Effing Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is not just being economical with the truth, he has thrown it out of the window along with our standards.

A day or two ago Boris Johnson tweeted a video, saying “I say go nuclear and go large and go with Sizewell C.” In it he claims successes. Well, he’s right in one respect — he has gone nuclear on our country, leaving us with a terrible mess. He claimed…

“I would say frankly folks over the last 3 years that this government has done some pretty difficult things.”

While people were dying all alone, he was partying. When we are facing massive cost of living increases, he’s spending our money on a nuclear plant that won’t be ready for years when there are cheaper, quicker and more flexible solutions available — wind farms, solar farms, insulation. I do have to admit, I would find it more than difficult to do those things with a clear conscience.

“We fixed our relations with the European Union, we got Brexit done and took back control of our law-making.”

Brexit has severely damaged our relations with Europe, and his (and the Tories’) idea of taking back control is to make sure that they are not held accountable for their own law breaking, to axe the regulations we have fought so hard for to protect us, to give themselves more control over us and to wage war on migrants. In short, to make Britain a less green and less pleasant land. We’ve not seen any benefits (though he may have benefited from less accountability). The EU has its problems. If the intention of Brexit had been to make Britain a more green and more pleasant land, I might have voted for it, but that would have been incompatible with Tory ‘ideology’ so was a non-starter.

“We opened up our economy post Covid faster than any other major country because of the speed of our vaccine rollout.”

True, we were quick off the mark with vaccines, the one thing he did get right. But we did not need to leave the EU to do that. And opening up the economy faster meant more opportunity for coronavirus to mutate and spread and for more deaths.

“We led the whole of Europe in helping the Ukrainians and in standing up to Putin and seeing the wisdom from the start in arming them and assisting them.”

Clearly Putin’s assault on Ukraine was an assault on democracy and so we were right to support Ukraine. Deciding whether we could have helped prevent it is above my pay grade. But I’m not sure how helpful Johnson’s frequent and conveniently (for him) timed photo ops were to Ukraine, and we haven’t been the most generous when it comes to percentage of GDP as shown in this chart from Statista.

“And at every stage of the last three years, and I hope I can say this given this will be one of my last speeches in this office, at every stage what we have tried to do is put in the things that this country will need for the long term. To try to look at what future generations will need for their prosperity, their productivity and for their quality of life and to reduce the cost of living as well.”

If so, they have gone to the opposite extreme and totally overlooked the very real problems we have now — an overstretched and overstressed NHS, a shitty environment, a huge increase in the cost of living, and strained or broken relationships with families, friends, research organizations and businesses in Europe.

“So whether that’s gigabit broadband, gone up from 7% penetration to 70% of premises now, three new high speed rail lines, investing massively in this country’s ability to make its own vaccines, fixing social care, coming up with a solution for that problem.”

The first major contract to connect remote properties was awarded only 3 days ago. A pity he has scaled back the target, though, it sounds like he now aims to connect only half of rural communities.

“I think it would be fair to say this Government has not shirked the big decisions, we’ve raised our eyes, we’ve looked to the horizon and I just say whoever follows me next week, I know that they will do the same. So, no more national myopia, no more short-termism, let’s think about the future, let’s think about our kids and our grandchildren, about the next generation”

If he had really been thinking about the future, he would have put much more effort into renewables and insulation and net zero and investment in the NHS — which would have included not losing so many staff as a result of Brexit.

“And so I say to you, with the prophetic candour and clarity of one about to hand over the torch of office, I say go nuclear, go large and go with Sizewell C. Thank you all very much.

Perhaps Johnson didn’t read the Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change report by the IPCC which came out in April before making his Sizewell C decision? Figure SPM.7: Overview of mitigation options and their estimated ranges of costs and potentials in 2030 shows that there are far better options. than nuclear.

Conclusion

Boris Johnson, you get an F. F for fail. F for fascism — paying far more attention to oligarchs foreign and domestic than to British experts. F for you effed up the country. F for all your fallacies and falsehoods. F for the filth in our waters. And one more F that I’ll leave to your imagination.

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Sue Nethercott

Sue Nethercott

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Open University BA, UMIST MSc, OU BSc Environmental Studies. Interests: environment, COVID19. Double #ostomate. Thom Hartmann’s newsletter editor. Views my own.