/ Has Boris got a death wish?
We can but hope.
Another example of the kinder face of British politics.
I think you've just scooped the prize for predictable response of the year....
Nah that went to you.
All very depressing. And the nights are drawing in too. X
> We can but hope.
No, he's just placing his bets. Predictably Brexit will prove to be a car crash, better for him to redirect the blame on the governement and capitalise on it.
May 2017: An actual suicide bomber detonates his actual vest in Manchester at a kids concert, killing 23 and traumatising hundreds.
September 2018: A man with clear ambition to be prime minister thinks it's a good analogy to talk about a "suicide vest on the British constitution", as if the scattered limbs of teenagers across the Manchester Arena were analagous to trade agreements.
There's only really one rational response, isn't there?
I think Boris embraces the comment attributed to Oscar Wilde -
"There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
It was an appalling analogy that I am sure he chose carefully to get maximum publicity.
Don't know if he has a death wish but I think he has, for want of better words, a lack of moral fibre.
If the Chequers plan is so bad why hasn't he come up with an alternative and why won't challenge May for the leadership now, if believes she is leading the country into the abyss?
IMO he wants to snipe from the side lines, wait until whatever plan is in place and then say how bad it is and challenge then.
Johnson's wish is transparent, he wishes to be PM which is a real pity because he is both a piece of shit and quite unbelievably still in with a chance.
> Another example of the kinder face of British politics.
I don't think Boris has a kind face at all.
> I don't think Boris has a kind face at all.
Correct - neither of his faces are kind.
Apparently he doesn't. Did you see the news over the weekend that he decided not to give his support to the ERG alternative Brexit plan because it contained "significant policy flaws" that opened up the risk that the plan would be "widely mocked". Among them, a new space-based Star Wars-style missile defense system and an expeditionary force sent to protect the Falklands from possible attack by Argentina.
You know that politics has fallen far when Boris Johnson is the sensible adult in the room.
> A man with clear ambition to be prime minister thinks it's a good analogy to talk about a "suicide vest on the British constitution", as if the scattered limbs of teenagers across the Manchester Arena were analagous to trade agreements.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and, without in any way defending Boris' viewpoint, defend the use of the suicide vest metaphor. If we refer to Gove stabbing Boris in the back after the referendum, is that distasteful because of all the deaths due to knife crime? If we were to say that Boris is holding a gun to Theresa May's head, would that be distasteful because of all the deaths due to gun crime? What about all the people who died in the WW2 Convoys when we talk about torpedoeing the Chequers deal? And if some metaphors of violence are ok and others aren't, where do we draw the line - mass shootings with deaths beyond single figures perhaps?
I actually think a pretty good Brexit metaphor would be of the whole nation as a somewhat reluctant suicide vest wearer. Just a matter of whether we go ahead and actually detonate.
Which makes the question more about "too soon?" and, I would argue for suicide vests, the literally visceral horror of exploded, dismembered humans (of any creed, age, colour) being a very poor analogy for what is essentially now an argument more about trade and economic protection.
> If we refer to Gove stabbing Boris in the back after the referendum, is that distasteful because of all the deaths due to knife crime? If we were to say that Boris is holding a gun to Theresa May's head, would that be distasteful because of all the deaths due to gun crime?
I agree - I think it's largely mock-offence, how a la mode. What I'm offended by isn't his comment, it's the transparent diversion tactic from the equally vapid and venal acts of no. 10 and the massively who-gives-a-f*ck Boris' shagging around "dossier". What a load of shit comprises the "news" sometimes. If editors had just a modicum of dignity, none of it would get published/broadcast, but unfortunately all they care about is money, so I have to hear this bullshit all day, every day. It's bollocks.
> the massively who-gives-a-f*ck Boris' shagging around
Boris' shagging around gives us a good insight into his character; very poor judgement, very self-serving.
> Boris' shagging around gives us a good insight into his character; very poor judgement, very self-serving.
I dunno, perhaps I am a bit of a snowflake about suicide bombing. Maybe I should moderate my desire to be offended by equating an argument about trade with people literally being blown apart.
