Falling for Johnson’s calculated provocations plays straight into his hands – but many are doing just that
Boris Johnson’s use of inflammatory language this week has been a deliberately calculated ploy to play to his base and distract from his weakness – both his and his chief adviser’s weak characters and their political weakness. In spite of his studied buffoonery, Johnson is smart enough to know exactly what he’s doing – and his handler Dominic Cummings is working to a game-plan alread tried and tested in the US.
But most of the Establishment – and many on the left – are responded exactly as scripted.
Johnson’s repeated use of ‘Surrender Act’ – which only increased after he was challenged in the Commons about it – and his ‘humbug’ response to a tearful complaint by a friend of the murdered Jo Cox are unquestionably the actions of a despicable human being.
But they are also calculated to rouse hatred and make him appear outnumbered by his opponents – and each outraged response simply widens and hardens the divide and amplifies his false claim to underdog status fighting for the democratic empowerment of the ‘common man’.
Some see exactly what he’s doing. Labour Party chair Ian Lavery summarised it perfectly:
How to fight this disgraceful strategy is not rocket science. Johnson is resorting to these tactics because he and his organ grinder can’t change the fundamental bankruptcy of their position – so they need to hide it or distract from it. And they especially hope the left will focus on attacking Johnson’s behaviour and not on Labour’s outstanding and revolutionary package of two hundred policies to transform our nation and bring hope.
“When they go low, we go somewhere else: drag him onto class politics, 99% vs 1%”
Economist James Meadway nailed it;
When Johnson performs his tricks, the right response is ignore him – or quickly divert onto:
- Labour’s policies
- Johnson’s privilege and his support for so-called elites against the interests of the many
- his history of unremitting support for the Tory policies that have blighted the lives of millions in this country
There is no shortage of material.
Labour’s groundbreaking policies are summarised in this graphic:
Johnson is trying to pose as the anti-Establishment politician, but these policies are the real insurgency.
Johnson can ape humanity, pretend populism, spout unfounded optimism and mimic warmth – but because he represents the worst possible continuation of the plague that the right has been to the UK, he cannot offer the one thing that most people are most hungry for now.
Hope – hope of real change for the better,
If the left fights on its own terms, Johnson and Cummings cannot compete. If it fights on theirs, we lose – and the whole country loses.
The stakes are high. Fight smart or lose.
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