President Donald Trump is on a state visit to Britain. Well, the place is in a bit of a state.
Trump sent some of his ‘luggage’ ahead, telling the Sun newspaper that Boris Johnson would make a good prime minister. And bellowing sweet nothings to the Sunday Times about how Nigel Farage should be included in the Brexit negotiations.
Trump said of Johnson: “I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent. He has been very positive about me and our country.”
The italics are mine, to highlight the way Trump always brings himself into everything. Maybe we need a new letter or font for this important job: Trumplics, perhaps, to be used to illuminate the president’s penchant for endless self-glorification. Mind you, we’d soon run out of letters.
After Trump’s endorsement, Led By Donkeys projected footage of Johnson being disobliging about Trump on to Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben.
Dating to his time as London mayor, the clip shows Johnson saying: “When Donald Trump says that there are parts of London that are no-go areas, I think he’s betraying a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him, frankly, unfit to hold the office of president of the United States.”
Johnson never said a truer thing. But he probably denies saying it now. Being economical with the truth is a skill that comes naturally. Much in the way that his presidential pal told the Sun that Meghan Markle was “nasty” for things she’d said about him, then outright insisted he’d never said such a thing. Even though the Sun provided an audio clip of Trump saying exactly that.
Both men are no strangers to mistruth. It’s hardly surprising that one rampant egotist accused of past shagging misdemeanours should think another rampant egotist accused of past shagging misdemeanours would be perfect for the job.
Johnson is even being taken to court for his bus-side lie during the referendum about how Brexit would save Britain £350m to spend on the NHS. He knew this wasn’t true at the time, as TV interview footage suggests, but he kept saying it anyway. That’s because the truth is but a speck in his greedy eye. Oh, and if Boris Johnson were taken to court over every untrue thing he ever said, that would keep him well away from the Tory leadership tussle.
As we enter deeper into the bullshit vortex, it becomes harder to say anything new about anything much. We know Trump lies; we know Johnson lies; and we know Farage lies. Loaded whoppers all round. They do this because if you shout a lie loud enough, the truth is drowned out. And we all just end up standing in a shouty corridor echoing to lies old and new as the bullshit stains our socks.
As for Farage and his Brexit Party, this remains a one-man band led by a clever, duplicitous showman. A politician who wins voters round by pretending he isn’t one: and for some reason they swallow his self-serving spiel.
Many of Farage’s electoral tactics are straight out of the Big Book of Trump Lies. Note the way he got into a scrap with Andrew Marr the other week. He engineered this so clips would show him standing up to the ‘crooked BBC’, again casting himself as the innocent victim, rather than a seasoned truth manipulator.
On the radio this morning, a Trump fan was put up against a commentator who sees the president as a fascist. The Trump fan said something notable: Trump came to power because people felt let down by politicians – they liked him because he was different and not a politician.
I sided with the woman mumbling fascist in the background. Yet the Trump fan does remind us this is where being anti-politics gets you. Being anti-politics and pro-Farage gets you supporting an extreme right-winger who pretends to be your friendly naughty uncle, when he just wants to slash taxes for the wealthy and flog off the NHS to US insurance firms.
Nigel is mostly making plans for Nigel. Remember that if you are ever tempted to swallow one of his old boiled sweet lies.