Richard North, 25/07/2019  

The Oaf made three major mistakes yesterday (that we can bother counting). The first was to wake up and get out of bed. Secondly, he appointed Dominic Cummings to something – a loser with the social skills of a five-year-old autistic child, without any of the compensating abilities.

This was the "genius" of Vote Leave whose great plan for Brexit was to insist that we didn't have a plan, thereby paving the way for the mess in which we currently find ourselves.

Thirdly, he articulated a speech so crass that, to have made his own personal stupidity more obvious, he would have needed to stamp "stupid" in large capitals on his forehead in fluorescent green ink.

This is a man who has usurped the post of prime minister, on the back of 92,000 votes of the members of a private club. Yet he talks about wanting to "restore trust in our democracy", with not the slightest hint of irony or self-awareness. After all, it was this hypocrite who, on the appointment of Gordon Brown as prime minister in June 2007, wrote in his column in the Telegraph:
It's the arrogance. It's the contempt. That's what gets me. It's Gordon Brown's apparent belief that he can just trample on the democratic will of the British people. It's at moments like this that I think the political world has gone mad, and I am alone in detecting the gigantic fraud.
Noting that the people had voted for Tony [Blair] and were now to get Gordon Brown, he called the switch "about as democratically proper as the transition from Claudius to Nero", a "scandal" and "nothing less than a palace coup". No one elected Gordon Brown as prime minister, he complained, remarking that it looked as though he would now be in 10 Downing Street for three years, "and without a mandate from the British people".

But when the Oaf enters Downing Street without a mandate, we get rhetoric about restoring trust in democracy. Yet, back in 2007, he wanted Brown to call "an election without delay", in order to secure "the democratic mandate he needs".

This, however, does not qualify Johnson for the stupid button, although he must be pretty stupid if he didn't think that someone wasn't going to resurrect that piece – its been all over Twitter for some weeks now. What sets the scene is the assertion in his speech that, "we are going to fulfil the repeated promises of parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31. No ifs or buts".

It is what then follows, however, that propels him into the ranks of "stupid" as he claims: "we will do a new deal, a better deal that will maximise the opportunities of Brexit while allowing us to develop a new and exciting partnership with the rest of Europe based on free trade and mutual support".

Burbles the man: "I have every confidence that in 99 days' time we will have cracked it, but you know what – we aren't going to wait 99 days because the British people have had enough of waiting. The time has come to act, to take decisions to give strong leadership and to change this country for the better".

Not least here do we see a quite startling detachment from the real world, one in which "strong leadership" is somehow going to succeed where Mrs May's efforts were unable to prevail. This is a straight application of Rory Stewart's "believe in the bin". If only Mrs May had known – all that is needed to deliver Brexit is "strong leadership".

Never mind that this is the fag-end of July, with Belgium having just endured its hottest day on record. Brussels is shutting down for the holidays and nothing much is going to happen until the end of August.

For Johnson then to get his deal, he must prevail on Donald Tusk and the leaders of the EU-27 then to hold a special European Council – as the next formal meeting is not due until mid-October. This Council must instruct the Commission to draft a proposal for a new negotiating mandate, and then reconvene to agree the detail, then for the first round of talks to commence with the whole deal completed and ratified by the end of October.

And this assumes that the Council is prepared to consider a renegotiation, despite it many times having reiterated that it is not prepared to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement, of which the Irish backstop is a crucial and unvarying part.

But "never mind the backstop", Johnson says: "the buck stops here". Because our flag "stands for freedom and free speech and habeas corpus and the rule of law", and above all "democracy", we will come out of the EU on 31 October. Because Brexit "was a fundamental decision by the British people that they wanted their laws made by people that they can elect" (like our prime minister), "and they can remove from office", we "must now respect that decision".

This dog-whistle stuff, it seems, is enough of a basis to "create a new partnership with our European friends – as warm and as close and as affectionate as possible", with Johnson "convinced that we can do a deal without checks at the Irish border, because we refuse under any circumstances to have such checks and yet without that anti-democratic backstop".

The flawed logic of this is so painfully evident as to scarcely need any further comment, other than to emphasise the fatuity. Because we refuse under any circumstances to have border checks and reject the backstop, that is enough for Johnson to be convinced that we can do a deal without checks at the Irish border.

To argue that this is merely delusional is almost generous. It is more like plain stupid – stupidity of the stupidest kind. Johnson is saying to the EU, in effect, that because we reject your deal, crafted to avoid border checks, you'll give us another deal with none of those components designed to avoid border checks, and we'll still have no border checks.

And it is not just me that fails to see the logic of this. John Crace tries and also fails, noting:
Like any sociopath who doesn't believe anything, Boris makes everything he says sound equally unconvincing. He concluded by saying he was going to get a good deal because the EU was going to give him everything he wanted because everyone always gave Boris what he wanted. Me, me, me. Johnson through and through. Boris first, second and third.
It worries me when I'm agreeing so often with Guardian commenters, but there has to be some antidote to the sycophantic Telegraph which sees in this delusional cocktail, Johnson's "rhetorical skills", casting the torrent of burble as: "an unabashedly optimistic, bullish and defiant speech intended to dispel three years of gloom and doom".

Having set us on a path where the only possible outcome is a no-deal Brexit, this stupid man asserts that "it is of course vital at the same time that we prepare for the remote possibility that Brussels refuses any further to negotiate and we are forced to come out with no deal".

For "remote possibility", however, one must read "racing certainty", but Johnson nevertheless wants to assume the victim status. It's "not because we want that outcome – of course not", he says. The inference is that, if it happens, it'll all be the fault of Brussels for refusing to negotiate – nothing to do with the UK parliament's refusal to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement.

And somehow, we are supposed to be able to prepare for this, "because it is only common sense to prepare". Like we can prepare to become a third country where UK-based exporters no longer have automatic access to EU markets and products must be processed on arrival by EU resident importers, who will find endless barriers making the purchase of UK goods that much harder.

How many times, in this context, does it have to be said that there are drastic limits to the degree to which UK enterprises can prepare for a no deal? And how many times does it have to be said that, for most of the preparations, we are entirely dependent on the good offices of the EU-27.

But all this wafts over the brain of this dizzy man. "With high hearts and growing confidence we will now accelerate the work of getting ready", he burbles. "The ports will be ready and the banks will be ready, and the factories will be ready, and business will be ready, and the hospitals will be ready, and our amazing food and farming sector will be ready and waiting to continue selling ever more not just here but around the world".

"And don't forget that in the event of a no deal outcome we will have the extra lubrication of the £39 billion", he adds.

If anyone thought that moving this idle buffoon into Downing Street was suddenly going to make a serious person out of him, they have this speech as evidence to the contrary. We always were dealing with an idiot. The only thing that has changed is that, now he has moved, Downing Street has acquired its own village idiot.

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