Boris Johnson’s latest fail about what ‘Britain can do’ is an absolute corker

Boris Johnson
Tracy Keeling

Boris Johnson delivered a speech at the Conservative Party conference on 2 October. In it, he criticised people for having a ‘can’t do’ attitude about Britain (he meant Brexit). To back up his point, he talked up all the things Britain has done now which people previously said it couldn’t do.

Unfortunately, one of the rogues with a ‘can’t do’ attitude that he called out was, wait for it, himself.


As the Spectator reported, in his speech the PM said:

I do not for one moment doubt the patriotism of people on all sides of this Brexit argument but I am fed up with being told that our country can’t do something

when I believe passionately that it can

… but remember it was only a few years ago when people were saying that solar power would never work in cloudy old Britain

and that wind turbines would not pull the skin off a rice pudding

well there are some days when wind and solar are delivering more than half our energy needs

we can do it

we can beat the sceptics

But one of the “sceptics” the PM quoted here was himself. As the Telegraph reported in 2013, on his LBC radio show that year, then mayor of London Johnson said of wind farms:

Labour put in a load of wind farms that failed to pull the skin off a rice pudding.

We now have the opportunity to get shale gas – let’s look at it. It is part of the 2020 vision we have for this city – power generation is vital.

No-win situation

Now with Johnson usually being quite the joker in past Tory conference appearances, people have wondered whether the self-deprecation was deliberate:

Regardless, the Times‘s Red Box editor pointed out what Johnson has actually achieved here either way:

He’s also managed to remind people that he rooted for fracking rather than a clean energy source like wind: a dirty energy source that’s turned out to be the wrong solution to our energy and planetary needs. In the last few days, for example, fracking company Cuadrilla has confirmed it’s “demobilising” its equipment at the controversial and unpopular Preston New Road site. It had previously suspended operations which were apparently responsible for increasingly strong earthquakes.

So in short, the PM talks “bollocks” and backs the wrong horse. That’s what we learnt from his latest gaffe, intentional or not.

Featured image via The Telegraph/YouTube

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