He may be a clown, but the threat Boris Johnson poses is deadly serious

Constantly inconstant, Boris Johnson is faithful in at least one area: generating outrage. That he does as naturally as a dog cocks its leg at a lamppost.
This week, he has used the bodies of those murdered at London Bridge as props for his election campaign. Last week the 55-year-old dodged a Channel 4 debate on climate change, sending instead his dad and his wingman, Michael Gove. And then there are his many columns, spitting at gay men (“tank-topped bumboys”), single mums (“uppity and irresponsible”) and black people (“smiling piccaninnies”).
I would go on, but equally so might you – and we both know what typically comes next. The performative pearl-clutching, the saucer-eyed wailing: “How could he?” The sound and rote fury on social media and rolling news, followed by a satisfied, full-bellied silence as grateful journalists wait for their next steaming dollop of Boris buffoonery.
Read more at https://www.theguardian.com

How Boris Johnson and Brexit are Berlusconifying Britain

If this election campaign has a distinctive mood, it is a mix of bewilderment, outrage and exhaustion. The public sphere has been engulfed by a war of attrition in which every poll number, media statement or policy announcement must be treated with suspicion. What is it concealing? Who paid for it? What is it distracting us from?
The rules of engagement seem alien and unstable. Apart from the trolls-for-hire running the Conservative party digital media strategy, it’s hard to imagine that anyone is enjoying this. Political campaigns have always been an exercise in attention-seeking and sabotaging of opponents’ messaging, deploying classic military tactics of surprise and deception in the process, but this has now escalated to a point where meaningful argument has become all but impossible. Stand back for a moment, and a bigger question dawns: is this what the end of liberalism feels like?
Read more at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/04/boris-johnson-brexit-britain-politics-media-business

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