Monday, September 02, 2019

Brits wouldn't buy a used car from this guy

Boris Johnson
The Guardian

Tom Crewe in the London Review of Books:

It’s a by-product of our Brexit fixation that we are thinking more about his[Boris Johnson's] intentions towards the EU than about the future orientation of the Tory Party. I know this is probably a false distinction---‘Britain beyond Brexit’ is an absurd, wishful phrase. More accurate would be ‘Britain Brexited’ or ‘Britain left in its own Brexit’. 

Still, I can’t help wondering: where are the Conservatives now? Post austerity, at least in some people’s heads, but pro...what?...On what does the party agree? What does it defend? Whom does it represent? 

The signs are that Tory MPs have ceased to care---they either believe Johnson will deliver the Brexit they want, or that he will win an election when no one else will. 

The only thing we are being asked to place our confidence in is Boris Johnson. 

Last weekend, a poll found that 59 per cent of voters wouldn’t trust him to sell them a used car. But what do they know?

James Wood went to Eton, like David Cameron and Boris Johnson:

By and large, these scholars were middle-class or upper-middle-class, the children of academics, doctors, self-made businessmen. If they were posh, they were interestingly so...Or they came from bohemian and eccentric families, like Boris Johnson, perhaps with a hint of social arrivisme. 

Johnson, by the way, looked pretty much the same at 15 as he does at 55, and was a familiar sight as he charged and flapped his way around the college lanes. The bigfoot stoop (he was known as ‘the Yeti’), the bumbling confidence, the skimmed-milk pallor, the berserk hair, the alarming air of imminent self-harm, which gave the impression that he had been freshly released from some protective institution: all was already in place.

Over the years, I’ve resisted writing about Eton, for the usual reasons but mainly because I dislike a retrospect that might sound like some nasty combination of complaint, boast and self-pity. All three modes are unwarranted, as far as I’m concerned. I have largely happy memories of the school and eventually flourished there much as my socially avaricious mum hoped I would...

In 1984 I couldn’t have predicted that politics in the early 21st century would be so contaminated by my schoolfellows. Cameron became prime minister in 2010, and British life began to resemble a set-up from a Johnny English comedy---soon the prime minister, the mayor of London and the archbishop of Canterbury were all old Etonians...

Much worse was to come. Cameron tossed the rotten bouquet of a referendum to the nation. Seemingly, it was done lightly---politics as one of his careless posh parties. 

On the eve of Brexit, here was Boris Johnson, flamboyantly convictionless, writing pro and anti pieces for the Daily Telegraph, essentially back at school again---a place he never left---as if winging an end of year exam or Classics prize. And lo, with his arched clown eyebrows, and clad in that ever so slightly vulgar double-breasted suit---surely an Ealing comedy idea of an English gent?...

But what does talk of ‘decline’ really mean for these conspirators of Brexit? It is invoked and inveighed against, but it is, in the end, weightless political rhetoric. 

There are no fundamental political differences between Cameron, Johnson and Rees-Mogg, because they belong to the same world. A world of extreme wealth where there has never been any decline for them. They are secure as their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents were before them...

Whatever happens in the next thirty or forty years, post-Brexit, isn’t going to affect them. Privilege is like an unwritten constitution: you can never lose what you never have to find...

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The bird

Rob's comment:
Needless to say it's dumb to flip off Democrats after they refuse to endorse your candidate.

I won't vote for either Valle Brown or Dean Preston, since Brown has been in City Hall for years helping both Supervisor Mirkarimi and Supervisor Breed do dumb and damaging things to District 5 and the city (Masonic Avenue and the Nils Linke lie).

Dean Preston gets points for featuring housing as his main issue, but he's been silent on other important District 5 issues, like the Masonic Avenue bike project that was based on the safety lie

Trying to find out where Preston stands on other issues is difficult, since his internet presence is all about raising money and recruiting campaign volunteers, with no "issues" section we can click on.

Brown, on the other hand, does discuss the issues, albeit unconvincingly.

In short, both Brown and Preston are liberals---Preston's Bernie Sanders brand of socialism only makes him, like Sanders, a left-liberal. And both are essentially status quo candidates on local issues who will bring more of the same policy foolishness we got under Mirkarimi and Breed.

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