Day: 15 June 2019

“Without a mandate from the British people”: how Boris Johnson described Gordon Brown in 2007

“Without a mandate from the British people”: how Boris Johnson described Gordon Brown in 2007

The problem with writing a regular newspaper column when you’re a chronic wannabe prime minister is clearer than ever in this 2007 Telegraph piece that your mole has dredged up. Writing about the Labour prime minister Gordon Brown, who took over from Tony Blair without an election, Boris Johnson lays into Brown’s lack of “mandate from the British people”. He describes the “transition about as democratically proper as the transition from Claudius to Nero”, calling it a “scandal”, “fraud” and “nothing less than a palace coup”. Here’s his intro: “It’s the arrogance. It’s the contempt. That’s what gets me. It’s Gordon Brown’s apparent belief that he can just trample on the democratic will of the British people. It’
s at moments like this that I think the political world has gone mad, and I am alone in detecting the gigantic fraud.” His description of Tony Blair being elected in the last general election, 2005: “They voted for Anthony Charles Lynton Blair to serve as their leader. They were at no stage invited to vote on whether Gordon Brown should be PM… They voted for Tony, and yet they now get Gordon, and a transition about as democratically proper as the transition from Claudius to Nero. It is a scandal. Why are we all conniving in this stitch-up? This is nothing less than a palace coup… with North Korean servility, the Labour Party has handed power over to the brooding Scottish power-maniac.” Specifically on his lack of a mandate: “The extraordinary thing is that it looks as though he will now be in 10 Downing Street for three years, and without a mandate from the British people. No one elected Gordon Brown as Prime Minister…” And, the final flourish, a call for an election and a vote on the UK’s status within the EU: “Gordon Brown could appease public indignation over that, and secure the democratic mandate he needs, by asking the public to vote at once on him, on the new EU treaty, and on the implications of the devolutionary settlement. Let’s have an election without delay.” Johnson looks to be the most likely winner of the Tory leadership election, which begins in earnest today. But he insists as prime minister he would be able to deliver Brexit without first calling a general election – in fact, he’s said Brexit needs to be done first, before a general election. And he’s ruled out a second referendum. It’s the arrogance. It’s the contempt. That’s what gets your mole. It’s Johnson’s apparent belief that he can just trample on the democratic will of the British people… (Read the whole column here). This piece is taken from the Johnson audit series

Jonathan Coe reviews ‘The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson’ edited by Harry Mount · LRB 18 July 2013

Jonathan Coe reviews ‘The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson’ edited by Harry Mount · LRB 18 July 2013

In 1956, James Sutherland, a professor of 18th-century literature, delivered the Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge on the subject of ‘English satire’. ‘In recent years,’ he announced, ‘there have been signs of an increased interest in satirical writing,’ but even he couldn’t have seen what was about to start unfolding in a year or two, on his very doorstep. Beyond the Fringe is routinely credited with starting the ‘satire boom’, but that accolade should really go to The Last Laugh, the 1959 Cambridge Footlights revue, directed and largely devised by John Bird. CND was just beginning to gather momentum and the show opened with a huge nuclear explosion, following which, in the words of the producer William Donaldson, the audience was treated to a whole evening’s worth of ‘terrible gloomy stuff – the punchline of every sketch was people dying.’ Nonetheless, it was undoubtedly a strong influence on Peter Cook (one of the original cast members) and the other three-quarters of the Beyond the Fringe team (Alan Bennett, Jonathan Miller and Dudley Moore), who would go on to present their own take on the nuclear threat, in a sketch called ‘Civil Wa

A comprehensive history of everything awful Boris Johnson has said | gal-dem

A comprehensive history of everything awful Boris Johnson has said | gal-dem

So many gaffes! Maybe so many that we need to stop calling them “gaffes”! Blunderous BoJo, what ever shall we do with him? We all make slip ups sometimes. But the former foreign secretary, who has now confirmed he’s going for PM, has had his fair share of headlines surrounding Alleged Accusations Of “Racially Charged” Race-Related Comments Reportedly Said By Some To Be Motivated By Race. Or as we like to call it: racism.

He’s also ventured into misogyny and classism in his time – and over the weekend became part of a conversation around the rise of the far-right, led by David Lammy. In the name of the public record, we took a deep dive and pulled together a comprehensive history of times Boris has really, really fucked up. Chronologically. Buckle up!