he has lied in the House of Commons and put this in context to that he has been sacked from two previous jobs from lying. Your readers also deserve the truth, you'd think. It's truly pathetic and contributes to the public tolerance of political corruption.


Edited by dr_martinov - 02 May 2021 at 4:44pm
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