Tag Archives: #CPC21

Boris Johnson’s conference speech: the lies, the bluster and the ridicule

This man knew, for one: Andrew Marr called out Boris Johnson on his false claims on the morning the Conservative conference began. In response, it seems Johnson doubled down, determined to dupe us with even more falsehoods than ever.

Did you watch Boris Johnson’s speech to the Tory conference last week? I didn’t.

I knew I would be able to get the gist from other sources later. And the satirical alternatives are so much more fun. For example:

For a more factual analysis, we may turn to the ever-reliable Peter Stefanovic:

With the benefit of fact checking, it’s now possible to go into Johnson’s false claims in more depth – if you have the stomach for it!

Let’s start with his misleading claim that the rollout of a vaccine for Covid-19 was only possible due to the greedy capitalist system, and to Brexit:

So his claims about the vaccines were lies. Happy? We’ll move on.

Let’s look at that analysis, starting with “We now have the fastest growth in the G7“.

The G7 is a group of big economies. If you compare GDP between April and June 2021 with the last three months of 2019, before the pandemic hit, the UK had the joint-fifth best growth in the G7, equal with Germany, and with only Italy doing worse.

So: not true.

How about “48 new hospitals, 50,000 more nurses“?

So far, construction has begun at six sites. One is a new cancer centre on an existing hospital site in Bath. The other five were hospital builds planned under pre-existing schemes (over the last decade) and include building work that stopped after the collapse of the construction firm Carillion.

Another lie, then.

The Conservatives promised 50,000 more nurses for England by March 2025. The latest figures show there were 310,251 full-time equivalent NHS nurses and health visitors in June 2021. While that is up 14,158 since December 2019, it still leaves 35,842 full-time equivalent posts to fill over the next three-and-a-half years.

Not going to make it, are they?

Let’s move on to “We have done 68 free trade deals, and that great free trade deal with our friends in the EU“.

Nearly all of these deals – 63 of them in fact – are “rollover” deals. That means they copied the terms of deals the UK already had when it was an EU member, rather than creating any new benefits.

So the actual number of new trade deals is five. And all of those apart from the one with Australia are only slightly changed from the EU deals they replaced.

By far the most important agreement – the one with the EU itself – creates additional barriers to trade which were not there when the UK was part of the EU single market, particularly for services. And the big Brexit hope of an early free trade deal with the United States has not been fulfilled.

Nor is it likely to be, while one of the additional barriers – connected with Northern Ireland – continues to threaten peace in the province. Johnson is doing nothing about that.

There was a ‘wild card’ attack on the Labour Party: “What’s Labour’s answer [to drug dealing] by the way? To decriminalise hard drugs apparently – to let the dealers off with a caution.

Was it true? No.

The suggestion that Labour has a policy to decriminalise hard drugs is not true. The party has confirmed that it does not support this.

Finally, the big lie that Johnson keeps harping on about: “Wages are going up faster than before the pandemic began.”

They aren’t:

Since average salaries dipped in the first few months of the pandemic, comparing this July with last July looks like a record rise – but more because of lows back then than highs right now.

And rising inflation, meaning the cost of pretty much everything is increasing at a rate that outstrips Johnson’s claims about wage rises, mean that his talk is even more nonsense jabbering than usual; every day we are becoming less able to pay for the services we need.

The claims about wages struck a nerve in the general public, many of whom remember the contempt with which Johnson responded to NHS workers’ requests for a pay rise, after expressing such fake-heartfelt gratitude to them for their work fighting Covid-19:

But it didn’t stop there. Here’s a good question for every employee in the UK:

And now let’s have some facts. First this:

And now this:

One final note on the speech: He said he would “unleash the spirit of Britain” – a claim that was too rich for our wits to let lie:

And yes – he deserved both of those barbs.

The speech encouraged one commenter, Richard Haviland, to describe a series of “defining principles” of Johnson’s governing technique. Here they are:

Okay, I added a couple of comments on his list because I consider them insightful.

Speech? Johnson’s oration was a pack of lies from beginning to end!

The good news is we may soon see movements to curb Johnson’s insistence on lying to Parliament – and an end to the lies spoken by his ministers there as well – in spite of the reluctance of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle to rock the boat:

At the very least, such a debate will throw a spotlight on many of the hundreds of lies (according to respected right-wing journalist Peter Oborne) spoken by Johnson to Parliament since he became prime minister in mid-2019 – in line with Hoyle’s demand that such claims be part of a dedicated debate.

He may then face pressure to enforce existing conventions on Parliamentary liars – or to devise new penalties. And then we’ll get to watch Johnson falling foul of them every Wednesday lunchtime.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Man arrested for holding ‘Priti fascist’ sign at #CPC21 – but wasn’t it fair comment?


This story can be summed up in just two tweets:

So the demonstrator who was arrested was right, wasn’t he?

