“Political Amnesia” — Boris Johnson versus the EU

Source: The Guardian, May 17

Boris JohnsonOne of the Europe’s most senior leaders has accused Boris Johnson of suffering from “political amnesia” and making “absurd arguments”, after the former London mayor drew a comparison between the aims of the EU and Adolf Hitler.

EU institutions have so far avoided getting drawn into the UK’s increasingly bitter referendum campaign, but Donald Tusk [a former prime minister of Poland], the president of the European council, said on Tuesday that he had to respond when he heard the EU being compared to the Nazi leader’s plans.

Donald TuskHe said: “When I hear the EU being compared to the plans and projects of Adolf Hitler I cannot remain silent. Such absurd arguments should be completely ignored if they hadn’t been formulated by one of the most influential politicians in the [UK’s] ruling party.

“Boris Johnson crossed the boundaries of a rational discourse, demonstrating political amnesia.” These views were in the minds of many Europeans, not just Britons, Tusk added, but this was no excuse for Johnson’s “dangerous blackout.”

The former London mayor, seen as a leading figure in the campaign for Britain to leave the EU, caused outrage when he drew a comparison between the EU and Nazi subjugation of Europe.


3 responses to ““Political Amnesia” — Boris Johnson versus the EU

  1. mike holliday

    Don’t blame Boris – he’s only taking advantage of the current climate.
    A technology-created perfect storm means people are suffering from information overload, an addiction to the inconsequential and the resultant attention deficit.
    Politicians know that to cut through they have to be outrageously contentious.
    They also know that there is no hangover because the voter’s attention span is minute, the priorities trivial and the ability to remember at zero.
    Donald Trump is the most obvious example, but more subtle versions can be found everywhere.
    Think of a country. Think of its government. Is it led by shallow, selfish individuals and groups of individuals promoting a philosophy of greed and self gratification?
    The odds are it is.

  2. Paul Knutson

    We do blame Boris Johnson. There has to be some level of opinion/fact presentation in democracies that we try to stay above. Boris is of the Berlusconi standard of politics (but without the media empire): very entertaining, even funny, but will say absolutely anything to further their own personal cause. Such people are always around. The connivance of the media, mostly owned by the plutocrats, is not new either, but seems to be at a new level now. ….. digressing a bit… eg. the New York Times being such a sycophant to the Bush administration during the Iraq war.

  3. mike holliday

    I will accept that, Paul, but Boris is the symptom, not the illness.
    The illness is the way in which voters are manipulated – and the way in which voters like to be manipulated.
    Until people realise that thinking takes effort democracies will always be vulnerable to Boris and his fellow travellers.
    Just how people who believe in freedom of thought demand that politicians and the media obey ethical standards is another can of worms.