Fintan O’Toole: Boris Johnson’s gibberish may be surreal but it's also dangerous

When the British prime minister can’t be bothered to lie, he lapses into nonsense

Boris Johnson is not some dude with a big bong writing awful poetry at three a.m. It is, to use the word Johnson has so much trouble with, “actually” the voice of the sovereign government of Northern Ireland.  Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

Boris Johnson is not some dude with a big bong writing awful poetry at three a.m. It is, to use the word Johnson has so much trouble with, “actually” the voice of the sovereign government of Northern Ireland. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

It’s not when Boris Johnson is lying that you have to have to worry. If he’s lying, that just means he’s still breathing. No, the real danger sign is the gibbering. It’s what he does when he can’t be bothered to think up a lie.

Even for someone with so much practice, mendacity takes a bit of effort. When it’s too much trouble, Johnson just babbles. The big problem for Ireland is that his most delirious gush of gabble is about something that matters a great deal to the future of this island: the Northern Ireland protocol to the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

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