Well done President Emmanuel Macron for calling out Johnson’s empty boasts. ‘We’ve sanctioned more Russian oligarchs than any other nation’, Boris claims; ‘welcomed more Ukrainian refugees’; ‘led the world in supporting Ukrainian resistance’; and ‘acted faster than anyone in support of the Ukrainians’. And all, of course, because we’re out of the EU.
Well, Number One might be strictly accurate; but only because the City of London has given shelter to far more corrupt oligarchs than anywhere else, and so has more to sanction. And the government – with its governing party heavily reliant on the Russians’ financial patronage – has been very late on to this, giving the bastards valuable time to squirrel their ill-gotten assets out of the country before they can be sanctioned. But all the rest are flagrant lies: similar to the Government’s claims that it reacted to Covid 19 more quickly and effectively than those EU-strapped foreigners; or that the British press is the free-est in the world. (Actually it comes 33rd in the latest ‘Press Freedom Index’: https://rsf.org/en/united-kingdom. But don’t tell that to the press oligarchs. And don’t expect to read it in their newspapers.)
When you look into them, in fact, none of these claims turns out to be true, and many are the very opposite. Anyone with access to the internet and his or her critical faculties about them can check them. But of course they don’t, with the oligarch-owned press being most people’s only source of information on these matters. That gives Boris free license to utter and repeat his boasts; which do seem to come naturally to him.
Does he really believe them? Or are they simply ‘mistakes’? Has he persuaded himself that they’re true? (Along, of course, with all his other notorious lies.) Is that all part of his clownish disposition? Or is he simply impervious to ‘truth’? Or – most likely perhaps, inherited from his former career as a journalist and propagandist – is he less concerned about the ‘truth’ of any of his statements, than with how they can play among his readers, in order to glean their admiration, or amusement, or – in his latest rôle as a politician – their votes?
All of them have the obvious intention of boosting not only him, which is important to a known narcissist, but also (in his mind and hopefully his followers’) the reputation of his country; which – for reasons I can understand, but don’t share – seems to be important to many people. His cheerful but baseless claims about Brexit Britain’s ‘leadership’ are meant to encourage their ‘patriotism’; in the absence today, it could be said, of anything else to make them feel proud. They might be intended to inspire respect for Britain abroad, too. But they clearly don’t. Macron attests to that.