There is some truth in what you say - social media is remarkably quick to take offence - but it is also possible that we have different levels of acceptability for different levels of atrocity.
> Maybe I should moderate my desire to be offended by equating an argument about trade with people literally being blown apart.
It's not equating - it's just a metaphor.
> the massively who-gives-a-f*ck Boris' shagging around "dossier". What a load of shit comprises the "news" sometimes. If editors had just a modicum of dignity, none of it would get published/broadcast,
I think it is of public interest and editors are right to publish it because of what it tells us about Johnson. Of course there is nothing new in his sexual adventures and betrayals, nor in the clumsily/deliberately offensive stuff he comes out with but it confirms that either he never learns or does not think he needs to learn from his mistakes and that he is not going to change. Of course there are plenty of people who dismiss it as 'just being Boris' but the longer it goes on and the more he does it one can but hope that increasing numbers of voters will recognise and that he is thoroughly unsuited for any politgical office let alone head of government
True; personally, I find that to be an unacceptable metaphor - much as if he had suggested, ooh I dunno, butt-rape by Brussels I'd find that an unacceptable public comment too.
In truth I have some sympathy for Boris (not words I would often utter) and his pathological desire to try and be humorous in situations that really require a little more subtlety and nuance. In the day job I have a reputation for being somewhat more humorous than "the norm", usually warmth and gentle humour in adversity rather than being judgemental - I hope. Certainly the feedback I get is that my patients appreciate the warmth and feel that I am more approachable and empathic than some of my colleagues (a bar set quite low, to be fair). But I am also aware that on occasions people can find this belittling, or there may be particular reasons unique to them that make my comments unacceptable. Now if I find I have overstepped the mark I always make a point of apologising, quickly and honestly. We do indeed make errors, and accepting our errors, apologising and moving on is positive behaviour. Boris seems to struggle with that bit, and while I think he has quite good comedic timing and an enviable vocabulary at times, he's moved on in popular opinion from humorous buffoon to machiavellian sociopath asa result of his manipulations and inability to amend his behaviour.
> Who knew?
Well, I've known for a long time, but it seems others haven't noticed. Maybe revealing the details of his behaviour will lift the veil from their eyes. Or maybe not.
He's an idiot.
As a long time Conservative voter, if he ever gets to be leader of said party I'll vote Labour.
He’s not an idiot far from it, what he is, is a typical public school Sloane - I know a couple just like him (and to be honest I rather like them because they’re so different to me), the type that tries to put dodgy business deals together, cross over onto the wrong side of the law and end up in jail. They genuinely still think they’ve been trained for leadership (running the empire and all that), are touched by greatness (for no discernible reason other than they’re posh), a buccaneering spirit (rules/laws don’t apply to them because they’re the “best”), and most importantly the rest of us are plebs who should do as we’re told. The stupid ones join the guards, the clever ones go into the city, Val d’Isere is crawling with them in winter. Boris is an absolute Sloan ranger, once you understand that you,understand him.
Bravo for putting your head above the parapet. I loathe Boris but it’s all too easy to get carried away when indulging the temptation to poke fun at his expense.
However, the answer to your question (and it’s a dull answer, I’m afraid) is that there is no categorical answer to your question. You can see why if you ask yourself whether a Reliant Robin is a car. It has many car-like attributes; but it’s not as obviously a car as, say, a Ford Sierra. Sadly, it doesn’t and there since there are several dozen ways in which categories can be unlike the ‘normal’ sort (those categories where it’s easy to say whether something is or isn’t a member such as the counting numbers). Many ethical categories are like this and it may be that BoJo’s comment was simply a bit too far from the centre of the category of appropriate comments for most people. It certainly was for me.
I say, steady!
He's an idiot.
I keep hearing people describe his brilliance yet never get to see an example.
He might have an attraction to some in Westminster but I think his oft touted national appeal is a myth.
