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Why Is Wannabe PM Boris Johnson Raging About Smoked Fish?

The Conservative Party leadership contender ranted about ice pillows in a fit of extremely normal behaviour

Boris Johnson waves a smoked kipper around on stage as part of Conservative Leadership Hustings against Jeremy Hunt, both men vying to be Prime Minister Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Boris Johnson jumps the shark by waving a kipper around

Would-be Prime Minister Boris Johnson waved a smoked fish around at the final hustings for his Tory leadership race with Jeremy Hunt as part of an unhinged rant about EU bureaucracy, ‘ice pillows,’ and kippers. Claiming that the fish from the Isle of Man had been presented to him “the editor of a U.K. national newspaper,” Johnson then brandished an ice pack as an example of “Brussels bureaucrats who have insisted that each kipper must be accompanied by a plastic ice pillow.” Extremely normal behaviour.

Johnson has a record of referring to single foodstuffs as a synecdoche for the nefarious regulatory forces of the EU: he has ranted about the availability of Mars bars and Christmas dinners in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This focus on individual, wildly unrepresentative instances of culinary bureaucracy is symptomatic of a wider inability and unwillingness to address both how the EU has ever systemically negatively affected Britain, and how Brexit will systemically positively affect Britain: waving around smoked fish and crowing over Mars bars is just another distraction from the reality that Johnson has little idea of what he is doing, and of what is to come. Especially given that the Isle of Man is not in the EU. [Independent]

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