Priti Patel is a fascist.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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‘Stop talking,’ Johnson is told. Are the media finally saying his time is up?

Boris Johnson: it seems we all think it’s time for him to go.

It’s looking that way, isn’t it?

After a slew of car-crash media interviews since the start of the Tory conference, here’s one that I missed – but that illustrates Richard Murphy’s point very well:

In a Today programme interview, Nick Robinson – himself a staunch Conservative – told Boris Johnson to “stop talking”:

The Prime Minister was interrupted by Today programme presenter Nick Robinson as he answered questions about the acute shortage of lorry drivers driving the fuel crisis

The discussion turned tense when Mr Johnson gave a rambling answer about HGV drivers.

BBC Presenter Nick Robinson tried to interrupt the PM when he was arguing that the shortage of lorry drivers was due to failure to encourage workers to sign up for the job.

Mr Robinson: “You have made that point very clearly and I’m going to…

“Prime Minister – stop talking. We are going to have questions and answers, not where you merely talk, if you wouldn’t mind.”

At the end of the interview, Johnson sulked:

“It’s very kind of you to let me talk, I thought that was the point of inviting me on your show, but anyway, lovely to see you.”

Johnson has been the Establishment’s useful idiot for more than five years, pushing Brexit down our collective throats and delivering a landslide election victory for the Conservatives.

But he is a fool. His failure to cope with Covid-19 is the clearest possible indicator of that.

The sharks among his fellow Tories are smelling blood in the water. Rishi Sunak has already auditioned for the prime minister’s job in his own conference speech.

How long must we wait until Johnson falls?

Source: BBC presenter orders Boris Johnson to ‘stop talking’ in fraught interview clash – Mirror Online

Car crash interviews show the Conservatives’ biggest liability in #CPC21 is their leader

Coward: Boris Johnson hid in a fridge once to evade difficult questions. Now he is being forced to face them – and has no answers.

Boris Johnson can’t say anything right, can he?

Listen to these diabolical responses to TV interviewers – on shortages caused by Brexit:

On crimes against women (pay close attention at 3 minutes 30 seconds when he says he wants to concentrate on real crimes – whatever he means by that):

Johnson’s lieutenants aren’t faring any better.

In addition to Kit Malthouse’s rinsing on Sky (above) I now have video of the confrontation between Jacob Rees-Mogg and Dominic Hutchins, who had to prove he still had cerebral palsy – a lifelong condition – to a Tory-employed benefits assessor, and whose job was taken away from him by Tory cuts. This is hard to watch:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Also in the news: cuts, corruption and quarrels at the Conservative conference

Boris Johnson: The blond lummox is humiliated again.

The Tory conference has started – with a wave of controversies and scandals.

Let’s look at a few of them:

Lord Heseltine slams Johnson’s ‘levelling up’ sloganising

Former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine accused Boris Johnson’s government of “sloganising” rather than having the political will to actually improve the nation.

He said: “It’s very easy to keep sloganising, but they’ve been doing that for nearly two years and they have wasted that period of their power with a large majority.

“What is missing is the political will to take difficult decisions… This Government simply doesn’t face the facts about how it needs to be done and the single minded purpose that has got to be applied to it.”

Boris Johnson humiliated over a £20 note

STV reporter Kathryn Sampson made a fool of Boris Johnson in a Conservative conference interview – by brandishing a £20 note.

She asked: “If I gave you this £20 note this evening, what would you spend it on? What would that mean to you though? A cocktail at conference? A taxi? For some Scottish families, there are charities that would say this £20 a week note is the difference between being able to heating their homes.”

When the prime minister started waffling, she changed tack to quiz Johnson on appointing Tory donor Malcolm Offord as Scotland Office Minister and peer in the Lords: “How many of these £20 notes would I have to give you to get a peerage? Do you know why I’m asking about peerages Prime Minister? Malcolm Offord. What Is it about the six figure sum he donated to the Conservative party that made you think he was the right candidate for a peerage and for a role in your government in the Scotland Office?”

Johnson tried to claim that his choice had experience, but was cut off: “What’s wrong with your Scottish MPs? They’re elected.”

Rees-Mogg wrong-footed by man with cerebral palsy

Tory Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg was lost for words when confronted by a disabled man who said the Tory benefit assessment system had forced him to prove that he still has cerebral palsy – which is a lifelong condition.

Dominic Hutchins, 43, said afterwards that not only did he have to spend an hour explaining all the things he cannot do (on the day Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey tried to re-state the Tory claim that the assessment system should be about what people can do), but the Tories had also robbed him of his job.

He said: “I’m a youth and community worker. Since the Tories got in power in 2010 they have demolished youth services, which made me claim benefits. I not only had to claim jobseeker’s allowance, I had to prove I am still disabled and I’ve not medically been cured.”

