A warning to those sensitive souls who don't like this newspaper - taken from the Guardian
Boris Johnson’s speech - snap verdict
One of Jeremy Corbyn’s aides once told me that Corbyn always gives essentially the same speech, and it is true. That’s why, despite his huge popularity with his fans, no one has ever published a volume of his collected speeches. Boris Johnson’s hero is Winston Churchill, whose collected speeches used to be an essential item on any well-stocked bookshelf in a home in Britain. But that will never happen for Johnson because, like Corbyn, he basically just gives the same speech every time. The jokes may evolve, but the performance is the same.
As usual, there was no attempt to place the speech in any context, to relate it to what is happening in the world today. There was only a cursory mention of the fuel crisis, and no reference to the universal credit cut happening this week, A host of serious problems sitting on the desk of the PM, like the Northern Ireland protocol, were ignored completely. Johnson showed no interest in sustaining an argument much further than could be compressed in a tweet. As usual, the whole thing sounded like an impromptu after dinner speech; this is a classic Johnson conceit, although, of course, to convincingly sound improvised takes a lot of rehearsal.
But what you do get from a Johnson speech are jokes and positivity. This speech had only one tiny announcement (see 11.57am), an audacious argument about the economy that he has been making all week (see 9.17am) and some fresh, pro-nimby spin on levelling up (see 9.56am). The critique of Keir Starmer as a hijacked cruise liner captain (see 12.09pm). But in so far as there was political substance in it, it was smothered in fluff, cheery Tory waffle. This is what the Conservative party was voting for when they made Johnson leader, and most of them seem to still like it.
Johnson’s critics will despair that the prime minister of the day can deliver a speech so shallow. What they object to most is Johnson’s lack of seriousness. But the danger is that they are making a category error. One of the secrets of Johnson’s success has been to view politics not so much as statesmanship, but as a branch of the entertainment industry (he applied the same approach to journalism), and to gamble that excessive geniality and positivity trumps everything. History and common sense suggest that at some point reality experienced by 65 million people will prevail, but Johnson’s approach has worked for him so far and perhaps it will for longer.