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An expensive mistake

‘Cometh the hour, cometh the buffoon’. Just when you thought politics in this country could not sink lower, frightened Tories pin colours to any mast, clinging desperately now to a lifeboat of populist survival.

I was horrified when 330 million Americans chose as president, a misogynistic, unprincipled, bumbling, self-publicist, incapable of discriminating between the truth and lies and using media to distribute messages to his misguided fan base. My abiding comfort was “well at least it couldn’t happen here”

In 2015 Johnson wrote about Trump that “his stupefying ignorance makes him frankly unfit to hold the office of President of the United States.”

Seeing these two clowns side-by-side recently, kind of confirmed to me that politics in the West is becoming a macabre pastiche of statesmanship. This country, so admired internationally for so long, is already today a laughing stock around the world.

An unprincipled self-publicist with little interest beyond his own aggrandisement, this is a man who was dismissed from his first job at the Times, obtained by family and Eton connections of course, for fabricating two stories. He then made a journalistic career out of inventing Euro myths, including the shape of bananas. In November 2004 Michael Howard dismissed him again, following lies about a year-long affair and two alleged terminated pregnancies.

Look at his decision-making when he was briefly Mayor of London. His ultimate vanity project, the Garden Bridge, was unceremoniously scrapped costing ratepayers £60 million. With stupefying incompetence, he ordered water cannon from Germany, without properly checking anything, for £320 million, then spent £80 million refurbishing them, then checked to discover they were illegal in the UK. This year they were scrapped for parts, recovering just £11000!

Worst of all was his loose-mouthed comment in Parliament, when as Foreign Secretary he said that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was actually “training teachers in Iran” specifically contradicting Government and her lawyers statements that she was on holiday. This was exactly what the mullahs needed and immediately extended her prison term by five more years.

He has shown a criminal disregard for British business and publicly advocated a hard border in Northern Ireland. As for his ‘cake-and-eat-it Brexit’, I despair.

Sadly, Justin and Robert, as do the majority of MPs in Parliament, understand what a useless, chaotic, windbag he really is, but it seems things have reached such a low, that descent to populism is now the vehicle of choice for Conservative Party survival.

Johnson believes a hand comb through his tousled, flaxen locks, a stupid expression and hanging upside down on a zip wire, compensates for his legendary laziness and complete inability, even disinterest, in reading and understanding complex briefs. This may be okay in the chair of the TV panel game, but Prime Minister? Give me strength!

If and when this comes to pass, he will be exposed as the snake oil salesman he really is, but the country will have paid a grievous price, domestically and internationally.

John Stooke, Havisham Drive

A forgotten issue

In the wake of the Brexit fiasco it is noticeable that not one of the candidates has mentioned any policies for addressing the outcomes of global warming which is probably the most severe crisis the world has ever faced. This issue contrasts with the top priority of the leading contender is to make the rich even richer by reducing the tax they pay.

Michael Thomas, Churchward Avenue

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