Boris Johnson’s truth-twisting shows how divorced from reality he is

Boris Johnson portfolio
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Boris Johnson got a hammering before the Privileges Committee on 22 March. As usual, he did his level best to squirm, twist, and blame everyone else. He may yet be damned for attending Whitehall parties at at the height of the pandemic. Only time will tell, even if large sections of the public seem to have made their minds up.

But Johnson was not alone in his failures. Some are saying a compliant media helped him along the way. It’s hardly surprising that there doesn’t seem to be much public support for Johnson. After all, the care homes scandal, PPE cronyism, and the general mismanagement of the pandemic aren’t far from anyone’s mind.

Bewildering Boris Johnson

Author Paul Illett said he was bewildered at claims Johnson had been stitched up given so much of the media was itself right-wing:

Read on...

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Some pointed to the Daily Mail‘s bizarre front page, which suggested that Johnson had run rings around Labour’s Harriet Harman during his grilling:

A bit too cosy

There have long been suggestions that the Tories and political journalists tend to be a bit too cosy with each other. One angry commenter clearly felt there were no levels to which client-journalists would not stoop to defend Johnson:

Others felt, perfectly correctly, that using first names with politicians was bad practice for any serious journalist:

But there’s a bigger picture here. For years Johnson’s buffoonish public persona lulled journalists and producers into a false sense of security. For example, his long list of appearances on comedy shows like Have I Got News For You made him appear a bumbling but harmless fool. Likewise, his entire brand was built with the complicity of reporters and editors who failed to look closely at the man himself:

Client press

Boris Johnson is many things: charlatan, liar, bully, toff chancer. But he didn’t appear in a vacuum. For decades his worst features were laughed off because ruling class hacks found him entertaining. He isn’t, and he never was. He is a man who should never have been allowed near power.

Beyond that, he is a product of the same posh-boy production line that runs through public school and Oxbridge into positions of great power – be they in politics, industry or, for that matter, the press itself.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/UK Government, cropped to 770 x 403, licenced under Open Government Licence.

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