Boris Johnson is a 'nasty piece of work' hiding behind all the bonhomie – Kenny MacAskill MP

Boris Johnson has no more interest in football than I have in croquet, but he milked the English teams’ success for all it was worth.

Boris Johnson's policies are at odds with his jocular image, says Kenny MacAskill (Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson's policies are at odds with his jocular image, says Kenny MacAskill (Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images)

Unflattering photographs of him in an England shirt and equally grotesque flag displays at Downing Street, worry him not. After all this is the man who was pictured sliding down a rope-wire waving union jacks.

His hypocrisy in condemning racism when he’s been pivotal in unleashing an atmosphere of intolerance was breath-taking. But he’s both shameless and shameful.

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The bonhomie is all a ruse to mask his underlying nature. That’s been commented on before perhaps most succinctly in 2013 by the then BBC journalist Eddie Mair. Pointing out past sins, not simply indiscretions, he accused Johnson of being a “nasty piece of work” and he was right. It’s worsened since as Johnson’s had the power of the highest office in the land.

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The real person, not the faux one displayed in those stunts, was on display in Parliament last week. First up was the announcement that the Universal Credit uplift of £20 will be ending. A small amount to the likes of Johnson but a vital lifeline for many struggling to survive. But what does he care given his declared inability to live even on a Prime Minister’s pay?

That was compounded by proposals to require ID for voting. I’ve been involved in elections since the mid-1970s and the number of incidents of fraud I’ve been aware of I can count on one hand.

This is from the American playbook which has been routine in southern states. There it impacts largely on the black community, here it’ll be both BAME and the poor. But it suits him, and he doesn’t care about others if it entrenches his power.

Topping it all off was his equally odious sidekick Priti Patel’s Nationality and Borders Bill, demonising asylum seekers and treating them as criminals to be hounded and transported, rather than the tragic and vulnerable people they invariably are.

No one should be fooled by Johnson’s veneer, the feigned jocularity’s only to hide the nastiness that lies underneath.

Kenny MacAskill is the Alba Party MP for East Lothian

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