The more I see of Boris Johnson, the more depressed, the more angry – and the more worried- I get.
The jokey, clownish architect of Brexit, who happily had himself photographed during the Brexit campaign supposedly ‘stuck accidentally’ on a zip-wire, brandishing two Union flags, went on holiday yesterday.
He seems to have completely shrugged off any responsibility for the queues of vehicles outside petrol stations all over the country, (because we don’t have enough tanker drivers), the planned culling of thousands of pigs and turkeys, (because we don’t have enough butchers) and the rotting of crops in the fields, (because we don’t have enough agricultural workers to pick them!) Thanks a lot, Brexit!
But at least we have ‘Taken Back Control’ and ‘Got Brexit Done’ and, more importantly, we have finally got rid of all of those pesky foreigners who used to do all of this work for us. Well done, Boris!
So now that we have walked out of the huge EU market on our doorstep, we are, at last, free to make deals with that mighty economic world power on the other side of the world, Australia. Now we can import large quantities of cheap lamb, and effectively undercut our own lamb producers at the same time.. Good move, Boris! Makes us proud to be British.
And there are other worrying trends going on with this government. For example, you almost never see a cabinet minster interviewed on television without them being framed by huge Union Jacks, the national flag that is supposed to represent the ‘unity’ of our increasingly divided nation. This arrogant and divisive Conservative party seems to have appropriated the national flag as its own party symbol, implying that if you are not enthused by this crude display of ‘patriotism’, then you are not being loyal to your own country.
Someone should remind Boris Johnson that, as long ago as 1775, his namesake, Samuel Johnson wrote that “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” And so it has turned out to be.
And speaking of scoundrels, but now more seriously, it is perhaps no coincidence that two years ago a new and rather scary far-right party called ‘Patriotic Alternative’ was founded in this country. The party is anti-semitic, anti-LGBT and denies that the holocaust ever took place. It calls for the deportation of “people of migrant descent” and propagates a white supremacist ideology that aims to combat “the replacement and displacement of white British people by migrants”. It has been described as a ‘neo-Nazi’ party, and it claims to have attracted some 15,000 members in its first two years of existence. Other estimates put the membership at nearer to 5,000, but 5,000 neo-Nazis is still 5,000 neo-Nazis.
Its website offers conferences, camping trips, lots of flag waving and men carrying out healthy outdoor physical fitness training. Any of this sound familiar?
Returning to our own government it should be remembered that at a time when people who cannot feed their families are increasingly turning to the ever-growing number of food banks, Johnson’s government has just spent £163,000 on Union flags to frame its ministers when they are on television. Repeat, £163,000 to drape the Conservative party leaders in the national flag.
The last time I can remember a regime whose leaders used every possible opportunity wrap themselves in their national flag, things didn’t end well.
Indeed it ended in the Ruhr being obliterated and Berlin in flames.