Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
29 November 2019updated 25 Jul 2021 6:58am

“That would require a degree of literacy”: Boris Johnson’s dad insults the British public

By Election Mole

Faced with a viewer labelling his son “Pinocchio” on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, Stanley Johnson decided the best response was to insult the entirety of the British public.

With so few weapons in his rhetorical armoury to counter the suggestion that Boris Johnson has been economical with the truth, Stanley came out with:

“Pinocchio? That requires a degree of literacy which I think the Great British public doesn’t necessarily have.”

When presenter Joanna Gosling addressed his snobbery, calling it “quite a pejorative thing to say about the Great British public”, Johnson doubled down:

“They couldn’t spell ‘Pinocchio’ if they tried, I should’ve thought. Can you spell Pinocchio? Have a go, have a go.”

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

Content from our partners
Helping children be safer, smarter, happier internet explorers
Power to the people
How to power the electric vehicle revolution