Socialist Worker

Arrogant, lying and weak, Johnson starts campaign

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2679

Johnson tried to dress old policies up as new

Johnson tried to dress old policies up as new (Pic: Flickr/FCO)


Boris Johnson began the general election campaign with arrogance, lies—and weakness.

He made a slew of spending ­promises from the NHS to ­welfare that quickly turned out to be rehashed announcements.

In a bid to win over working class voters in marginal seats, the government said last Friday that it would end the benefits freeze next April.

That freeze, brought in by the Tories in 2016, was always due to end in April.

The move will only see benefits rise by 1.7 percent in line with the CPI rate of inflation—which doesn’t take into account housing costs.

And there’s no compensation for the vicious cuts in the last three years.

Adam Corlett of the Resolution Foundation think tank said, “The government’s confirmation that ­working-age benefits will only keep pace with rising prices means there will be no increase in living standards.

“Those in need of extra support will continue to be left behind.”

On the same day health secretary Matt Hancock claimed the promise of new cancer equipment showed the Tories’ commitment to boosting NHS funding.

But the centrepiece of the Tories’ plans is £13 billion of funding to build 40 new hospitals—a policy already announced at their ­conference last month.

And that only amounts to £2.7 ­billion to refurbish six hospitals over the next five years. Another 21 ­projects will get a small amount of seed-funding to “kick-start” their plans for the end of the next decade.

There can be no doubt that Johnson is a candidate of the rich after he hired fracking lobbyist Rachel Wolf to write the Tory manifesto. Her other clients include energy giant Cuadrilla, Amazon and Facebook.

Secured 

Johnson secured an endorsement from bigot-in-chief Donald Trump during an LBC radio call in show hosted by Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.

Boris Johnson—most vicious of Tory clowns
Boris Johnson—most vicious of Tory clowns
  Read More

Trump is set to visit London during the general election campaign for a Nato warmongers’ summit.

A coalition of groups, ­including Stop the War and Stand Up To Racism, have called a protest for Tuesday 3 December.

Johnson and all of the top Tories must be hounded by protests ­wherever they go.

On the campaign’s first day, a ­medical student tried to confront Johnson when he visited Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Julia Simons said, “We were told we weren’t allowed to know he was here. He’s too much of a coward to actually speak to any real members of staff.”

Although Johnson is weak, he could still come out on top.

At the last election Labour ­managed to claw back the Tories’ lead and deny them a majority, but Theresa May still won the most seats and 13 million votes.

And it could be harder this time for Labour to shift the debate away from Brexit onto class issues that unite ordinary people.

Labour must go after Johnson’s record of racism, sexist and bigotry—driving home that he is the enemy of working class people.


A bigot through and through

Jeremy Corbyn said he wouldn’t go after Boris Johnson personally.

But Labour’s campaign should hammer home that he is a dangerous, racist, homophobic ruling class warrior.

Homophobic

Johnson asked why “three men and a dog” couldn’t marry if LGBT+ people could.

He said Tony Blair’s Labour government was made up of “Nancy boys”.

When Peter Mandelson resigned from the government, he said it caused considerable distress to all the “tank-topped bumboys”.

Racist

Johnson said news of Jonathan Aitken’s resignation from Margaret Thatcher’s government was brought to him in a cleft-stick by “some piccaninny from the steaming Mato Grosso”.

He said the queen was routinely welcomed abroad by “cheering crowds of ­­flag waving piccaninnies”.

During a visit by Tony Blair to the Democratic Republic of Congo Johnson wrote that African warriors would all “stop their hacking of human flesh” and welcome him with their “watermelon smiles”.

Islamophobic

In August last year Johnson wrote of Muslim women who wear the burqa that, “It is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes.”

He wrote that, “If a constituent came to my MP’s surgery with her face obscured, I should feel fully entitled to ask her to remove it.

“If a female student turned up at school or at a university lecture looking like a bank robber then ditto.”

Ruling class warrior

Johnson said his “first spasm of savage right wing indignation” happened when he was asked to contribute to “the blasted miners” during the Miners’ Strike of 1984-85.

He celebrated their defeat as “a disaster for trade unionism... and membership has been on a steady downward path ever since”.

Johnson has voted consistently to raise the tax threshold and reduce corporation tax. He has also voted in favour of benefit cuts and against social rents.


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