Wednesday 13 November 2019

'They invent, they exaggerate, they deny saying things they’ve said' - Alastair Campbell on Boris Johnson and Donald Trump

Alastair Campbell
Alastair Campbell
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

TONY Blair’s former press secretary, Alastair Campbell, has launched a blistering attack on Boris Johnson and Donald Trump during a visit to Dublin.

Mr Campbell, who now works with the People’s Vote campaign to give British people a final say on Brexit, said both men were politicians of a “post truth world”.

He said he was worried that the political environment of the world now was similar to that in the 1930s when fascism was in the rise.

“Trump and Johnson are both politicians of the post-truth, post-shame world.

“They invent, they exaggerate, they deny saying things they’ve said and wave away evidence that proves the lie,” he said.

“They take credit when it’s not due and spread blame that should be theirs. They are unabashed by scandal.”

READ MORE: Declan Lynch: 'A long time ago, we stopped believing normal politics too'

He was speaking today in the Graduate Memorial Building at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), where he received the gold medal of honorary patronage by the university’s philosophical society.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he is confident a Brexit deal can now be done.

But Mr Campbell told Independent.ie he believed any deal that is struck between the EU and UK Prime Minister on Brexit must be put to a referendum.

“Come to a deal fine but make sure that the detail is properly scrutinised.

“And because we are no so far from the referendum and the Brexit deal is so far removed from what was talked about in 2016, I don’t believe we should have to agree to it unless there has been a referendum on it.”

READ MORE: Jody Corcoran: 'The beginning of the end for populism'

He hit out at the current UK prime minister’s belief that a ‘Blitz spirit’ will prevail after Brexit similar to World War Two.

US President Donald Trump (Brian Lawless/PA)
US President Donald Trump (Brian Lawless/PA)

“Johnson is kidding himself if he thinks Brexit will inspire some kind of Blitz spirit.

“The country rallied around Winston Churchill in the face of an existential threat.

“Brexit is a self-inflicted act of damage and conditioning and Johnson is a prime cause of both,” he said.

On Donald Tump he said he had been discussing the US president with Mr Blair, and told him he worried that he has “dangerous fascist tendencies”.

“I wasn’t’ saying and I’m not saying that Trump is like the new Hitler, or the new Stalin. I’m not saying that he wants to murder millions of people,” he said.

“What I am saying that I do think he has dangerous tendencies and I think he has shaken the guardrails of democracy.”

READ MORE: John Masterson: 'Lies, damned lies, and leaders of the free world'

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