Ukraine: Johnson is not Churchill, he is Basil Fawlty

Those that had the strength of will to listen to Boris Johnson’s speech to the Conservative Party spring conference yesterday were left gasping and outraged. One of the least statesmanlike prime ministers in British history had the gall to compare the decisions facing the people of Ukraine with those people in Britain made over Brexit:

“I know that it’s the instinct of the people of this country, like the people of Ukraine, to choose freedom, every time. I can give you a couple of famous recent examples. When the British people voted for Brexit in such large, large numbers, I don’t believe it was because they were remotely hostile to foreigners. It’s because they wanted to be free to do things differently and for this country to be able to run itself.”

Lib Dem MPs and many others were quick to attack Johnson for his crassness and insensitivity.


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  • Barry Lofty 20th Mar '22 - 8:43am

    Everyone of the statements above sum up what I feel and have felt for quite some time about Boris Johnson, more proof if we needed it, of how completely unsuitable he is for the high office he holds, but I would not have expected anything different!

  • The only saving grace in Johnson’s speech was the fact that he didn’t suggest that those fleeing Putin’s bombs would be offered ‘Peppa Pig World’ vouchers instead of visas..

  • Tristan Ward 20th Mar '22 - 9:17am

    Remind Johnson that Ukraine’a resistance is not being led by a conservative party paid for in part by Russians rejoicing in the departure of the UK from the UK, but by a brave sister party of the Liberal Democrats that wants to join the EU.

  • nigel hunter 20th Mar '22 - 3:31pm

    Yes,he is very upset that he no longer gets money from his Russian friends.Equally he was addressing his alt right party supporters in the audience. It was a speech to the converted.

  • Once again, the Prime Minister gets his facts wrong! He talks about the “large, large numbers” who voted to leave the European Union. Just over 17 million voted to leave; assuming an adult voter population of 51 million, that means that 34 million did not vote to leave! I was always taught at school that 34 was larger than 17; perhaps the Prime Minister was taught differently.

  • Mick Taylor 21st Mar '22 - 3:46pm

    Ed is quite right in his criticism of Johnson. One could perhaps be forgiven for feeling sorry for Basil Fawlty, he was at least funny unlike the Prime Minister.
    I would welcome Ed or any of our other MPs or peers calling for a boycott of companies like Nestlé and Unilever who are continuing to do business in Russia until they stop doing so. I don’t in any event use Nestlé products due to their promotion of bottle over breast. I discover that there are only two Unilever products that my household uses (Marmite and Hellman’s mayonaisse) and we won’t be buying them again.

  • Agree with Mick Taylor when he says, “I would welcome Ed or any of our other MPs or peers calling for a boycott of companies like Nestlé and Unilever who are continuing to do business in Russia until they stop doing so”.

    Sad… when you consider the contribution the Rowntree family (pre Nestle takeover) made to policy on poverty, welfare and to the Liberal Party. Similarly with Unilever going back to founder William Lever as a Liberal MP pressing the Liberal Government to introduce Old Age Pensions.

    As for Basil Fawlty, always felt a bit sorry for the poor old loser (which I don’t for Johnson). I do recall John Cleese as an active Liberal and one of Ming Campbell’s predecessors as an excellent Rector of St Andrews.

    Winston Churchill and his eccentricities ? Always had a natural liberal caution about the claims for so called ‘Great Men’ – as did the good folk of Dundee who well & truly saw him off back in 1922 for very good reasons. Eugenics, Gallipoli and sending in the troops to industrial disputes. Then came a return to the Tories, the Gold Standard, wage cuts, unemployment,racial hostility to Indian self-government and support for the absurd Duke of Windsor.

    Dick Turpin, Winston Churchill, Basil Fawlty ? Maybe Sir Edward needs a bit of historical help with his speeches ?

  • The Guardian has reported this afternoon (15.45) confirmation of yet another ‘sandpapering of the truth’ by Johnson and its impact on the integrity of the public service :

    “A second whistleblower has gone public to say it was “widespread knowledge” in government that Boris Johnson ordered the prioritisation of an animal charity based in Afghanistan for evacuation during the Taliban takeover last summer.

    Josie Stewart, who worked in the Foreign Office for seven years, including a stint in the Kabul embassy, suggested senior civil servants in the department had lied to cover up the embarrassing episode.

    She told parliament’s foreign affairs select affairs committee that the direction from the prime minister was evidenced in multiple messages on Teams, on emails, and in conversations around the crisis centre, which was set up to try to help the tens of thousands of desperate Afghans trying to flee”.

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