The Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave his keynote speech to Tory Conference today, and it was notable for many reasons – not least for the complete lack of new policies and an astounding (even by his standards) overabundance of bluster and waffle.
However, one segment of his speech – where the PM referenced climate change and renewable energy – has gained widespread attention and created vehement debate on social media.
In his speech, Johnson talked about how it was only a few years ago that many still ridiculed renewable energy, and claimed that now was time to “beat the sceptics“, stating:
“Remember it was only a few years ago that people were saying that solar power would never work in cloudy old Britain, and that wind turbines would not pull the skin off a rice pudding?”
“Well there are days when wind and solar are delivering more than half our energy needs.”
“We can do it! We can beat the sceptics.”
Unfortunately for Boris, the internet never forgets.
Yes, astonishingly, the person who said ‘wind turbines couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding’ was none other than Boris Johnson himself in 2013:
Johnson’s apparent gaffe was picked up by Times columnist Matt Chorley, and his tweet has since gone viral:
“Remember when people said… that wind turbines would not pull the skin off a rice pudding”
Which people might that be Mr Johnson? pic.twitter.com/k7cjrdXRM3
— Matt Chorley (@MattChorley) October 2, 2019
Some have since attempted to claim that Johnson’s reference to his quote was intentionally self-deprecating.
However, as pointed out by Chorley in a further tweet, if Johnson was indeed slyly referring to his own idiotic historic utterances, the “joke” he was making in today’s speech was about the fact he “used to talk b***ocks about green energy” – not exactly a good look, one may assume.
Some are calling it intentional parody. There's not a whiff of an iota of self-deprecation in his words. Just as there's never an intent of apology. Instead, just perma-spin on "what I actually meant when I said humbug/didn't say humbug" etc. Ad infinitum. It's calculated chaos.
— Howard Angus (@howardangus) October 2, 2019
Yes, if the line really were self-deprecating, 2019 Boris Johnson really did just mock 2013 Boris Johnson for being an unmitigated idiot.