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Trumpium disinformation comes to the UK - Britain's Stranger to the Truth.

November 25, 2019 9:00 AM

17 DAYS TO POLLING DAY

The 'man with form' leads a party intending to win by any means and at any cost

Tory messaging needs a Government health warning.

Boris Johnson Broke the Law (Chatham House London)Not just content with using an edited video to misrepresent their opponents and trying to hide behind a misleading Twitter account, Johnson's Tories have now fully embraced the Trump bedtime story book complete with fake social media.

The Conservative Party has been widely condemned and accused of misleading members of the public by fact-checking organisations after its official Twitter account was renamed 'factcheckUK' during the recent leader's debate. The Twitter account removed any mention of the Conservative Party from its username in a move that was called 'inappropriate and misleading' by fact-checking organisations. Although the Twitter handle remained @CCHQ press, all other branding was changed to make it appear as though the account was an official factchecking outlet. Hardly surprisng when their leader, 'I would rather die in a ditch' Johnson, pulls 'facts 'out of thin air and has a back story of half truths, lies, falshoods, disinformation and whose dishonesty has already seen him fired twice in his career.

Remember Boris Johnson and No hard Border in Ireland?

The Boris Johnson, who told the House of Commons in November that "there can be no return to a hard border. There can be no hard border. That would be unthinkable, and it would be economic and political madness".

Remember "We send the EU £350 million a week"?

Boris Johnson was one of the most frequent passengers on Vote Leave's now infamous Brexit bus, whose central claim was refuted not only by its opposing campaign, but also numerous independent factcheckers, and even by the UK's Statistical Authority, the country's official statistics watchdog.

During the EU referendum campaign, Johnson was one of three MPs who ceremonially burned a huge novelty cheque for £350 million as a photo-opportunity to promote the dubious figure, which was given credit by a senior Vote Leave staffer for helping to swing the referendum result.

Even as most Leave campaigners backed off from the statistic, Johnson repeatedly doubled down, writing in September 2017 "yes - once we have settled our accounts, we will take back control of roughly £350 million per week" - an untrue claim for which he was reprimanded for "clear misuse of official statistics" by Sir David Norgrove, who governs ministers' use of figures.

Johnson's response was to ignore yet again the official reprimand, accuse the watchdog of politicisation, then claim in January, without evidence, that £350 million a week was in a fact a "gross underestimate" of what the UK sends to the EU.

Remember the Slip of the tongue' on Iranian detention?

During a 2017 Commons select committee hearing the then-foreign secretary erroneously said Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - still detained in Iran - was training journalists in the region. After Mr Johnson's comments the 38-year-old Briton was hauled in front of an Iranian court and told her sentence could double.

He later faced calls to resign and issued an apology 12 days after his remarks. But his cabinet colleague Liam Fox had insisted that people should not overreact to "slips of the tongue".

Remember the man who flew to Afghanistan?

Rather than take part in a vote on the expansion of Heathrow airport, which he has vehemently opposed for many years he flew off to Afghanistan.

Remember Boris Johnson the 'Casual' rule-breaker'?

Mr Johnson broke Commons rules by failing to declare a financial interest in a property within the mandated time limit. The Commons Standards Committee accused him of displaying "an over-casual attitude towards obeying the rules of the house".

The ruling came in April, just four months after the Ruislip MP was made to apologise for breaching the rules by failing to declare more than £52,000 of outside earnings.

Remember Boris Johnson: creator of the euromyth?

Having been fired from the Times for fabricating two stories, Boris Johnson almost immediately secured a new job for the Telegraph and became Brussels correspondent, where he was credited with creating the "euromyth", the cavalcade of stories claiming the EU was threatening Britain's way of life. Johnson headlines included "Threat to British pink sausages" and "cheese row takes the biscuit" - sparking a whole generation of imitators across British journalism and helping fuel the UK's euroscepticism. He said it was "absolutely crazy" the EU was setting rules on the shape of bananas, a euromyth largely debunked since 1994.

Boris Johnson raised eyebrows at the hustings for the Tory leadership contest after brandishing a smoked kipper on stage. During a rant about "pointless, expensive, environmentally damaging" EU regulations, claiming that Brussels bureaucracy had "massively" increased costs for fish suppliers because of rules saying that their products must be transported in ice. It later emerged that the regulations had, in fact, been introduced by the UK government, not by the EU.

Remember Boris Johnson the diplomat and user of insulting and racist language

PM May publicly rebuked Mr Johnson in August 2019 after he compared women wearing burqas and niqabs to letter boxes.

In a column for the Daily Telegraph - a weekly commitment that earns him some £275,000 a year - Mr Johnson described the garments as oppressive, adding it was "absolutely ridiculous" that people should "choose to go around looking like letter boxes".

In a 2002 Telegraph column Johnson referred to black people as "picanninies" and used the term "watermelon smiles" in the same article.

The same year he said of Africa that "the continent may be a blot, but it is not a blot upon our conscience", adding its problem was "that we are not in charge any more".

As Foreign Secretary 14 years later, Johnson referred to Africa as a "country" in a speech to Conservative Party Conference.

He had a rather strange way of showing his support for Democrat Hilary Clinton he wrote in his £275,000 pa Telegraph column.

"She's got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital," he wrote of the Democratic candidate.

Johnson's insults manage to span decades and continents: mere months before becoming Foreign Secretary, Johnson suggested Barack Obama may have an "ancestral dislike" of Britain thanks to his "part-Kenyan" heritage, and in the same month won a competition for the most offensive poem about Turkish president. Three months later he had to meet Erdogan an as part of his official role.

Boris Johnson fired from the Times

Johnson was hired by the Times through family connections, and fired for a front-page fabrication within months - on his very first front page story. The story centred around the discovery of the Rose Palace, built by Edward II. Johnson re-told the tale as his "biggest cock-up" in The Independent in 2002. Having been caught out in a front page fabrication in the UK's newspaper of record, how did Johnson react? In his own words: "I made matters worse," he wrote. "I wrote a further story saying that the mystery had deepened about the date of the castle."

Boris Johnson sacked, again as shadow Arts Minister

In November 2004, Boris Johnson was a shadow arts minister under Michael Howard, Conservative Vice-Chair, and editor of the Spectator - when it was reported in multiple tabloids that he had a years-long affair with one of the magazine's columnists, which had resulted in two terminated pregnancies.

Johnson publicly stated the allegations were untrue, calling them an "inverted pyramid of piffle", and made the same assurances they were false to Michael Howard. When proof of the allegations was presented, Howard asked Johnson to resign, only for him to refuse and therefore be fired for dishonesty, for the second time in his career.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum

Sources: Independent -

Taking a look back at ex-foreign secretary's storied career

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