Andy Richardson: 'BoJo tends to bend it like Beckham'
There’s a track record.
Whether it’s wives, employers, fellow politicians or the public, BoJo tends to bend it like Beckham – the truth, that is. He’s frequently entered into formal agreements before breaking them, so what’s a little international treaty between friends and allies? Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis’ admission that the Government intends to “break international law”, by overriding the withdrawal agreement is, what The Sun might say, a shocker.
BoJo is channelling his inner Trump by saying one thing and then doing the next, showing disregard for international conventions. Yes, we’ve been quick to condemn China when they’ve done the same on Hong Kong, but, hey, self-interest is at heart and there’s a negotiation to win on Brexit. Funny, then, that the sixth top civil servant has quit because he doesn’t like the look of the Government – and, yes, this time it’s our top lawyer.
Richard Nixon – I know, it’s barrel scrape time – developed the Madman Theory, whereby his behaviour was so irrational and unpredictable that other nations feared him. Looking a little crazy was thought to be an effective way to make an adversary stand down. Trump has deployed it too and now BoJo seems to be following suit. BrexitGate looms. Europe, you imagine, will shrug its shoulders, increase the price of prosecco and slap tariffs on our goods. And if Biden wins the US election, a trade deal is off.
Now is the time for world class test and trace as Covid gathers pace. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the system is collapsing with Londoners being sent to Scotland for tests and others being told to wait a fortnight for results. Just as we followed the trajectory of Spain, Italy and others – rather than Germany, South Korea and New Zealand – things are starting to get messy. The Government has been waiting for this moment; test and trace shows they’re as ready as a party-goer who needs another two hours to get dressed just as the do starts. Oh yes, and the Oxford vaccine has been paused – someone has fallen ill. Let’s hope the millions who might take it don’t.
Airlines are staying afloat by keeping customers money and fobbing them off with vouchers on cancelled flights. EasyJet and British Airways are among the villains. Perhaps they should change their slogans: BA could use We’ll Take Less Care Of You and EasyJet could adopt To Fly, To Save (your cash, because we’re skint).
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