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Mark. Perhaps all one can criticize Johnson for is that he lies poorly, but perhaps even that is a pose, but to what end, who knows?

Sep 17, 2019 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

FWIW (not a lot) I share AK's view that no meaningful negotiations are taking place between the EU and the UK regarding Brexit. I'm less clear that this is Johnson's fault, since it's fairly apparent, to me at least, that the EU doesn't "do" compromise or negotiation. It's an authoritarian organisation that requires life to be on its terms,and doesn't recognise that it might be wrong. Nor does it even abide by its own Treaty requirements.

So, is Johnson lying? Very possibly. But, so what? EU leaders regularly lie, as do remainer politicians. Johnson is facing a powerful coalition of pro-EU vested interests on both sides of the Channel, who are determined to do whatever it takes to stop Brexit. Rightly or wrongly Johnson has made it the centre-piece of his leadership bid, and subsequent to his appointment as PM, the centre-piece of his Premiership, to ensure that the UK leaves the EU, and that we do so on 31st October 2019.

To achieve that, I suppose he has to pretend that he is trying to secure an exit with a deal, and to paint the EU (not unreasonably, since it is the reality of the situation) as the party that is uninterested in further negotiations. Only if he shows that Parliament 3 times rejected May's deal, and that he tried (and failed, thanks to EU intransigence) to secure a better deal can he be seen to be remotely reasonable in securing a no-deal Brexit on 31st October. So he has to spin the line that negotiations are proceeding, especially while Parliament is prorogued.

Paradoxically, what he is doing is vaguely honourable, even if it does involve some dishonesty, since he at least is trying to honour the referendum result, and is trying to honour the Conservative Party manifesto commitment on which he (and his fellow Tory - and Labour - MPs were elected at the last general election. What he is doing is certainly no less honourable than the behaviour of most Labour, and some Tory, MPs who were elected on the basis of their parties' manifesto commitments to implement the referendum result, but who have spent every moment since their election doing precisely the opposite.

Do I like Johnson? No. Do I respect Johnson? No. Do I believe he is a principled politician? No.

So what? The same is true of my view of most politicians (of all political stripes) and (contrary to the spin of the remainer MSM), at least Johnson isn't trying to subvert democracy. How can you tell when a politician is lying? Their lips are moving.

Sep 17, 2019 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Well Charlie now I have your take on Robert North. Unfortunately I did not ask for this. I actually asked IDAU (but no matter) for an opinion of what North had written yesterday about the complete absence of any evidence to support Johnson's claims that Brexit negotiations were progressing (add whatever adverb you see fit).

North's article began with a supposition: in part "It is not possible with such a high profile issue, involving so many people and so many moving parts, for .. [J]ohnson's claim to be true and for there to be no evidence of it – for there to be no footprint.

The post then proceeds to show that there is no evidence for any negotiations, not from the UK side, nor from the EU. Furthermore, North also identifies multiple occasions where individuals, from both the UK and EU, and both identified and unidentified, where statements have been made that there are no negotiations.

From this North concludes that there are currently no meaningful negotiations, and Johnson's statements to the contrary are outright lies. Absent any evidence to the contrary, I concur.

Charlie, you play the man, not the ball.

For the record I believe in North's supposition. Even the most shrouded of events - like D-Day - produced compelling evidence which fortunately was not spotted in time. In this instance Johnson is surrounded by opponents many willing to expose his boosterism. They do, but you don't believe them, any of them. Based on what?

Sep 17, 2019 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

"This is what climate change looks like in Australia – in pictures"

Sep 17, 2019 at 7:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

"A fifth of UK fresh food imports from areas at risk of climate chaos, MPs warn
Committee calls for ministers to spell out how supplies can be protected from climate crisis"

Sep 17, 2019 at 7:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

"My daughter and I have eco-anxiety – will building a bunker help?"

Sep 17, 2019 at 7:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Despite Brexit...

"Hewlett Packard Enterprise commits to Post-Brexit Scotland"

Sep 17, 2019 at 7:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Well, AK. Now you have my take on North. His case rests on 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand info.

You would make a lousy judge.

Sep 16, 2019 at 11:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharly

North's post:

"EU officials" have rejected the johnson claim of "huge progress" in Brexit talks.

These officials – anonymous as always"

"Thus, says a senior EU official, ..."

"The johnson government has a "credibility problem" over whether it could get a revised agreement passed in the Commons, one EU diplomat says. "What kind of mandate" does he have?"

North gets his information from the MSM. But he spends a lot of pixels on dissing the MSM.

Truth is, there is little in North's post that warrants analysis.

I read his blog from about 2013 to 2017. Someone on Tim Worstall's blog once said "he may be a bit of a knob, but he does have a point". He does, but he is full of bile and he thinks that the only adults in the room are R North and Pete North.

Sep 16, 2019 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharly


Well Tiny, I never stooped so low as to call you liar

It's amazing how low you manage to stoop from up there on your high horse, but at least you don't deny that you lie from time to time.

Sep 16, 2019 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Swan

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