Boris’s legacy – Peter Oborne

Image above: Peter Oborne

“Boris Johnson is the most venal, the biggest liar, the most amoral and the most incompetent prime minister in all British history”

Chiswick is home to a couple of journalists on the national stage who cottoned on to Boris Johnson’s penchant for telling lies early on and have doggedly kept pointing them out over the past three years.

James O’Brien is one, coming to prominence during the Brexit referendum, pointing out contradictions and inconsistencies on a daily basis on his LBC show. He’s now gone off on his summer holidays, with one last blast of invective before he went, declaring: “The absolute dregs of a long-drained barrel of idiots have just formed a government.”

Peter Oborne is another. Himself a traditional Conservative, having written for decades for publications such as the Daily Telegraph, the Spectator and the Daily Mail, when he tried to write about Boris’s lies in 2019 he found himself shunned by the mainstream media, so instead he wrote a book, The Assault on Truth and set up a website:

“Boris Johnson is the most venal, the biggest liar, the most amoral and the most incompetent prime minister in all British history” he says.

Image above: Daily Mail, 7 July; photograph Andrew Parsons / No. 10 Downing St

“We are already seeing a rigorous attempt to create the myth of the lost leader”

There is going to be a battle fought over Boris’s posthumous reputation, he says:

“We are already seeing a rigorous attempt to create the myth of the lost leader – this magnificent, lonely, courageous politician who led Britain out the European Union – and this is a man who was brought down, to quote the Daily Mail, by ‘pygmies’.”

Peter has made a video with Double Down News setting out his view of what has happened in the Conservative party and what he thinks will happen next. Despite his character, Boris Johnson was able to rise “because of powerful anti-democratic forces” he says, forces which will ensure the continuation of their influence.

What will happen next?

“The Tory party no longer exists as it used to do,” says Peter, “until quite recent times as a manifestation of much wider civil society. It is now owned by oligarchs and by a handful of non dom press barons who successfully mobilised international capital in order to run the publicity machine which took Johnson into power.

“What we’re going to see now that Johnson has gone is the newspapers and the donors looking for somebody else who will serve their ends. They will seek to choose the next leader of the Conservative party just as they chose Johnson almost exactly three years ago.

“It’s too early to say who that person will be because they’ve got to show that they have the policies which will please the billionaires.

“Whoever wins will come in on tax cuts. They will continue the policy of confrontation with the European Union. They will continue the war against human rights. They will continue the weaponization of asylum seekers and they will continue the general attack on the rights and freedoms of the British people, particularly in the workplace.”

Peter Oborne divides his time between Wiltshire and Chiswick. He writes a political column for Middle East Eye and a diary column for the Byline Times. He also presents a regular cricket podcast with Richard Heller, Oborne & Heller on Cricket, on The Chiswick Calendar. 

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