Johnson’s guide to government: 30 golden rules

Accept responsibility for nothing.

Blame others for things that are your fault.

Take credit for things that aren’t your doing.

Attribute positive developments that have nothing to do with leaving the EU, to leaving the EU.

Act like you’re the opposition and the opposition are the government. 

When there’s a risk your voters will see through you, escalate the culture war so they’ll still vote for you.

Extol the virtues of the Union while doing all you can to undermine it.

Devise a foreign policy for a world in which Europe doesn’t exist. 

Turn allies into adversaries.

Use peace in Ireland to attack the single market.

Abuse the French and Germans at every opportunity while always referring to them as “our friends”.

Tell EU nationals they’re welcome to stay. Then drive them away. Then beg them to come back but warn them not to outstay their welcome.

Erect trade barriers while singing the glories of free trade.

Sign international treaties with your fingers crossed.

Spark trade wars with your neighbours for electoral gain.

Dehumanise asylum seekers while telling the world about your compassion.

Wave big flags.

Talk about the war. Talk about Churchill. Hark back to the golden days of the blitz.

Use three-word slogans and avoid detail at all costs.

Insult your own voters by making fun of your own slogans.

Where gravitas is required, use levity.

Deliver serious messages of global import with a glint in your eye and a smirk on your face, to show your supporters you don’t mean them.

Preach unity but sow division.

Praise the UK’s values of tolerance, freedom and rule of law while displaying intolerance, restricting freedoms and attacking the rule of law.

Encourage the belief that being expected to display good manners, diplomacy and respect for others’ views is an intolerable infringement of your freedom of speech.

Cite the sacredness of our sovereign parliament while granting yourself presidential powers.

Treat electoral defeat as a pathway to a peerage.

Use public money for political ends.

When put on the spot in an interview, look from side to side at an imagined audience with exasperated expression, punch the air, and try to interview the interviewer.

If in doubt, lie. And then lie again. And again. And again. And again.

by Richard Haviland @rfhaviland