lying turd special edition

For nine extraordinary minutes, Boris Johnson stood next to his bus and lied and lied and lied without stopping
Tom Peck, Independent, Nov 15 2019

The genius of the Vote Leave campaign in 2016 was to have one simple bus with one simple lie written down the side of it. So it’s fair to say Boris Johnson’s reinvention of the strategy is not without its risks. The problem he faces, as was made clear at the official Tory campaign bus launch, is that there are just too many lies now to fit down the side of one measly forty-by-fifteen-foot Mercedes-Benz Tourismo. So the new bus strategy, as unveiled at a televised but otherwise secret event in Manchester from which print journalists were banned, was for Boris Johnson to stand where the lies traditionally go. And there, in the full glare of the TV cameras, he would enter into an almost Joycean fugue state, unleashing what can only really be described as an exorcism of lies, a projectile pea soup, glancing occasionally at the four crumpled A4 sheets of paper in his hand, as if reading from a special edition of Finnegans Wake that contained only bullshit. It was a shame really. It would have been nice to see all the lies somehow squeezed on to the side of the bus in size-two font, like an iTunes terms and conditions update of the blatantly false. There they might have stood, like the names on the walls of a WW1 cemetery, a terrible testament to the senseless loss of truth. A roll of dishonour. All the now standard lies were there. The Greatest Bullshis Compilation. There were naturally “the tens of billions of pounds of investment waiting to flood into the UK.” Not merely a total lie, that one, but augmented by the blatantly obvious truth that the billions of pounds of investment that have already been lost to Brexit and are absolutely not coming back are entirely Boris Johnson’s fault. The truth is no less self-evident than it has always been. Which is that Johnson has infected his country with a deadly venereal disease and is now marketing himself as the cure. He announced:

Parliament is an anaconda that’s swallowed a tapir. It’s completely blocked.

His favourite line, that one. Indeed it’s one I happen to have used before. On many occasions I have likened the House of Commons to one of those terrible youtube videos of a Burmese python that tries to swallow an alligator whole and then explodes. The problem is that Brexit is the tapir. Brexit is the alligator. We should never have swallowed it. British politics is blocked with Boris Johnson’s lies, which are just too big to swallow. And so, along comes Boris Johnson, telling us all to just swallow down a bit harder and we’ll get there, except that the only possible outcome at this stage is agonising death. There he stood, in front of his giant diesel-powered coach which he is about to drive around the country for four weeks in an election that he says he doesn’t want (another lie), and he said:

This government is determined to reduce our emissions, to tackle climate change, to make the cars and the vehicles that will allow a green revolution to take place.

We would learn for the hundredth time about “the oven-ready deal, the deal that’s ready to go.” This is the deal that liberates us only to start negotiating a free-trade deal which he says he can negotiate in six months, which is either true or a blatant lie. And if you’re trying to decide which, then do consider that a former Tory cabinet minister, David Gauke, is standing as an Independent candidate in his constituency for no greater reason than to make abundantly clear that Boris Johnson is lying. We would learn, naturally, about Jeremy Corbyn’s “scary, disastrous programme that would wreck the economy.” Which well it might, though we are at least permitted to debate the meaning of the term “wreck the economy” at the end of nine long Tory years that have more than doubled the national debt, devalued the currency by 15%, and had the country’s credit rating downgraded not once but twice. Corbyn’s scary, disastrous programme, of course, might well involve having a second referendum on EU membership: the one single event that every time the possibility of it occurring arises, so goes up the value of the currency. There was Corbyn’s “£1.2t spending plan,” a blatant lie made up by the Tory party and corroborated by absolutely nobody else. There was Corbyn on stop and search, on disbanding the armed services, all lies, all of it, every word. There was the now standardised bit about how “Corbyn wouldn’t even stick up for this country when it came to the Salisbury poisonings.” This one, as it happens, is true, but is a touch undermined by the fact that when the government had an emergency meeting on that subject, specifically the nuclear assassination of a British citizen by the Russian government, the foreign secretary at the time did not attend. Why? Because he, Boris Johnson, was busy in his office with a photographer he had hired for a private photoshoot of himself signing his resignation letter over Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, an agreement which he would of course later vote for, at the brief point at which it became in his own personal interest to do so. So yes, alas, not all of those lies can possibly fit on just the one bus. It’s been boiled down to: “Get Brexit Done. Unleash Britain’s potential.” A short, sweet and admirably succinct lie, that one. Britain’s potential will be very much on the leash for as long as it is continues to be taken in by the biggest and boldest liar it has ever known.

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