There was some measure of agreement about yesterday’s intervention in the Brexit debate by The Blessed Tone: much of what the former Prime Minister had to say about where the UK may be heading was declared to be uncontroversial, but he may not have been the best person to have said it, given the baggage he carries from the past - exemplified by the recent furore following the release of the Chilcot report.
An absolute Muppet. And Emo from Sesame Street
But while Blair may not have been the right man to speak out against the rush to cut ties with the EU, London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was equally not the right man to reply. But as so often, Bozza was bigged up by his adoring friends in the press, who took his words as if etched on stone tablets and hand-delivered from Mount Sinai. This was not a good move on their part.
The inadvisable presence of Bozza as head of the Brexiteers’ push-back was summed up, perhaps inadvertently, by the Express’ swaggering headline: “‘I’m still clearing up your Iraq mess!’ Boris Johnson blasts Blair for anti-Brexit rant”. Whose Iraq mess would that be? Bozza has now said that the rush to war in Iraq was the result of a false premise. But that this was the case was repeatedly told at the time - and it had no effect on most MPs.
And one of those MPs who were repeatedly told that we were being dragged into the US Neocons’ ill-advised adventure on a false premise - but who enthusiastically voted for war all down the line - was, you guessed it, Bozza. He was on his way to becoming a mere back bencher, as he would be sacked from his previous shadow cabinet role after he lied to then Tory leader Michael Howard about his affair with Petronella Wyatt.
Not only was Bozza all in favour of the war he now condemns, he was also on the same side as Blair when it came to the EU, writing in the Telegraph as recently as May 2013, under the heading “Quitting the EU won’t solve our problems” that “If we left the EU … we would have to recognise that most of our problems are not caused by ‘Brussels’, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure”.
But now Bozza has once again departed from the real world in favour of a strategy which satisfies his principal priority - More And Bigger Displays Of Adulation For Himself Personally Now. So now he’s blustering “Everywhere I go I meet people who think Brexit will be a spectacular success, exactly as the Prime Minister has said, and who are queuing up to help us”. Except they aren’t, and he’s once again resorting to lying.
Like he lied to not only Michael Howard, but his constituents in Henley when he pretended he wasn’t going to run for the London Mayoralty. Like he lied to Londoners about the capital’s horrendously bad air quality - something else he left for Sadiq Khan to sort out. Like he lied to Londoners about the mythical “no-strike deal” for the Tube, and all those equally mythical driverless trains that aren’t going to happen. Like he lied to the voter of Crystal Palace about Tramlink. Like he lied about so much else.
Tony Blair might not be the best person to lead those questioning the headlong rush to leave the EU. But Boris Johnson is certainly not the best person to defend that move - or his own selfish, lying, duplicitous role in it. Go and lie to someone else for once, Bozza.