Prime Minister Johnson – two potential glimmers of positivity

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I could ramble on for ages on the negative aspects of Prime Minister Johnson. There are, however, two glimmers of positivity:

1. The Brexiteer-in-chief will now have to (and apologies for using this rude expression but it seems the only one which properly sums it up) “own his shit”. He will now have to try to deliver on his several years of conflicting and self-defeating promises. As Robert Peston has observed:

…having achieved his lifelong dream of becoming PM, and by the most tortuous and painful route, it is a matter of honour for him that he doesn’t totally mess it up.

I still don’t think he will do what he’s promised to do, and I suspect, in the next few months, we’ll see constitutional discombobulations the like of which we have previously only dreamt of. I hold no brief for Johnson. I refuse to call him by his assumed first name and I went to consider lengths to find a picture of him looking serious (above). He is a nasty, selfish piece of work. But I am a patriot and would like to see the UK get out of this Brexit mess without self-inflicted chaos and pain.

2. Johnson said on Peston recently that his first act as Prime Minister would be to launch a “public information campaign” about “no deal” Brexit:

What we will do, is we will encourage people in a very positive way… From the get-go, we start saying, ‘Look, what do you need, what help do you need, what reassurances do you need?

Agricultural, farmers in Wales… Fishermen, everybody, just in time supply chains, here is what the Government has for you, are you ready?

And we make sure that everybody understands all the risks and eventualities, and it’s by doing that to get to the point that you made correctly just now, it’s by doing that in a really wholehearted and systematic and confident way, that you of course minimise any disruption that might take place in the unlikely eventuality of you having to come out on WTO terms.

Farmers, fishermen and just-in-time supply chain experts have been screaming at the government for the last three years about the catastrophic dangers of a “no deal” Brexit. One is bound to ask, where the heck has Johnson been? But, in any case, by headlining this “public information campaign” Johnson may do something positive. Perhaps some of the more virulent Brexiteers will finally realise that “no deal” is not a “clean Brexit”. -Anything but.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • Bill le Breton 24th Jul '19 - 10:45am

    The appointment by Johnson of Dominic Cummings is hugely significant.

    The gloves are off, but I fear we continue to fight with one arm tied behind our back.

  • Paul,
    Your falling into the “let’s look for something positive and be nice trap”. There are no positives, when he fails and he will fail the deluded amongst us will say “He failed because he was not a true Brexiteer, remember he wrote two articles and one was in favour of the EU, O yes he isn’t of the true faith, not like Nigel”. It will be much worse than you think, he is surrounding himself with the deluded and nasty and as Bill said we are trying to fight with one hand tied because we so want to be “nice”. Ditch the “nice” and embrace winning and you might have a chance.

    I’d also point out using facts doesn’t work on them, you only have to look at our resident Brexiteers, no contortion is impossible to prevent them looking into the mirror.

  • I really hope you are right “frankie” that Boris Johnson will fail because at this moment in time I feel our country has sunk to a new low with a prime minister and associates who are only interested in their own narrow and self serving policies, a really depressing prospect .

  • Bill le Breton 24th Jul '19 - 1:11pm

    Off to Lord’s – she’ll have to hurry.

  • Barry Lofty 24th Jul '19 - 1:17pm

    Blimey, I hope Boris,s innings is just as short!!

  • John Marriott 24th Jul '19 - 1:21pm

    Dominic Cummings? All we need now is Matthew Elliot and we have a full house! Both are particularly dodgy people, who have turned economy with the truth into an art form. The ‘United Kingston’, to give it its new Trumpian name, has a lot to look forward to.

  • Very impressed by our new leader in the Commons, articulate, very clear. concise to the point and a bit of humour. Made an impression because the BBC panel picked it up straightaway.
    Fancy Johnson with all his bluff, mumblings and fumblings may find it difficult to deal with her approach. It is a pity she will only have one question, no follow up.

  • Bernard Aris 24th Jul '19 - 1:38pm


    You express my sentiments exactly.

    If we LibDems start out by looking for positive aspects, and Boris welches on those (as everybody expects ), at least we’ve given him a chance.

    But having a campaign dirty trickster as your advisor and first appointee isn’t good publicity; the trickster was apparently so despreate for a Downing Street job that he failed to point that out…

    power-hungry lot, those Brexiteers.


