Johnson compared to Chamberlain in protest video on White Cliffs of Dover

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Boris Johnson’s response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis has been compared to Neville Chamberlain’s “peace for our time” moment, in a giant projection beamed on to the White Cliffs of Dover.

The Kent landmark was lit up with a mock-up of the prime minister holding a scrap of paper saying “Highest death toll in Europe”.

The stunt was the brainchild of Led By Donkeys, a group of activists famed for their giant billboards of politicians’ tweets.

The group said the black and white creation is a comment on the government’s “profound failure” and compares Johnson’s conduct to Chamberlain’s appeasement policy in the lead-up to the Second World War.

Coronavirus – Thu May 7, 2020
The video was beamed onto the cliffs (Led by Donkeys/PA)

The huge video includes clips of Johnson speaking early in the coronavirus outbreak, including: “Basically we’re saying wash your hands and business as usual.”

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It was projected on to the famous coastline overnight on 6/7 May, ahead of events marking VE Day on 8 May.

Speaking to the PA news agency, a spokesman for Led By Donkeys said: “We held back from doing it for a long time, I suppose in a sense we were giving Johnson the benefit of the doubt.

“But as we started working on a timeline of government action on the coronavirus it became clear that this was an absolutely profound failure.”

The video, posted on Twitter on 7 May, points viewers to appeasement.org, where the group has put together a timeline of the coronavirus crisis.

The timeline allows people to make up their own minds about the government’s performance at a time when a lot of information is circulating, the group said.

Coronavirus – Thu May 7, 2020
The group has described the government’s response as a ‘profound failure’ (Led by Donkeys/PA)

The spokesman continued: “Obviously we accept that not everyone is going to agree with us, of course they won’t, but nevertheless over time I think people will come to accept that Johnson’s government failed really quite profoundly at the moment of maximum danger.

“Johnson has for his entire career both explicitly and less explicitly compared himself to Churchill, and when the moment came, the defining moment of his career, he failed and he acted in a way that was more resonant of Chamberlain than Churchill.”

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  • Show Comments
    1. Re. Churchill. I agree with AJP Taylor’s assessment of him – that in his entire career, which was an extremely long one, he had a decent time when Britain stood alone against the Nazis in the Second World War. And that was 13 months – between his becoming PM in May 1940 and the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Johnson, as yet, hasn’t had a good 13 minutes.

    2. Absolutely spot on! It higlights the gfact that the whole point of the Tories policy of “Appeasing” Hitler was to persuade him to attack the USSR and leave their meal tickets in the West alone; the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact gave them all a serious case of Nicotine-stained shirt-tails! Right up to Pearl Harbour they still harboured fantasies of joining forces with Hitler and attacking the Workers’ State; the only western leader who prosecuted the War with honest intentions was Roosevelt; he supported Mao rather than Chiang Kai-Shek, and insisted on independance for Britain’s asian colonies (which raises a question over why his party persuaded him to sack his wartime VP Henry Wallace, and his untimely death and replacement by the crypto-fascist Truman, who initiated the post-war McCarthyite Witch-hunt).

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