Seemingly unaware of what happened last time he tried to challenge for his party leadership, London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is at it again, using the platform given him by the increasingly downmarket and desperate Telegraph to allow his thoughts to be put before his adoring public, whomsoever they be.
An absolute Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
So it is that today’s Tel proclaims “Boris: Yes, we will take back £350m from EU for NHS … Foreign Secretary sets out grand vision for country after Brexit … Staying in single market and customs union would be mockery … Chancellor must cut taxes and regulation to boost economy”. And, my friends, to use the Bozza vernacular, it’s total crap.
To fisk this hot, steaming and not at all appealing pile of weapons grade bullpucky would take rather longer than the time available, so here are a few selections from Bozza’s take on the Whizzo Assortment of dubiously crafted sweetmeats.
Under “Foreigners could be prevented from buying homes in Britain”, we read “It is often pointed out that the price of housing in certain parts of London may be increased by buyers from overseas. But there is no point in putting any kind of tax on foreign buyers, because the inhabitants of 27 other countries cannot legally be treated as foreign”.
Two things here. One, the buying up of London property by foreign buyers is driven mainly by those from outside the EU. And Two, this is from the former Mayor of London who did sweet Jack about the problem during his eight years in City Hall.
“We will take back control of roughly £350 million a week”. No we won’t: as Faisal Islam of Sky News has pointed out, last year’s gross EU weekly contribution from the UK was £230 million, and £153 million net. It is possible that those figures could reach £310 million and £199 million in two years’ time, but Bozza would still be over £150 million short.
How about Bozza’s recollection of what the referendum was about? “Before the referendum, we all agreed on what leaving the EU logically must entail: leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market, leaving … the European Court of Justice”. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It was about the question on the ballot paper. No more.
Maybe he’ll do better on infrastructure? Maybe not: “this country still has chronic problems, and at least some of them have been exacerbated by the rigidities of EU membership - and certainly by the way we have chosen legally to apply those obligations … our infrastructure is far too expensive - and takes far longer than France or other countries”.
Spain too … and guess what? THEY’RE BOTH IN THE EU.
Bozza makes the same gaffe when talking about the UK’s poor productivity, only this time he cites not just France, but Germany. Which is also in the EU.
In any case, he’s only trotting out this drivel because he’s been leaned on to do so. And the same people who leant on him to bat for Vote Leave will make damn sure he doesn’t get anywhere near taking up residence in 10 Downing Street.
Bozza’s Eurovision entry is the usual damp squib. So that’s Royaume-Uni, nul points.
Am I being dim, Tim? Penultimate para: who's leaning on him and why wouldn't the fools want him to be their standard-bearer?
The fellow is an embarrassment for Homo sapiens never mind the UK.
A classic public school moron of the worst type. An obese Rees Mogg. Just another tory.
God knows what the Europeans really think of him, but won't say for diplomatic reasons.
The politest comment I've heard about Boris is that he's an educated idiot.
Still, my sis-in-law thinks he's brilliant and that the sun shines out of one or other of his orifices.
So that counts for something doesn't it.
***A buffoon for all seasons***
Isn't he rich?
With so many jobs
We here, just looking amused
At his latest hit job
Send in the clown
His latest big lie
The Barclays approve
Telegraphs his intentions
Of making his move
No 10 for the clown
Just when we thought Gove had hobbled his cause
Maybot gave him the key, foreigners he now bores
Making his case with his casual lies
Sure of Murdoch
As democracy dies
Isn't it strange?
Isn't it fun?
Minority government, no ideas, on the run
And of the No 10 clowns
Choose the biggest big clown
I don’t think BJ has an imminent coup in mind. I think he’s trying to play a longer game. To recap:
Pre-referendum he’d argued on both sides of the Brexit question. His loyalty isn’t to any particular pro or anti-Brexit position, simply to the idea that chaps like Boris Johnson ought to be running things. It seems plausible, given his panicked expression when Leave won, that he’d seen a vacancy for himself as the charismatic leader of the disgruntled anti-Cameron Eurosceptics. He expected them to be on the losing side, so he wouldn’t have had any responsibility for actually making anything happen, but he could have stoked the Brexit Barmy Army’s simmering resentment by spinning more bullshit stories about straight bananas, then leading them over the top as his private army to mount a parliamentary coup against his old Etonian rival.
Well, it didn’t work out that way and he was beaten to the top job by Theresa May. But, judging by his shocked expression after the result, he already knew what a poisoned chalice the next leader would be handed, as the one tasked with delivering a set of undeliverable promises, so he was probably secretly relieved not to get the top job – at least for the moment.
Against this background, I’d interpret his latest piece of grandstanding as follows:
1. He still believes that Brexit is a poisoned chalice, which will probably finish off any leader who tries to deliver it.
2. The delay, confusion and chaos of the first 6 months of the A50 process have confirmed what a political disaster awaits Theresa May when she has to either to perform a humiliating climb down, or crash the UK economy.
3. Therefore he’s happy for her to stay in post for long enough to take the blame for whatever flavour of catastrophe emerges from the Great Brexit Bake-Off.
4. He never intended his Brexit vision to actually be delivered (which is why he didn’t even bother to come up with anything that might actually happen in the real world) – it’s simply there for the record, so when Theresa May crashes and burns, he can claim that he was supporting her and trying to steer her towards a Brexit that was successful and “glorious”, but she ignored his brilliant advice and mucked everything up.
5. Once Theresa May has been thoroughly discredited, he imagines himself again at the head of a Eurosceptic army, which will take over.
6. I imagine that his calculation is still that he won’t have to actually deliver any of the Brexiteers’ madder ideas - before the referendum, he calculated (wrongly) that losing the referendum would absolve him of responsibility for delivering on his promises. Now, he probably thinks that after a chaotic Brexit he can tell everybody that, much as he’d like to give everybody a unicorn, Theresa made a hash of Brexit and that’s why you can’t have nice things and, by the way did I mention that all the bad things are somebody else’s fault?
Fortunately, I don’t think his plan will ever come together – he’s made enemies of too many colleagues, and his charm is wearing thing among voters who increasingly see him as an unreliable buffoon, rather than the eccentric clever cornflake he pretended to be.
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