I'd been thinking the same thing exactly, more or less since he said it,, but rather than a reluctant vest wearer I'd put us more as a hostage forced to wear it
I do feel quite outraged by him but not because of his analogy but because of the more substantive case that he is one of the traitorgruppe, like the ERG too, who feel they have the right to wreck us on their whim
personally I feel now I have a little more understanding of how civil wars begin as these are real traitors against whom it would be right to fight if the need arose
'I agree - I think it's largely mock-offence, how a la mode. '
I'm not so sure. It's only a year since the Manchester bombing; there will be plenty of people still very raw about that. And I can't help feeling that using such figures of speech time and again has the effect of de-sensitising us.
I'm not sure that Churchill ever had to resort to such shock tactics, he even used humour in the direst of circumstances: cf 'some chicken … some neck.' But there again, Johnson, you're no Churchill.
> I think it's largely mock-offence, how a la mode.
I'm not offended, but it's a crass and moronic analogy. Hardly the words of a great politician, are they?
My friend was in court yesterday telling the inquest how the loss of his wife and mother to his two children has affected his life since she was run over and killed on Westminster Bridge last year.
But using analogies like "run over" "steam rollered" "hit by a truck" "thrown under a bus" do not seem unreasonable to me and don't cause offence. I'm with Robert and Jon on this one, it's just more "mock offence"
I recall you posting about this before; an absolute tragedy.
Clearly, we differ in our feelings as to whether this is 'over the line' or not; and that's OK.
I'm not, however, faking it. I can't untangle it from my overall dislike of Boris though - I suspect the combination is just too much.
"Clearly, we differ in our feelings as to whether this is 'over the line' or not; and that's OK."
Agreed. No doubt Boris is playing to the crowd and his choice of language is definitely deliberate. Instead of discussing him, we are discussing the reaction to using "suicide vest" as an analogy.
> I'm not offended, but it's a crass and moronic analogy.
It is in this context, where it is being used to provoke a national reaction by being knowingly inappropriate, for the specific purpose of diverting attention from personally unfavourable information. I reckon that in a different context, e.g. on a topical panel show, it could be made to work pretty well.
> Hardly the words of a great politician, are they?
Depends what you mean. I think he's been very successful on his own terms here, but in terms of serving the public interest, Boris is about as useful as anthrax in the water supply.
I mean they're not the words of a leader, of a man who you'd have at the helm through a difficult period for the nation*. It's a poor show of character and we should expect our elected representatives to demonstrate much better judgement.
* - none of which surprises me, because he is indeed about as useful as anthrax in the water supply.
> Boris is about as useful as anthrax in the water supply.
Now THERE'S an analogy I actually like! Pithy, succinct and accurate - and avoids the risk of offending manufacturers of chocolate fireguards, one-legged men who do indeed take part in arse-kicking competitions, etc
You don’t have to hear it. Get rid of the TV and radio and stop taking the papers. Guarantee you will feel better in a week.
> Now THERE'S an analogy I actually like! Pithy.
It might be highly upsetting to the loved ones of the victims of biological warfare and terrorist attacks.
> It might be highly upsetting to the loved ones of the victims of biological warfare and terrorist attacks.
And, pithy as it is, catching anthrax from drinking water is very much not how it's usually done. Sorry.
> He's an idiot.
He's certainly not, he's not exceptionally bright either but moderately so and entitled with it. The sagging ruffled-bufoon mask just about hides an utterly amoral shit who may yet like Trump by dint of circumstance and lack of shame be capable of attaining the office of PM but certainly is not capable of executing the duties.
> He might have an attraction to some in Westminster but I think his oft touted national appeal is a myth.
I think you'll find it's quite the other way around. Out in the wild he still appeals to a lot of folk desperate to believe brexit isn't just the bungled robbery now clearly is, he's the last of them still just about pretending it will anything but bloody awful for you and me. And of course with his high public profile he appeals to those who don't really know or care about our politics or its impact on their lives but who do like either the Bannon inspired dogwhistle stuff he's gone in for of late or the posh clown act.
Most of his colleagues seem, quite rightly to think he's a complete tool.
