Jean-Claude Juncker has got some front. Today, to the glee of Boris-bashers and hardcore Remainers, he has accused Boris of having told lies during the EU referendum campaign.
Is he serious? This is a man who has publicly defended and even advocated lying. This is a man who has insisted that untruths are an essential part of political life. Sometimes ‘you have to lie’, Juncker once said. For him now to accuse Boris of being a liar is an act of staggering hypocrisy and technocratic cant.
As part of his slow-motion vacation of the role of president of the European Commission, Juncker has given an interview to Der Spiegel. In it, he takes some swipes at Boris. ‘So many lies were told’ during the EU referendum campaign, he says, including ‘by current prime minister, Boris Johnson…’
He criticises the Remainer movement, including ‘my friend’ Tony Blair, for lacking ‘a voice’ that might have countered these lies. He hints that he could have been that voice; he could have been an asset to the Remain campaign.
Sweet Lord, where to begin? Sorry, Jean-Claude, but the only thing that could have made the Brexit victory even larger was is if you had been on the Remain side. You’re not popular here, mate. And with good reason. Many Brits — and many of our Eurosceptic cousins on the continent, too — see you as typifying the elitist, technocratic bureaucracy that is the European Union.
As for your bluster about Boris having allegedly lied during the referendum campaign. Okay, Boris might have exaggerated things and engaged in political hyperbole, as all politicians do. But you, Mr Juncker, have openly, shamelessly defended lying as a political tactic. You’re far more of a liar than BJ is.
Let us remind ourselves of some of the things Juncker has said in his career.