Peter Oborne has launched a new project to catalogue the lies told by Boris Johnson. The website is here.
Oborne launched a version of the website soon after Johnson became prime minister, but he abandoned work on it after the 2019 general election. After using crowdfunding to raise money, Oborne was able to hire staff and the new version is more impressive. It is still unfinished – it only covers untrue or misleading statements made by Johnson and his ministers up to February 2020 – but the entries are well researched, with extensive links explaining why comments have been labelled as false.
Oborne says the project will be “like painting the Forth Bridge”. He explains: “The task can never be completed because he and his ministers are constantly producing more examples.”
In a mission statement, Oborne explains why he feels so strongly about politicians who lie (he has written two books on the subject, focusing on Tony Blair and Johnson). He also explains why he uses a particularly wide definition of lying, covering statements which are “reckless as to the truth”.
The Washington Post conducted a similar exercise with Donald Trump, and by the time he left the White House it concluded he had made 30,573 false or misleading claims as president.
If you did not know otherwise, you might assume from the website that Oborne is vehemently leftwing. But what makes him particularly interesting – and authoritative – as a critic of Johnson is that, like Johnson, he has spent most of his career as a columnist on rightwing newspapers. He worked for the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, and for several years he was political editor of the Spectator, while Johnson was editor.
Often it is people who have worked with Johnson closely who turn out to be his strongest critics. Sonia Purnell, who was Johnson’s deputy in the Daily Telegraph’s Brussels office, went on to write a damning biography of him. Oborne has written his own book about Johnson in which he said: “I have never encountered a senior British politician who lies and fabricates so regularly, so shamelessly and so systematically as Boris Johnson.” Alan Duncan was Johnson’s deputy when Johnson was foreign secretary, and later published diaries describing Johnson as an “embarrassing buffoon”. And when Johnson became PM, at the start his closest adviser was Dominic Cummings. Cummings is now one of his most dangerous enemies. Like Oborne, Cummings believes that Johnson is a liar, although Cummings has also said that this label is sometimes hard to justify because Johnson does not particularly care what the truth is anyway. (Under a strict definition, to lie you have to say something that you know to be untrue.) This is how Cummings put it in a blog earlier this year.
[Johnson] rewrites reality in his mind afresh according to the moment’s demands. He lies – so blatantly, so naturally, so regularly – that there is no real distinction possible with him, as there is with normal people, between truth and lies. He always tells people what they want to hear and he never means it.
Source : https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2021/nov/25/keir-starmer-boris-johnson-social-care-plans-complete-betrayal-north-of-england-latest-updates-uk-politics-live?page=with:block-619f9a688f08cd11dbaf7727802