Boris Johnson’s resignation letter
“If a country cannot pass a law to save the lives of female cyclists — when that proposal is supported at every level of UK Government — then I don’t see how that country can truly be called independent.”
That’s what Boris Johnson wrote yesterday in his resignation letter. But a Channel 4 factcheck showed that it’s just another occasion of Boris being conservative with the truth.
This parting missive on the issue of Brexit — which he was apparently still writing when Number 10 confirmed his departure — spends a lot of time waffling on vehicle regulation.
The former Foreign Secretary wrote: “we seem to have gone backwards since the last Chequers meeting in February, when I described my frustrations, as Mayor of London, in trying to protect cyclists from juggernauts.
“We had wanted to lower the cabin windows to improve visibility; and even though such designs were already on the market, and even though there had been a horrific spate of deaths, mainly of female cyclists, we were told we had to wait for the EU to legislate on the matter.”
His concluding thought on the issue: “If a country cannot pass a law to save the lives of female cyclists — when that proposal is supported at every level of UK Government — then I don’t see how that country can truly be called independent.”
It wasn’t “supported at every level of UK Government” at all.
Boris spectacularly neglects to mention that the regulations he’s talking about were in fact put forward by the European Parliament, and backed by 570 MEPs, with 88 voting against. He also fails to acknowledge that those laws have actually been passed.
More crucially, Johnson is telling tall stories with he claims that the laws in question were “supported at every level of UK Government.”
When the regulations were put forward by the EU, the UK government explicitly did not support the proposals.
A government spokesperson told BBC News in 2014: “Where we are not supporting European Parliament proposals, it is simply because they will not produce practical changes in cab design and could lead to additional bureaucracy for Britain.”
The European Council, which includes representation from the UK government, later adopted the directive.
It’s inconceivable that Johnson didn’t know that the European Parliament had proposed the laws, he also knew that the UK government opposed them — because he explicitly called out ministers on the issue at the time.
In January 2014, Johnson said: “If these amendments, supported by dozens of cities across Europe, can succeed, we can save literally hundreds of lives across the EU in years to come. I am deeply concerned at the position of the British Government and urge them to embrace this vital issue.”
Perhaps in his hasty drafting, Johnson has
dismembered misremembered the exact chain of events, confused among the dying reverberations of all the other Euromyths he told.
Johnson’s old boss, Max Hastings, once said: “It is a common mistake to suppose Johnson a nice man. He is a man of remarkable gifts, flawed by an absence of conscience, principle or scruple.”
Yes. What a cuddly, tousled, eccentric, deceitful, narcissistic, bigoted lying thug.
“The government is well rid of a foreign secretary whose grotesque colonial fantasies were an affront to the world.
“Boris Johnson was only given a pass on his grotesque racism because of the snivelling class deference of UK political media.”
Birds of a feather…
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