Trustworthy analysis and commentary are sometimes difficult to find in today’s politics. The pace at which news and information are shared often means damaging mistruths are taken as gospel, while important facts fade away as soon as the media cycle moves on. And now, with Boris Johnson in office, separating fact from fiction has become even harder.
We have long known about his loose and whimsical relationship with the truth. Indeed, before entering No.10 he was fired twice for lying, had been called out for making up poll numbers, and his false and far-fetched claims about his time as Mayor of London are well documented. For years he has tried to hide his lies behind a façade of affable celebrity, bluster and waffle. But now, as Prime Minister during one of the most significant periods in our country’s history, his flagrant disregard for the truth poses a serious and damaging threat.
To show the scale and depth of his dishonesty, we’ve compiled an interactive timeline covering just the last few months. Claims about kippers and socks can be brushed off as vaguely comical. But they highlight his self-entitled instinct to lie, and provide the bedrock on which he thinks he can shut down parliament without due respect to our democracy.
While political debate is damaged by Johnson’s dishonesty, the real harm is that it obfuscates and dilutes the things that people need to know.
We’ve now had nine long years of underinvestment in our economy and the impact of this cannot be underestimated, and should not be ignored.
Despite our economy being one of the biggest in the world, 14.3 million people live in poverty and, last year, 1.6 million food parcels were given out – over 500,000 of which went to children.
At the same time the underfunding of our public services has meant that 1,000 English schools have turned to crowdfunding websites to raise money for stationery and textbooks, the number of people waiting more than two weeks (the standard set by the NHS) for urgent cancer treatment has more than trebled from 45,969 in 2009/10 to 179,260 in 2018/19, and in the last five years violent crime has doubled.
These are the facts that matter and have a real impact on people’s lives.
So welcome to The Insider. A place to document the lies and sleight of hand of Boris Johnson and the Tories, to shine a light on the vested interests of their wealthy backers, and to draw attention to new research and statistics you need to know.
While you can’t trust Boris Johnson and his Tory government; you can trust the facts.