James O'Brien responds to Boris Johnson telling public to use "British common sense" in lockdown

12 May 2020, 16:04

By Fiona Jones

This was James O'Brien's powerful response to Boris Johnson telling the public to use "British common sense" during the pandemic.

Boris Johnson called on the public to use "good solid British common sense" while he outlined the new lockdown rules for the battle against the disease.

James called this comment "yet another meaningless, fatuous phrase that these people throw at us."

"The forelock-tuggers will start waving it around without even knowing what it means and the rest of us will stare at it in utter disbelief that anybody in politics, let alone people so high up the ladder, could hold the British public in such abject contempt.

"How stupid must they think we are to suggest that we can unravel the absurdity and the intricacies and the mess of their own botched strategy by applying our own common sense?"

James cited Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who accused him of thinking the public were stupid, and reiterated he does not think the public are stupid, it is in fact Mr Raab: "they think they can lie to you and you will believe them."

"I think they're about to do the same with common sense. When I say this common sense strategy is downright dangerous, they say 'people like James O'Brien are calling you stupid again, they don't think you've got common sense'."

Boris Johnson called on the public to use "good solid British common sense"
Boris Johnson called on the public to use "good solid British common sense". Picture: PA

James said, "They're whipping up the sort of half-wits that say you hate your country. That's why he stuck British into the phrase yesterday. British common sense - what the flip does that mean?"

He questioned whether someone who is half-Irish would have half common sense.

"There's a bloke over there whose grandparents were Turkish. His name is Boris Johnson. Has he got British common sense? His granddad's name was Osman Kemal until he changed it to Wilfred Johnson...does he become a possessor of British common sense the moment he changes his name from the one that his parents gave him to the one that he wants?"

James said Boris's insistence we use "British common sense" is another little nod to "the idea that we can somehow perform better than everybody else because we're British. The nonsense that Brexit is built on."

"When I say telling us to rely on common sense is a complete abdication of responsibility and leadership, it is Trumpian in its simple-ism, they say 'people like James O'Brien think you're stupid'."

"Telling us to rely on common sense is a complete abdication of responsibility and leadership
"Telling us to rely on common sense is a complete abdication of responsibility and leadership. Picture: LBC

Can I meet up with other people under new lockdown rules?

The guidance says you can meet up with "one person from outside your household", but only in an outside setting.You must remain compliant with social distancing guidelines and remain two metres from them at all times.

So for example, you can see a friend or partner in a park, but are not allowed closer than 2m to each other.

The document adds: "You can only exercise with up to one person from outside your household – this means you should not play team sports, except with members of your own household."

READ MORE: The new rules of lockdown explained

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