Q: How can you tell when he’s lying? A: His lips move
Boris Johnson has today made a speech, widely trailed as “reaching out” to pro-EU people, in an attempt to convince us that Brexit won’t be the carnival of reaction that it so far shows every sign of being. By all accounts, it was up to his usual standards of intellectual rigour and honesty.
Johnson is about the last person on earth to convince anyone with any sense, of anything: a proven liar, conman, racist, sexual predator and self-seeking opportunist, as a wonderful Times column of March 26 2016 by Matthew Parris described in vivid detail. Parris, a former Tory MP and aide to Margaret Thatcher, denounced Johnson in terms rarely used in public discourse, that deserve to be remembered for as long as the scum-bag Johnson continues to pollute public life.
Copyright laws and Murdoch’s paywall make it impossible for me to reproduce the column, or even link to it, but the gist, and some key quotes, are below. Remember, this was written before “£350 million per week for the NHS” and Obama being “part-Kenyan with an ancestral dislike” of the “British empire”:
“Somebody has to call a halt to the gathering pretence that if only you’re sufficiently comical in politics you can laugh everything off,” wrote Parris.
“Incompetence is not funny. Policy vacuum is not funny. A careless disregard for the truth is not funny. Advising old mates planning to beat someone up is not funny. Abortions and gagging orders are not funny. Creeping ambition in a jester’s cap is not funny. Vacuity posing as merriment, cynicism posing as savviness, a wink and a smile covering for betrayal … these things are not funny.”
Parris went on to describe Johnson’s sexual adventures and broken promises, as well as his dismissal from the Times for making up quotes and “facts” about the EU.
He described the then-mayor of London as a “lacklustre” politician, and noted that Johnson had been unable to defend his dishonest claims about the European Union in front of the Treasury select committee.
Referring to that wretched performance, Parris wrote: “Watch a portrait in miniature of Johnson the politician: underprepared, jolly, sly, dishonest and unapologetic but (and this is the worrying part) horrifyingly vulnerable.”
Parris added: “But there’s a pattern to Boris’s life, and it isn’t the lust for office, or for applause, or for susceptible women, that mark out this pattern in red warning ink. It’s the casual dishonesty, the cruelty, the betrayal; and, beneath the betrayal, the emptiness of real ambition: the ambition to do anything useful with office once it is attained.”
The writer Will Black quipped (in a reference to Johnson’s equivocation over providing information that would help his friend the criminal Darius Guppy arrange to have a journalist beaten up): “Hi @MayorofLondon do you think Matthew Parris should be beaten up for this?”
Yes, Boris Johnson is ideally suited to persuade reasonable, liberally-minded people come to terms with Brexit.