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Boris Johnson’s conference speech was vainglorious puffery

The foreign secretary’s address can only be interpreted as a last desperate pitch for the Tory leadership

By Oliver Kamm  

Boris Johnson onstage at Conservative Party conference. Photo: Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

If you say it fast, the name of the capital of Venezuela sounds just like the English adjective “crackers.” You can’t expect too much of the quality of gags in party conference speeches, but this pitiful one (directed at Jeremy Corbyn’s admittedly unconscionable support for an autocratic regime) was still a highlight of Boris Johnson’s speech this afternoon. It was, after all, accurate if hyperbolic. The rest of the address was fanciful, vacuous, disingenuous and demeaning—for himself,…

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