‘A fire-eater who’s run out of fuel with ‘a Pinocchio-like relationship with the truth’: German press savages Boris Johnson

‘A fire-eater who’s run out of fuel with ‘a Pinocchio-like relationship with the truth’: German press savages Boris Johnson

With a recent by-election loss in North Shropshire, the fallout from that alleged Christmas party, wallpaper gate and a backbench rebellion over Covid regulations, it’s no surprise Boris Johnson’s poll ratings are at their lowest since 2019.

The prime minister’s series of bad moves have gained the attention of the global press who have given Johnson’s leadership a scathing review, The Guardian reported.

Despite acknowledging the “apparently glorious election” Johnson, the “political entertainer” had in 2019, German news outlet Der Spiegel certainly didn’t pull any punches when it came to the PM’s predicament today, and poetically noted how Johnson looks like “a fire-eater who’s run out of fuel: no more sparks, no flickering flames, only cold smoke rising over Downing Street.”

Some pretty vivid imagery.

Their London correspondent Jörg Schindler described how Johnson had “a Pinocchio-like relationship with the truth” and throughout the various scandals that have arisen so far during his time in office, noted how he has “never made a secret of the fact that he only knows one moral code: his”.

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Although Johnson is not favourable in the court of public opinion at the moment, Der Spiegel believes he has always been “unassailable” and compared him to “the naked emperor who cried: ‘Look, I have no clothes,’ a parable that highlights the embarrassing consequences of a leader being surrounded with “yes” men.

Ultimately, they added how“Johnson has shaped the Tories in his own image”, by shifting the focus on Brexit and replacing older politicians with “young loyalists who owe their election solely to Johnson.”

Recent polls show Johnson’s approval rating is similar to predecessor Theresa May, in the same week she was forced to resign, The Times reported.

Though, the German publication doesn’t believe he will resign and took aim at the Tory party by saying if Johnson were to be kicked out by his party, “it would first have to recover the decency it largely lost when it surrendered to its election winner”.

A pretty blistering description - but Der Spiegel wasn’t the only European outlet that came to the same conclusion.

Rafa De Miguel of Spanish news publication El País said that the rise of the Omnicron variant “points to a tough winter, and is combining with public outrage to weigh on the credibility of a prime minister that is currently in tatters”.

While Sonia Delesalle-Stolper of the French news outlet Libération, echoed the sentiments of Johnson surrounding himself with “yes” men and added how “he is the only actor of the Boris Johnson show.”

“Many of those around him, mediocre politicians now drunk with the unexpected power that an ill-prepared referendum has bestowed upon them, have supported him because they saw it as a formidable opportunity for their careers.”

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