Saturday, 4th April 2020

Boris Johnson's guide to breaking promises

WANT to look good? Tell everyone what they want to hear and make promises you have no intention of keeping. The prime minister explains how to lie your way to the top. 

Promise only for an unspecified future

Yesterday I threw out a few pledges about the environment that won’t happen for decades, if ever, and certainly won’t be my problem. Use similar ploys in everyday life: promise your daughter she can have that pony, but neglect to say you meant in 2055, when she’s 46.

Keep it vague 

Impress your boss by saying ‘I can guarantee real, bottom-line cost savings, Jeff.’ When, six months later, you’ve saved £1.35 by buying fractionally cheaper biros, you have delivered on that promise.

Cross your fingers

It is established in English statute law that crossing your fingers, even if behind your back, negates all promises. It’s tricky during sex but trust me it’s possible.

Associate exclusively with the gullible

Cultivate friendships with credulous dunces like my Brexit fanbase. If someone says ‘You promised to help me move flat on Saturday, so where were you?’ reply, ‘Sorry, Emma, MI6 called at the last minute again. Saved the world, yeah. Anyway, how about a shag?’

Only concern yourself with the very short-term

I’ll say anything to get through the 30 seconds of an interview. So if you want to get into someone’s pants by promising them a trip on your luxury yacht, go for it, even if you only work part-time at Asda. You won’t be found out for at least a day. In Boris time, that’s forever.

Don’t care about getting caught

So you lied? Big deal. It was only to avoid momentary difficulties and get what you wanted, so it’s fine, you’re happy, that’s all that matters. Psychiatrists call this sociopathic, but I can promise you it’s all just jolly Johnson fun.