You’ll be hardpressed to find a British Prime Minister with a more disastrous beginning to their reign than Boris Johnson.
He’s already been handed a number of humiliating defeats in Parliament, with the country watching the live broadcast in the same way that you slow down when you drive past a car crash.
His own brother, Jo (so there’s a BoJo and a JoJo), even announced he was resigning as an MP, saying he was “torn between family loyalty and the national interest”.
That’s British for “my brother is a complete and utter buffoon”, by the way, and much of the world agrees.
Yesterday, Boris actually said he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask the EU to delay Brexit beyond October 31, so you know he’s really feeling the pinch now.
Years and years of lies are finally catching up with him, so let’s run through some of the classics, with the help of the Independent:
Fake news from Brussels
After leaving the Times, Mr Johnson moved to The Daily Telegraph, working as the publication’s Brussels correspondent between 1989 and 1994.
His articles, like those in several other Eurosceptic newspapers, contained many of the claims widely described as “Euromyths”, including plans to introduce same-size “eurocoffins”, establish a “banana police force” to regulate the shape of the curved yellow fruit, and ban prawn cocktail crisps.
When questioned about them in parliament, he denied suggestions they were a figment of his imagination.
Spoiler alert – they were.
Misrepresenting the people of Liverpool
Mr Johnson became editor of the Spectator in 1999 after telling owner Conrad Black, who was later convicted of fraud, that he would not pursue a political career. This promise was broken in 2001 when he won election as Conservative MP for Henley in Oxfordshire.
Three years later he was forced to apologise for an article in the magazine which blamed drunken Liverpool fans for the 1989 Hillsborough disaster and suggested that the people of the city were wallowing in their victim status.
“Anyone, journalist or politician, should say sorry to the people of Liverpool – as I do – for misrepresenting what happened at Hillsborough,” he said.
The extramarital affair
Michael Howard gave Boris Johnson two new jobs after becoming leader of the Conservatives in 2003 – party vice-chairman and shadow arts minister.
He was sacked from both positions in November 2004 after assuring Mr Howard that tabloid reports of his affair with Spectator columnist Petronella Wyatt [above] were false and an “inverted pyramid of piffle”. When the story was found to be true, he refused to resign.
We have covered those affairs in great detail already, for those who want more on that front.
Mr Johnson’s fondness for fallacy continued as London Mayor. Having promised in his 2008 manifesto to ensure there would be manned ticket offices at every train station, he agreed to widespread closures to pay for a 24-hour tube.
He promised to eradicate rough sleeping by 2012, only for it to double during his leadership. He was also accused of telling “barefaced lies” after he stated that police numbers would increase in London despite government cuts.
‘Barefaced Boris’ should really be his nickname.
Launching the Vote Leave bus tour, Mr Johnson returned to the scene of his earlier falsehoods by repeating his old allegations that the EU was setting rules on the shape of bananas.
He also backed the infamous claim on the side of the bus that the UK was sending £350m a week to the EU, followed by “let’s fund our NHS instead”…Mr Johnson repeated it in an article in the Telegraph in September 2017.
The article has since been taken down and Mr Johnson is facing a private prosecution over claims he deliberately lied during the campaign.
‘I didn’t say anything about Turkey’
In January Boris Johnson claimed he did not mention Turkey during the referendum after it was suggested he falsely claimed 80 million Turks would come to Britain unless the UK left the EU.
In fact, he co-signed a letter stating that “the only way to avoid having common borders with Turkey is to vote Leave and take back control”. The Vote Leave campaign also produced a poster reading: “Turkey (population 76 million) is joining the EU”, adding “David Cameron wants Turkey to join the EU. How will our NHS cope?”.
The lies go on and on, and his acolytes gobble it up.
We currently live in an age where bullshit and bluster are the order of the day, and things like facts can be tossed aside in favour of party tribalism.
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