Wednesday , January 20 2021

Boris Johnson to promise end to ‘Brexit groundhoggery’ in first stump speech – The Guardian, Theguardian.com


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Prime minister will repeat familiar themes in visit to West Midlands factory

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Boris Johnson holds a pint

Johnson is set to give his first set-piece speech of the election campaign in the West Midlands. Photograph: POOL New / Reuters

Boris Johnsonis to use his first set-piece speech of the election campaign to stress a familiar roll-call of core policies, including a pledge to “end the groundhoggery of Brexit”, spend more on the NHS and cut crime.

Speaking at anelectric vehicle plant in the West Midlands, Johnson is due to combine touting the Conservative offering with a vehement condemnation of Labor, saying Jeremy Corbyn’s party would condemn the UK to the “Intellectual cul-de-sac of far left Corbynism”.

The entry of the prime minister to thefull electoral fray after a relatively quiet start to his campaigncomes after he starred in the Conservatives’ first election broadcast, an informal walkabout chat with Johnson made for social media consumption.

Boris Johnson takes 12 questions in new election broadcast – video

In the low key and occasionally awkward four-minute clip, a cameraman pursues the prime minister around the Tory campaign HQ, firing questions which range fromBrexitto trivia such as whether he enjoys Marmite – he does – and that his favorite bands are the Clash and Rolling Stones.

In extracts from the West Midlands speech released in advance, Johnson says: “The UK is admired and respected around the world but people are baffled by our debate on Brexit and they cannot understand how this great country can squander so much time and energy on this question and how we can be so hesitant about our future. If we can get a working majority, we can get parliament working for you, we can get out of the rut. We can end the groundhoggery of Brexit. ”

The election, he says, gives the UK “a historic choice… the country can either move forwards with policies that will deliver years of growth and prosperity, or it can disappear into an intellectual cul-de-sac of far left Corbynism.

“We can honor the wishes of the people, or else we can waste more time, at the cost of a billion pounds per month, and havetwo more referendums, one on Scotlandand one on the EU – an expense of spirit and a waste of shame, more political self-obsession and onanism.

“This is why I urge everybody undecided how to vote – imagine waking up on Friday 13 December after the election to find the (Corbyn-Sturgeon coalition) in Downing Street. They will ruin 2020 with two referendums, they will ruin the economy with out-of-control debt, they will put taxes up for everyone and, instead of anAustralian points system, we’ll have uncontrolled and unlimited immigration. ”

The familiar refrain, using lines Johnson has repeatedly used since his campaign to become the Conservative leader, is repeated in the campaign video, released on Tuesday evening, down to buzz-phrases such as “coalition of chaos” and “get Brexit done ”, and pledges on schools, police and faster broadband.

“I can’t hide it from you. I’ve been thinking a bit about this general election campaign, ”Johnson began somewhat sheepishly, as the camera follows him to a kitchen area in the campaign headquarters, where he makes a cup of tea.

Away from the election patter, the video attempts to humanise Johnson by letting him talk about how he starts his day – he claims to take theDowning Street dog, Dilyn, for a walk – and his surprise at learning that No 10 security conditions meant he could not have a Thai takeaway delivered.

Johnson was even asked when he last cooked, saying it was the previous night, when he prepared steak and oven chips.

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