James O’Brien rips into Boris Johnson for playing to Brexit crowd with ‘common sense’ call

PUBLISHED: 13:58 13 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:58 13 May 2020

LBC's James O'Brien calls the PM's latest coronavirus messaging 'The nonsense that Brexit is built on'; Picture: LBC

LBC's James O'Brien calls the PM's latest coronavirus messaging 'The nonsense that Brexit is built on'; Picture: LBC

Archant

National radio presenter James O’Brien has criticised the prime minister for playing to the Brexiteers with his call for people to use ‘British common sense’.

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In a stringing rebuke of Johnson’s latest comments, LBC’s James O’Brien said the prime minister was using Brexit-style tactics to whip up support for his government’s latest coronavirus measures.

O’Brien called Johnson’s mantra for the public to use “good, solid British common sense” a “complete abdication of responsibility” and a ‘Trumpian simple-ism’.

“The idea that we can somehow perform better than everybody else because we’re British. The nonsense that Brexit is built on,” he 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?”

O’Brien went on to ask what constituted ‘British common sense’: “Someone over there is half Irish. What have they got, half Irish, half British common sense?”

“There’s a bloke over there whose grandparents were Turkish,” he added. “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?”

O’Brien slammed the message as nothing more than “yet another meaningless, fatuous phrase that these people throw at us.”

“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?” he said.

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