As Rees-Mogg beat his retreat, urging him to see his own MP, Mr Hutchins said: “They don’t care, it’s all lip service to shut people like me up. It’s awful.”

UPDATE October 5: I now have video of this. Be warned – it is upsetting:

It’s mischaracterisation, but not as Sunak described it…

This is self-explanatory:

Considering Rishi Sunak’s defence of Boris Johnson, we can draw our own conclusions about everything he said in his speech.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Johnson Marr-ed – repeated lies lead to live-on-TV humiliation and fact-check crucifixion

That’s awkward – perhaps Boris Johnson thought he’d have the usual easy time on the BBC’s flagship politics programme, The Andrew Marr Show.

But it seems that the Establishment has already started shifting (prematurely) towards Keir Starmer.

So we all got to enjoy this:

(I’m not saying Marr had to point out the huge, ONS-shaped, hole in Johnson’s wage lie because This Site had already done so, but it’s nice to put it out there.)

Here are some more Johnson lies defeated by facts, courtesy of Peter Stefanovic:

He was tackled over the fuel crisis:

And then the Mirror fact-checked the whole interview:

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: “What you’re seeing is finally growth in wages after more than 10 years of flatlining. What you’re seeing is people on low incomes being paid more.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: The ONS has warned it is “clearly misleading” to use these “distorted” figures to make claims about the health of Britain’s economy.

Inflation is soaring this Autumn, and is already sitting at a nine-year high of 3%. That means any rises in wages could soon be outstripped once again by rising prices.

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: “What you’re certainly seeing is the stresses and strains caused in a UK economy that is now the fastest growing in the G7.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: That’s only if you compare to the period January-March 2021, when the UK was stuck in lockdown. According to the House of Commons Library, UK “real” GDP fell by 4.4% between October-December 2019 and April-June 2021 – the steepest drop of any G7 country. The US grew 0.8%, while Japan fell 1.5%, Canada 2%, the Eurozone 2.5%, Germany 3.3%, France 3.3% and Italy 3.8%, the Commons Library said.

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: Asked about justice funding after Sarah Everard’s murder, he said: “We’re almost certainly putting record sums into all parts of government.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: There are three problems with this. First of all, it ignores previous sweeping cuts to budgets under austerity. According to the House of Commons Library, the Ministry of Justice budget was around 25% lower in 2019-20 than in 2010-11.

Secondly, Mr Johnson’s boast appears likely to be in cash terms rather than real terms (factoring in inflation). The MOJ budget did rise between 2020-21 and 2021-22 – but only from £10bn to £10.1bn.

Thirdly, the Spending Review is coming at the end of this month which could put a financial squeeze on “unprotected” departments like the MOJ. The independent IFS think tank has warned unprotected services face a £4bn cut, and those areas – “including perennially squeezed budgets like justice and local government – are now facing real-terms cuts in 2022–23”.

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: On fuel shortages, Mr Johnson said: “It has been abating. What you’re hearing now from the Petrol Retailers’ Association is that supplies are getting on to the forecourts.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: On Saturday, the PRA said that while the fuel situation was easing in Scotland, the North of England and the Midlands, elsewhere it was deteriorating.

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: “We’ve had to look after the British people with £407 billion of a protection for their jobs, for people’s livelihoods. And I’ll tell you something about that package, it was most beneficial to the poorest and the neediest in society.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: Not all of this related directly to “jobs and livelihoods”. 32% has been for households – that vast majority of that the furlough scheme and self-employment grants.

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: “You have no fiercer and more zealous opponent of unnecessary tax rises than me, but we have had to deal with a pandemic on a scale which this country has not seen before in our lifetimes and long before.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: The IFS think tank has said the UK tax burden is set to reach “the highest-ever sustained level” due to the PM’s National Insurance hike in April – with various estimates putting it at the highest since the war, since 1950 or since 1969, depending how you count.

WHAT BORIS JOHNSON SAID: “The people who are paying the most for the NHS, the people who are paying the most to fund the NHS bounce back, the £36 billion that we’re putting in, are the richest, the wealthiest people in society. And that’s entirely right. That’s what’s happening.”

WHAT THE FACTS SAY: This appears to be a reference to health and social care funding, which is being raised through a National Insurance hike from 12% to 13.25%. You start paying NICs if your salary hits just £9,568 per year – a much lower threshold than Income Tax. It’s charged at a much lower rate once your earnings get beyond £50,270 per year. And it’s focused on workers – who are hardly all the richest people in society. The tax will charge nothing to the unearned wealth of landlords, for example.

All in all, it seems we finally have reason to be grateful to Andrew Marr for actually doing his job – and at a critical moment.

It means that, going into the Conservative Party Conference, we can all see the extent of Johnson’s failures.

And we can use this information as a yardstick against which we can judge what the Tories try to tell us over the next few days.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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