  • As we leave Mrs Mayhems School for the Deluded ( Primary CofE), we can see the happy Brexiteers hopping and skipping towards big school. Ahead of them stand DePiffles école pour imbéciles, locally known as the School for Fools. Head teacher A B Depiffle Johnson warmly embraces his new pupils as he rummages through their pockets looking for spare change and gobstoppers. Deputy head IDS snoozes in deckchair dreaming of Empire I, while PE teacher Rabid Rabb plans to whip them into shape before press ganging them into Admiral Wee Moggs steam squadron; few will survive.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many inappropriate cabinet appointees since Thatcher, and am left feeling that we are living through some sort of right wing coup- why did Bozo not have to demonstrate he could command a majority before he went to see the Queen?

  • The term INJELITITUS is contained in Parkinson’s Law book (circa 1950s). It applies to a head of an organisation who is both incompetent and jealous of competence in others. He/she appoints subordinates in his/her own image. Ring any bells?

  • Whatever is going on in Downing Street there is still a job to be done. That is to ensure that people have access to the facts about the European Union. If this does not happen we will continue to have the sort of nonsense that we have heard for the last few years about the “tough” negotiations in Brussels.
    Meanwhile the new government have an easy task. There is an agreement already worked out with the European Union for us to leave. The problem the Good Friday agreement. The DUP have never supported the Good Friday agreement. So all that has to be done is to persuade people that there have been concessions, agree a form of words which is acceptable to the E.U. about the Irish border, and then enter into the negotiations with the E.U. on our future relationship.
    Smoke and mirrors perhaps, but that’s show business.

  • Andrew Daer 26th Jul '19 - 6:03am

    Johnson has flipped the roles. We know most ordinary Leave voters were motivated by fear that ‘Great’ Britain has been losing out in Europe, which they see as dominated by Germany (“but we won the war, didn’t we?”). They want to leave the European arena and retreat to a little England, whereas the more confident Remainers are happy to stay in Europe and play our part. But Johnson has painted Leavers as the confident ones, and Remainers as people who “are going to lose their shirts” because they don’t “back Britain”. The complete opposite of the truth.
    This is clever, and we need to be aware of the danger (especially with Cummings back on the scene). What the Leave supporters lack is confidence about the future, and Johnson’s rhetoric supplies bucket loads of that. He will galvanise the Leave vote, and forcing a second referendum is going be more difficult, and so is winning it. We need to find a way to undermine the Cummings/Johnson strategy which doesn’t let them portray us as people who don’t “back Britain”. Sounds easy, but it won’t be.

  • Bil le Breton 26th Jul '19 - 7:22am

    Andrew D you are right to warn us.

    When one of BoJo’s Facebook ads has the tag line *** We have to get ready to protect the greatest place****, we know what that sounds like, we know what that reminds us of.

  • Andrew Daer 26th Jul '19 - 8:10am

    Bil le Breton; thanks for that link – very interesting. It’s far too early in the day for a stiff brandy (08:09), but perhaps metaphorically …
    Despite the horrors it contains, I advise all to click on it !

  • Peter Hirst 26th Jul '19 - 1:28pm

    We do need more positivity and enthusiasm in politics but this must be grounded in realism and pragmatism. The new PM’s character will mean we will be fed a minimum of facts and a maximum of spin. Let’s hope his reign is limited so at least we can find some sense behind the soundbites.

  • Richard Underhill 31st Aug '19 - 9:28am

    Boris Johnson was interviewed by schoolchildren yesterday and denied that he had always wanted to be Prime Minister. He said his first ambition was to be a rock star. (Compare Tony Blair who was the lead singer in a group called The Ugly Rumours).
    Calling him Prime Minister requires a suspension of disbelief that this could have happened. Calling him Mr Johnson is vague. Alan Johnson (Labour) has joked about it.
    We should also consider the US Ambassador
    who is a member of the Johnson and Johnson dynasty.
    They intend to appeal against the fine of $572 million (£469 million) for the firms role in the opioid crisis. There is therefore a possible role for Woody Johnson in the USA.
    Woody Johnson supports Donald Trump’s policy of having the NHS in a future trade deal, which conflicts with Boris Johnson’s stated view.
    Donald Trump has expressed his dislike of the British Ambassador to Washington, who had been the subject of a leak of a communication which should have been secure. Theresa May failed to defend him adequately.
    We should remember Ambassador J. P. Kennedy (father of President Kennedy). ‘ … in November 1940, Kennedy publicly suggested that “Democracy is finished in England”

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