Only a few days to go before the general election and Boris Johnson has yet to take the opportunity to say anything truthful. He has also refused to be interviewed by Andrew Neil, presumably because he knows he would come out of it badly, though he might choose, as he did in the Leaders’ Debate, to make jokes when asked about the importance of truth. For most of us being caught telling lies in our professional lives would spell the end of our careers. Not so Johnson, his is a career built on lies. Lies are the key to his success. We all know he lies, he knows we know he lies, so if elected and it turns out – surprise! – he has again lied about the NHS, getting Brexit ‘done’, about the glorious and golden opportunities that will unfold once we have left the supportive embrace of the EU, well we knew in advance he wasn’t telling the truth, so how can we feel betrayed?
So I don’t hold out a tremendous amount of hope for the U.K., where some of my fellow citizens seem to have a very tenuous grasp on the realities of democracy. One fairly famous person used his position to say all politicians are liars, and on those grounds he’ll vote for Johnson as he is the biggest liar of them all. I agree with the last part of that statement, but it is dangerous to dismiss all politicians as lying chancers. There are, thank heaven, many who are working hard to keep our democracy from disaster and to tar them with the same brush as Johnson is libellous and does nothing to help.
Neither of the two main parties has exactly covered itself in glory during the campaign. Much has been made of Labour’s problems with antisemitism. The Conservatives prefer to spread their prejudices wider, and have problems with islamophobia, misogyny, racism, immigrants, foreign workers, hatred of the poor, and, as recently revealed, antisemitism. Snaps.
All of which adds up to an unholy mess. But if you don’t laugh you cry, and somewhere you have to find a ray of hope to keep going. So I am grateful to Frankie Boyle for writing this.
Enjoy your Sunday.