Boris’s Brexit arguments – an unholy mix of bald assertion and Wikipedia

The foreign secretary’s latest speech provided more colourful nonsense from his half-baked imagination

Anything – hair, cycling – can be sullied by association with Boris Johnson. You used to like cycling, but now that he does it, you have to get a bus. Sometimes, he’s not doing it on purpose; other times, poisoning the well is clearly part of his plan. Arguably, we have had enough of his own words, since his asinine yet menacing Valentine’s Day speech, but here he is on his time as the Telegraph’s Brussels correspondent in the 90s: “I was sort of chucking these rocks over the garden wall and I listened to this amazing crash from the greenhouse next door over in England as everything I wrote from Brussels was having this amazing, explosive effect on the Tory party, and it really gave me this, I suppose, rather weird sense of power.” Yeah. Super weird. Reframe an entire debate so that it centres on nonsense rather than fact and feel the thrill. Still, it didn’t seem important because it was only a matter of time before he changed his mind. More of his own words, in 2013: “Most of our problems are not caused by ‘Bwussels’, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills.” Too late, unfortunately – he had spread enough muck on the EU that even turning his hose on his compatriots wasn’t enough to detoxify it.

Today, he brought a message of love to remainers: it’s not enough to tell us we lost and should get over it. We should really feel heard, and then have it firmly explained how much better off we will be after, how much more money there will be for the NHS, how much more global we will be once we are out on our own, how much more innovative we can be once we don’t have any regulations, and how the EU doesn’t matter that much, considering how many of us live in Australia. In the midst of all that, we should be told how ineradicable the betrayal will be if we continue to argue against a programme that millions voted for, despite having no clue what it was.

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