‘Assault on Truth’

I thought this an interesting video from the Owen Jones website where he interviews with increasing clarity, fellow journalist, Peter Oborne, formerly of Johnson’s Spectator and the Daily Telegraph, and latterly the Daily Mail – no less – on his book ‘Assault on Truth’.

Actually there seems little ‘no less’ about it – he is married to an Anglican vicar:

His book is ‘The Assault on Truth” where he points out Johnson’s lies in office and how they are so destructive of democracy.

The (to me) very interesting interview suggests that a few Conservatives realise at last…

But Oborne mentions that he has has encountered far fewer MP’s that recognise Johnson’s lies than those that believe them…

That is shades of the US Republicans and, it seems to me, should very much worry us all.

Comments

  1. Jim Osborne -

    I have seen Oborne being interviewed along with Richard Murphy on “The Alex Salmond Show” a couple of times. Whilst he may be from a different political and ideological part of the spectrum than I am I have always found him incisive and objective. I have a similar opinion about the Scottish Conservative political commentator Andy MacIver. I think Oborne and MacIver are voices to take seriously. These are the kind of folk who give you some hope in the possibility of coalition government.

    1. Peter May -

      Agreed

  2. Samuel Johnson -

    A distinctly old-fashioned gent with old-fashioned ideas about honour and truth, which will hopefully come back into fashion some day. “Telling the truth in a time of universal deceit” has become a bit of a cliché but it’s always encouraging to see it. The bit I found surprising was his tribute to Johnson’s intellect. Notwithstanding his known ability to bash out some entertaining prose I find the idea unsupported by evidence. He is what some psychologists would call a “pleaser”, gifted at telling people what they most want to hear. It’s a characteristic rooted in a miserable and anxious childhood (documented in Sonia Purnell’s book Just Boris, enough of which can be read for free on Google Books to get the gist) and which has deformed his character. I found myself wondering if Oborne was also educated at private boarding school.

    1. Peter May -

      I quite agree with you about Johnson’s supposed intellect. To me he’s a pretty empty vessel. Wikipedia tells me that Oborne too was educated at private boarding school.

      1. Samuel Johnson -

        As I suspected. There’s a certain kind of class-based deference at work, it seems to me, a kind of indulgence that is a corollary of grateful acceptance. I’ve seen reports of many people exaggerating their family’s working class background, minimizing their actual privilege for social reasons. It’s logical to assume that there’s an imposter syndrome counterpart on the part of people who went to private schools but whose parents couldn’t afford it or who, for whatever reason, felt themselves to be anxious outsiders. Johnson was because of his unhappy home life, and it’s a large of why he played the fool. For Oborne to have been taken in by him suggests one of two things, either insecurities of his own or a desire to sugar the pill of the criticism he delivers. Perhaps a bit of both. Max Hastings’ more unqualified judgment will hold up better.

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