Seven ways Boris Johnson has corrupted our democracy

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 22.11.2019

In advance of tonight’s BBC Question Time debate, here is our guide to the Prime Minister’s lies, deceits, broken promises, attempts to silence Parliament and more.

1. Pyramid of lies

Boris Johnson can’t help himself. Here’s a list of 11 of his top Brexit whoppers during the election – and our rebuttal of them. (We have a whole section of Mythbusts devoted to the topic).

2. Deceits

The Conservatives have spent the campaign spreading fake news. First they doctored a video of Keir Starmer to make it look like he couldn’t explain Labour’s Brexit policy. Then their press office pretended to be an independent fact checker on Twitter during the ITV debate.

3. Russian interference

The Prime Minister is suppressing the House of Commons Intelligence Committee report on Russian threats to our democracy. The dossier reportedly illustrates how the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 referendum – and names nine Russian donors to the Conservative Party.

4. Suspending Parliament

Johnson was so desperate to avoid MPs’ scrutiny that he tried to suspend Parliament. When the Supreme Court ruled this was illegal, Jacob Rees-Mogg called it a “constitutional coup”. It was actually necessary to stop the government stifling democracy.

5. No scrutiny of his surrender deal

The Prime Minister wanted MPs to have just three days to digest and vote on his “surrender deal” and its 1,000-plus pages of turgid text. When MPs foiled that plot, he stopped the debate and pushed for an election. No wonder. His rotten deal is riddled with flaws. (We have a whole section listing them.)

6. Broken referendum promises

Here’s our cut-out-and-keep list of 19 top Brexiter referendum promises. Johnson has broken almost all.

7. Dead in a ditch? Pull the other one.

The Prime Minister said he’d rather be “dead in a ditch” than extend the Brexit deadline past October 31. He did that anyway – and remains very much alive.

Johnson can’t be trusted. Vote against him on December 12

Edited by Hugo Dixon

Categories: UK Politics

5 Responses to “Seven ways Boris Johnson has corrupted our democracy”

  • The article is all true and accurately describes the unbelievable dirt the present government is spooning up to win their election. Yet, it is no news! But it appears that Brexit voters lap it up, because they love what they see as Johnson’s fists dealing with “the elites” that left them in the lurch in the days of austerity. Traditional British xenophobia did the rest, any insight in what they’re doing to their future is totally and completely lacking. It seems it has to happen and run its way before any of it may change. Wish the LibDems could field someone like Johnson.

  • Johnson is a liar and a bluffer but do you know what?- The ordinary person who does not follow the political scene is taken in by it. I have had a conversation with two 20+ people today who voted Remain but now think ‘they should get Brexit done’. When I asked why I got the sound bites – ‘end uncertainty’, ‘it’s gone on too long and people are fed up with it’ etc.
    Theses guys were bright and intelligent but not interested in politics and thus do not appreciate the nuances and consequences of Brexit for the country. When I explained ‘Brexit’ would only be the start of years of uncertainty they had no idea about what Johnson’s deal was all about. They are so open to the lies. They believe because it’s what they hear. They do not want to read long articles or items on the single market etc. It is all surface judgement. I tried my hardest to persuade them to vote tactically in their local constituency where the Lib Dems have a good chance of winning. These guys, I guessed, were Tories and thought that Johnson would be a good PM. “Better than Corbyn’. They said they did not understand what Corbyn was saying about ‘renationalising’ and wanted more explanation. They had no idea of why the EU was formed but one of them knew that the EU gave subsidies to agriculture etc.
    They just did not have enough knowledge to hand to make an informed judgement. These are the guys we should be targeting with simple facts, said clearly and often. If we don’t we will lose.
    As aa retired history teacher my heart bleeds when I see such ignorance of the past. It is a subject that has been stuffed by the likes of Gove to give a right wing narrative – the ‘greatness’ of the British Empire etc. It’s why people say ‘let’s put the great back into Great Britain’ thinking it is pejorative phrase when it relates to geography. ie Scotland, Wales and England taken together.
    This lack of a balanced knowledge of the past is now costing us dear. I could show you pages from a School Log Book from the period 1873-1903 and the jingoistic history content in it is what Gove has brought back. He truly makes me ill that bloke.

  • In his short spell as PM we have been given a good picture of what 5 more years of Borisolini will bring. Contempt for democratic norms, contempt for democratic institutions, contempt for the judiciary, contempt for the rule of law, contempt for international law etc. Borisolini might make the UK Trump’s catamite.

  • I share your worries. These worries are heightened by the awareness of just how biased our media is; not only the usual tabloid suspects but also the bbc. For example I was watching Chukka Ummuna’s speech today in Watford, and although I’m not a fan of his I watched as he described the dangers of a Tory win in terms of a Trump alliance and he began talking about how Cummings et al had talked to Steve Bannon about the methods he used for bringing about Trump’s victory. Just as I was watching mesmerised, Umunna was removed from the screen and they returned to the studio. This speech was very briefly alluded to in the 1 o’clock news but only in terms of Ummuna’s mention of Corbyn’s indecisiveness. I’ve searched the internet & I can’t find the complete speech. The bbc have already had to apologise for editing out jeering laughter (against BJ) when they replayed part of last week’s leaders’ debate, and they edited out BJ’s error in laying a wreath wrong way up at the cenotaph. Imagine if Corbyn had done that??
    I ask myself also why the media are not making more of an issue about the Russian interference report? Is it any wonder there’s public ignorance when they are fed sound bites that the Tories want us all to hear, and little else? At least we have public forums on the internet (for now!), which are used widely by young people, many of whom are looking for a better future than the lamentable one offered them by Johnson.
    I write as a 68 year old who studied German and German history.

  • Please take note of what Mr. Taylor indicates. He identifies the probably most important target group of people to try and reach!