’Oh Dear!’: Farage Warns Odd Ramblings About Cartoon Pig During Speech Not a Good Sign for Boris’s Leadership

SOUTH SHIELDS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at the Port of Tyne, in South Shields, during the CBI annual conference on November 22, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Owen Humphreys - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Owen Humphreys - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Brexit leader Nigel Farage remarked that “something has fundamentally changed in terms of this prime minister’s standing”, after Boris Johnson made a series of odd remarks about the cartoon Peppa Pig during a talk with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), with insiders expressing concern over the premier’s leadership.

During a meeting with the CBI, which represents big businesses including multinationals earlier this week, Prime Minister Johnson appeared to have lost his place in his speech. After spending around 20 seconds shuffling papers asking those present to “forgive me”, he then stopped, looked up, and asked the audience, “Hands up if you’ve been to Peppa Pig World?” and likely seeing only a small number of hands added, “not enough!”

“I loved it. Peppa Pig World is my kind of place.

“It has very safe streets, discipline in schools, a heavy emphasis on mass transit systems I noticed, even if they are a bit stereotypical about Daddy Pig,” he said in comments reported by the BBC.

Prime Minister Johnson continued: “The real lesson for me going to Peppa Pig World… was about the power of UK creativity.

“Who would have believed a pig who looks like… a Picasso like hairdryer, a pig that was rejected by the BBC, would now be exported to 180 countries and theme parks both in America and China, as well as in the New Forest and be a business worth at least £6bn to this country and counting.

“I think that is pure genius don’t you? No government in the world, no Whitehall civil servant, would have conceivably come up with Peppa.”

“Well, talk about my ‘What the Farage?!’ moment! Oh, dear, oh dear, oh dear! Bumbling, stumbling, not in control of his brief or his detail in any way at all,” Mr Farage remarked on the prime minister’s performance on Monday.

“Not long ago when Boris got up and spoke like that, we all used to laugh. With the Peppa Pig incident, it goes to show you that something has fundamentally changed in terms of this prime minister’s standing, because Boris, we’re not laughing now,” Farage said.

It wasn’t just Johnson’s political adversary who criticised his performance in front of senior business leaders.

According to sources speaking to The Times, ministers and senior aides criticised Mr Johnson for his speech as well as for the Conservative rebellion over social care, the insider saying that there was nervousness in Downing Street over the prime minister’s “stumble after stumble”.

“The prime minister desperately needs a big moment where everyone says, ‘boom, he’s back’. Today wasn’t that moment but he needs to find it soon,” one Conservative MP warned.

“Business was really looking for leadership today and it was shambolic,” another senior Downing Stree source told the BBC.

They added: “Cabinet needs to wake up and demand serious changes otherwise it’ll keep getting worse. If they don’t insist, he just won’t do anything about it.”

During the same speech in front of business leaders, Johnson had quoted communist dictator Vladimir Lenin to promote his “green industrial revolution”.

Johnson said: “Lenin once said that the communist revolution was Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.”

Continuing: “Well, I hesitate to quote Lenin at the Confederation of British Industry, but the coming industrial revolution is green power plus the electrification of the whole country.”

He also — again — compared alluded to himself as the Moses of climate change prevention.

“I said to my officials the new Ten Commandments were that ‘thou shalt develop industries like offshore wind, hydrogen, nuclear power and carbon capture’,” Johnson said.

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