Dominic Cheney and Dick Cummings

The Chris Maden Award for Braxen Hypocrisy is struggling to find a home this week. There are just too many contenders, and the race is tight.

BoJo was off to a flying start for writing to the EU to say that the backstop was undemocratic, only to suspend Britain’s democracy. He then went on to place a large part of Britain’s government in Dominic Cummings hands. Boris at least has a mandate – albeit of a mere 93,000 old white Tories – I don’t remember anyone ever being asked if they’d vote for Dominic Cheney. Sorry, Cummings.

The parallels are striking in other ways, too: Bush was a charismatic but not very bright guy elected on a minority and was the front man for Dick Cheney (watch the movie, Vice, for a chilling account of his vice presidency); BoJo is charismatic and not as bright as he thinks he is, and replaces May who was elected on a minority, and appears to be the front man for DC.

But, nearer to my home in Hong Kong, the local Chief Executive (a pompous title for a mayor), claims to be a devoted Catholic, yet authorizes her (also “Christian”) police chief to ever greater acts of violence. Of course, the Catholic Church itself has a long history of both violence and hypocrisy, but in this case, the two wrongs compound rather than cancel each other.

Trump, though a liar, is probably the least hypocritical, but his Brazilian counterpart says he “loves the Amazon” just as he gives ranchers the licence to torch it, and essentially destroys Brazil’s environmental enforcement capability. Macron makes a big self-aggrandizing splash and offers a piffling $20M to help put the fires out.

A tough one, indeed.

This week or two of September will be historic in many ways. If Bojo and Dominic Cheney – sorry – Dick Cummings – sorry, that guy – get away with proroguing parliament, and if the Chinese Communist Party cracks down in HK, freedom will be the big loser. But if Bolsonaro continues on his current course, the planet is fucked. I guess that tips the scales in his favour as recipient of my award.