It’s bad enough lying to your enemies and the uninformed or indifferent, but lying to your friends and supporters is a whole new level of degeneracy.
Reading Johnson’s latest email to the party faithful illustrates once again the man’s facility for falsehood.
“Two years ago today, when I became Prime Minister, we got straight to work to end three years of indecision and gridlock. And we did just that by defeating Jeremy Corbyn and getting Brexit done, as promised.“
We’ll pass over the election victory worded as if it were referring to St George’s triumph over the dragon and move on to the absolute shambles that is Brexit. Without even the slightest hint of irony, Johnson cites ‘getting Brexit done’ as a promise fulfilled, despite the fact that he and his sidekick, Lord Frost, are now doing everything they can to backtrack on the deal.
“And when our country was faced with one of its greatest ever challenges, the coronavirus pandemic, we made it our mission to save lives, protect the NHS, and support the jobs and livelihoods of the British people.”
Hmm. Where to start on this one? Should be rewritten to say that the mission was to put lives at risk, weaken the NHS yet further to facilitate privatisation and funnel money into the pockets of party mates. Mission accomplished.
We continue with our historic and ground breaking vaccine rollout. We mobilised over £400 billion to support people and businesses. And we are levelling up opportunity with support like our Plan for Jobs, to Build Back Better across the country.
Of course! Take credit for the vaccine rollout (carried out by the NHS) and forget to mention the “unimaginable” £37 billion blown on a useless test, track and trace system run by private companies with links to the party. £400 billion of support? That’s another kick in the teeth for 3 million plus individuals and businesses excluded from all government’s Covid-19 financial support. As for the slogans…well, they are just slogans.
Delivering on our election commitments: putting us on track to recruit 20,000 more police officers and deliver 50,000 more nurses, confirming funds to start building 40 new hospitals and boosting the schools budget by £14.4 billion.
“Putting us on track”…words, words, words from the party which decimated police numbers in the first place and guaranteed staff shortages in the NHS as a consequence of Brexit and ending the nurses’ bursary. Neither the Police nor the NHS are at all happy with the government, with the Police Federation recently stating that they have lost confidence in Priti Patel and NHS workers feeling dispirited and insulted by a 3 per cent pay offer, grudgingly increased from a miserly 1 per cent.
Boosting the schools budget by £14.4 billion? Deliberate deception which Johnson and his party have tried before and been pulled up on this in October when, commenting on the DfE’s use of the £14 billion figure, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) said it was “vital that data and information on school funding published by the DfE are presented clearly and not open to misinterpretation”.
Here is FullFact’s summary of their analysis:
£14.4 billion is the cumulative amount schools in England will receive over three years. By the third year (2022/23), school funding will be £7.1 billion higher than it was in 2019/20, or £4.3 billion once inflation is accounted for.
Johnson continues with the hyperbole and misdirection:
Seizing the opportunities of Brexit: ending free movement, striking almost £900 billion worth of trade deals, establishing 8 new freeports and setting out bold reforms to slash unnecessary red tape.
Oh my! So many opportunities that the government has been forced to try to recruit some poor sap to attempt to identify what, if any, those opportunities are.
Whose freedom of movement really ended? Yours and mine! No more seamfree holidays! No more retiring to the sun, unless you have deep pockets. No more freedom to live, work, travel, love in 27 other countries. Even your pet can’t be taken to Europe on a whim.
Trade deals? Rollovers of existing deals, actually or deals so miniscue as to be the equivalent of a deal with a small UK market town. Whoopie-doo. A deal with Australia that undercuts our farmers and threatens food and animal welfare standards. A deal with Japan on cheese which they don’t eat in any quantity. Boasting about selling apples to India when…guess what…we always could and the Belgians already do on a massive scale.
Meanwhile Brexit has hammered our exporters, with many having to shut up shop or move to the continent. Who gets the jobs then, eh? Not UK workers with their freedom of movement gone! Who gets those taxes? EU countries! Brexit was a win for them and a loss for us.
Freeports? We could always have freeports. We used to have freeports. The Conservatives closed them. And these 8 new freeports are all established, are they? Not if the devolved governments have their way, for a start. And who wants them, anyway? They suck money out of the local economy.
Red tape? Brexit CREATED red tape! We’ve gone from dealing with one market to many and that has meant more red tape than you can shake a stick at. The only way Johnson can get around this (without rejoining the EU, which would be the best way, obviously) is to make a bonfire of regulation, rights and protections and go rogue. Bonfire of the economy will ensue. Trust in us as honourable trading partners has already gone. Buccaneers? Just another word for pirates.
We are still in grace periods for many things, protecting us from Brexit’s full impact. When those end, watch that red tape go beserk!
But he’s not done with the con…
Levelling up all regions of the UK: delivering the biggest cash boost for the NHS in its history, giving the police the powers needed to keep all streets safe, launching a £4.8 billion levelling up fund and investing £640 billion in infrastructure across the country.
Johnson has crowed before about the sum for the NHS being the biggest ever. Unadjusted for inflation it is indeed the highest figure. But adjusted? No. There were larger real spending increases in 2004/5 and 2009/10 under Labour governments. Again, he’s been pulled up on this more than once but admonitions and calls for correction are, as usual, ignored.
The draconian new police powers meet the Patel agenda, not that of the police and certainly not the people. The Police have not asked to be given the power to stop peaceful demonstration because they might be noisy. It begins to look rather as if democracy is coming to an end when the right to demonstrate dissent is curtailed.
As for levelling up? Directing funds to Tory seats, Tory marginals or so-called red wall seats is more akin to pork barrel politics than action to address inequalities…inequalities which have got ever more marked under this regime.
4.3 million or 1 in 3 children in the UK now live in poverty. How about that for an achievement on your watch, Johnson. Do you want to boast about that?