Macron vs. Boris

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.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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3 Responses to Macron vs. Boris

  1. mickc says:

    I have grave reservations about “sanctioning” individuals because they are Russian. If there is good cause for “sanctioning” an individual then surely that must be decided by a duly constituted tribunal ie a Court, with the accused being given the opportunity to defend and put their own case, otherwise it is persecution, very reminiscent of another period in history.
    And if there is good cause, eg the individual is able to be proven a crook, then the case should have been brought long before the present war in the Ukraine.
    What should NOT be happening is doing it now, and virtue signalling while doing it.
    Obviously I was amazed when Lebedev received a “peerage” but there have been other earlier peerages granted by leading politicians which raised eyebrows…the “lilac list” springs to mind, but Johnson seems in a different league in this endeavour.
    However who didn’t believe Johnson to be a total liar? Not many I imagine…
    As I have previously stated, he got a large majority because he was the only one who was likely to get “Brexit done” ie to do what every other politician had said they would do, prior to the Referendum…but only Johnson was trapped by his own promise, no doubt much to his dismay

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    • Personally I think anyone worth over a million pounds ought to be ‘sanctioned’. But that’s just socialist me. On your main question: ‘sanctioning’ isn’t the same as finding someone guilty. If you suspect him or her of causing great harm, you’re justified in putting a stop to his or activities until you can try him fairly. Then you can reverse the sanction if you like. If saw someone coming towards me with an axe I wouldn’t object to his being stopped just because it couldn’t be proved yet that he intended to split my skull. I presume that these Russian oligarchs will be able to appeal, and if exonerated have their gains, however ill-gotten, restored to them. It’s a wise preventative measure, in a time of war.

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      • mickc says:

        Haha! I understand there is a Chinese saying “you show me a rich man, and I’ll show you a thief” so I certainly take your point, but a million pounds sure ain’t what it used to be, apparently…not that I am ever likely to be bothered either way…

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