How much do we really know about our leaders, the standard bearers for our interests and ideologies? Lies of omission proliferate. This picture of Boris Johnson is especially illuminating.
Boris Johnson was born in USA, and lived there using the name “Al” until he went to Eton, at which point contemporaries said he invented “the eccentric English persona” we know now. His family calls him Al in private. “Boris” is just a marketing brand. …
In 2016 he admitted to The Times that he dyes his hair blond. …
Making stuff up that some people want to hear:
His ability to invent a phrase got him a career in journalism, but “invent” quickly became a problem: he was sacked by The Times for making up a quote, and lying about it. His colleagues said he was no great loss, as he’d been disorganised, chaotic, and lacking in basic skills.
Because he is essentially not employable, his dad, a former diplomat, wangled him a job writing about Brussels for The Telegraph. But he quickly became bored by reality, so stopped attending meetings, and instead would sit in his hotel, inventing stories about EU politics.
This isn’t a secret, by the way. He openly admitted to doing this, in writing, to his own readers. It was blatant. “Some of my most joyous hours have been spent in a state of semi-incoherence, composing foam-flecked hymns of hate”, he wrote.
A diplomat appearing in Johnson’s made-up articles described the experience. “He was the paramount of exaggeration and distortion and lies. He was a clown – a successful clown”
The EU spokesman Willy Hélin — renowned for his politeness — called his column “A load of bullshit”.
A bit of biff:
Around this time, Boris Johnson was recorded agreeing to help his former school friend, the convicted fraudster Darius Guppy, beat up a journalist who was investigating his activities.
The plan was to give him black eyes and break his ribs. It’s on record.
Performance is what matters as mayor:
He became London Mayor, and claimed he’d end rough sleeping. It increased 130%.
He said he’d recruit 5,000 Met police. The Met lost 5,000 officers on his watch. He said he’d “double special constables to 10,000”. There were under 3,100 when he left office.
He said he’d create 100k affordable homes, then simply changed the definition of “affordable” to make it look like he had. …
He spent £320,000 of taxpayer money on water cannons that aren’t even legal in the UK. To prove they were safe, he promised to be blasted by them live on TV. That promise was a lie. It never happened, and the water cannons were sold off for scrap at a £310,000 loss.
He spent £60 million on a commuter cable-car, suggesting 63 million people a year would use it. At the end of its first year, it had 4 (four) regular commuters per week.
He spent £46 million on a garden bridge that never even got off the drawing board.
He promised he’d remain London Mayor until his term ran out. Then he quit as London Mayor two years early, just to land a safe seat in Uxbridge.
He won in Uxbridge by promising to “lie down in front of bulldozers” to stop a new Heathrow Runway, then abstained on the vote.
Brexit was all an accident:
He’s the most likely source of the 2015 “Cameron Fucked A Pig” rumour (which came from a “distinguished Oxford contemporary” of Cameron’s, of whom only 3 people fit). It’s almost certainly a complete fabrication.
He wrote articles including “Quitting the EU won’t solve our problems”, which said “most of our problems are not caused by Brussels”
He said: “We are — and we will remain — a paid-up, valued, participating member of the Single Market. Under no circumstances, in my view, will a British government adjust that position”. …
His team admitted he never wanted to win the referendum. He hoped to lose, so he could succeed David Cameron and become Tory leader, without having to do any work. And he’d still have an enemy over the water he could blame everything on.
He never intend to win. …
On the day he became PM he said: “I am announcing now – on the steps of Downing Street — that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared”. No such plan existed. Still doesn’t. Entirely made up.
He said, “Protecting vulnerable children will remain our priority after Brexit”, and then later the same week he dropped legal protections for vulnerable and unaccompanied children. …
Johnson missed five COBRA meetings about Covid, and between 31 Jan and 30 Mar 2020, his govt missed eight intergovernmental calls or conferences to discuss a unified approach to tackling the pandemic. What was Johnson doing instead of tackling Covid? In Feb 2020 he asked Dominic Cummings, “Do you think it’s OK if I spend a lot of time writing my Shakespeare book?” because “this divorce is very expensive”. Cummings wrote: “he wanted to get back to what he loves while shaking down the publishers for some extra cash. …
March. In the morning SAGE issued advice to stop shaking hands. The same afternoon, Johnson visited a hospital and said he “shook hands with everybody, you will be pleased to know, and I continue to shake hands”. He also shook hands with everybody on This Morning later that week, where he outlined his plan to “allow the disease, as it were, to move through the population” rather than taking measures to stop a quarter of a million deaths.
“Let the bodies pile high”, he later said.
A senior advisor said of his Covid approach: “What you learn about Boris was he didn’t chair any meetings. He liked his country breaks. He didn’t work weekends. There was a real sense that he didn’t do urgent crisis planning. It was exactly like people feared he would be”.
Too many modern politicians are psychos who take us all for a ride, saying what we want to hear. But they are at the mercy of what the journalists or their masters choose to reveal to the public, so nor are they in control of their destinies. Perhaps they are just figureheads used in a political struggle by others.
hat-tip David Archibald