> But using analogies like "run over" "steam rollered" "hit by a truck" "thrown under a bus" do not seem unreasonable to me and don't cause offence. I'm with Robert and Jon on this one, it's just more "mock offence"
I don't think it's 'mock offence', not entirely anyway. I think some genuinely are shocked and repulsed by the grisly analogy but I suspect they are a sensitive minority. Some just really hate Johnson and will beat him with whatever they're given, this probably accounts for much of the noise, what you refer to as mock offence. Then there are those who don't see a crass attempt to joke or shock, they see a pattern in his output of divisive allusions to and reminders of an 'enemy within', the loud and clear dogwhistle. It is for that that *I* hold him in contempt.
Unless you go paddling in Wood Buffalo National Park and get unlucky...
I think it's interesting how using the term "Suicide vest" to describe self harm is now seen as dog whistling. Would we have had an issue if he had said "Kamikaze"? Even the OP implied he must have a death wish (i'm assuming that is a crude reference to the potential danger of criticizing Islam in some places). It's this policing/censorship of what is allowed by the twittershpere that seems to have manifested itself out of nowhere that I think pisses people off (see the Serena Williams cartoon story as well).
Rightly or wrongly, I think a lot of people find it quite refreshing that someone doesn't take any notice of trial by social media and just says it how they see it. Admittedly this can lead into Jeremy Clarkson territory, but I don't think Boris is close to confecting situations to use racist terms to describe architectural deficiencies of bridges yet...
> I think it's interesting how using the term "Suicide vest" to describe self harm is now seen as dog whistling. Would we have had an issue if he had said "Kamikaze"?
Is he attempting to rally voters against the an imagined imperial Japanese enemy living among us? No, that isn't the mainstream prejudice problem we have in Britain today though I'm sure there was a time when those allusions could have been of more use to an amoral populist. So no, I personally wouldn't have a problem with that except it makes even less sense as an analogy. Is he on the other hand signalling weekly that he gets the public's fear of and dislike for their muslim neighbours without ever quite getting down into the shit with the more overtly racist turds actively stoking that fear up... I think he is. You are of course free to disagree or simply not care.
> Even the OP implied he must have a death wish (i'm assuming that is a crude reference to the potential danger of criticizing Islam in some places).
I didn't write the OP.
> It's this policing/censorship of what is allowed by the twittershpere that seems to have manifested itself out of nowhere that I think pisses people off (see the Serena Williams cartoon story as well).
Really, must I? Can't I just guess people are cross because she's been crudely caricatured like something from a 1930's postcard. Other people are saying but it's funny, she looks like that or something along those lines.
Expert on 1930's postcards are you? Or are you following the crowd?
I will ask you the same question, do you think it's possible to draw a cartoon of Serena Williams without annoying the same people?
> Rightly or wrongly, I think a lot of people find it quite refreshing that someone doesn't take any notice of trial by social media and just says it how they see it.
I think its quite obvious that he takes a lot of notice of trial by ocila media and shit-stirs for his own benefit. Saying it how he sees it has nothing to do with it. It's clickbait.
I don't do twitter, not sure which crowd I'm supposed to be following.
The Brexit fiasco is tantamount to finding Britain in a state of economic war. All Europe gets to benefit along with all the other G nations and aspiring countries of world economic status from our weakened economic status. Trump and Putin loving our faction with Europe to be exploited. Britain threatened on all fronts, rearguard action, chaos etc. The current conservative leaders in this worrying mess would all love to appear as economically Churchillian in the management of the crisis. But we've seen nothing to address this incredibly significant change in British politics to inspire confidence. Boris as Churchill. Give me strength! When are they going to wake up and put this country and its people first?
> All Europe gets to benefit along with all the other G nations and aspiring countries of world economic status from our weakened economic status.
Economics is not a zero-sum game. If one country has a weaker economy, other nations do not "benefit". On the contrary, a country being richer benefits neighbouring countries (since that means the country buys more things off its neighbours).
By benefiting I did not mean purely trade or finance.. but I suspect that there have been a desertions of allies in favour of self interest.
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