During his speech at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Annual Conference, Boris Johnson called Peppa Pig “pure genius” as he lost his place and struggled to deliver his address to business leaders. However, Boris Johson is not the only policymaker so fond of the iconic character from the globally-renowned animated children show. In fact, politicians often mention Peppa Pig in the British parliament as well as the government.

What did Boris Johnson mention during his CBI speech?

The Prime Minister’s CBI speech left many politicians from his own party concerned. Representatives of the business community, who visted the Confederation of British Industry Annual Conference, exptected Boris Johnson to outline strategic goals for “levelling up” the country and increasing economic recovery. Moreover, the Convervative party members suggest that the speech was especially important in light of the criticism from the business sector. Its members largely opposed Brexit and hoped for a more business-focused post-Brexit governmental approach. While Boris Johnson failed to outline concrete strategic goals for economic recovery, he did not forget to extensively praise Peppa Pig World, where he went with his son earlier.

Peppa Pig World is very much my kind of place – it had very safe streets, discipline in schools, heavy emphasis on new mass-transit systems, I noticed. Even if they are a bit stereotypical about Daddy Pig. But the real lesson for me about going to Peppa Pig World – I’m surprised you haven’t been there – was about the power of UK creativity.

Boris Johnson, CBI Speech November 2021

After Boris Johnson’s speech, British policymakers took to Twitter to comment on his slip up. The number of tweets about Peppa Pig published by politicians reached 139 in the past week. Interestingly, in July, a few British policymakers tweeted about how watching Peppa Pig taught American children to speak with a British accent.

Number of tweets mentioning Peppa Pig in the past year.
The Policy-Insider.AI platform identified tweets mentioning “Peppa Pig” in the past year.

Here is what British policymakers had to say on Twitter:

@margarethodge tweeted “No. 10 is losing its grip. A dysfunctional speech this morning about Peppa Pig. A disastrous & unfair social care plan that will make workers pay for the care of the wealthy. And MPs mired in sleaze, freely flouting the rules. It’s one calamity after another under this PM.”
@jessphillips tweeted “Lol, he’s crap at speeches, thinks he’s Moses and is chatting about Peppa Pig, but actually what he’s doing to day is a detailed robbing of the poorer off to protect the richest. Its full of niggly details and difficult maths but the fact remains. He’s laughing at us”
Stephen Doughty retweeted a statement by @Pippa Crerar: “In a 20 minute keynote speech to business leaders Boris Johnson has: – compared himself to Moses – pretended to be an accelerating car – referred to himself in the third-person – lost his place – admitted he spent y’day at Peppa Pig World #CBI”
@jon_trickett tweeted “Peppa Pig was a media distraction to disguise the handover of your NHS to private health.”

Peppa Pig debated in the Parliament and mentioned by the government

Mentions of the famous cartoon character were relatively high in 2019 and 2021. The Policy-Insider.AI platform registered 21 related policy documents in the past four years.

Policy documents mentioning Peppa Pig in the past four years.
Policy-Insider.AI identified 21 policy documents mentioning Peppa Pig in the past four years.
Institutional activity regarding Peppa Pig in the past four years.
Policy-Insider.AI tracked the institutional activity regarding Peppa Pig in the past four years.

During Tuesday’s discussion on the Health and Care Bill, MP Tonia Antoniazzi mentioned the Prime Minister’s trip to Peppa Pig World. In the meantime, MPs mentioned Johnson’s trip in a debate about the Age Assurance (Minimum Standards) Bill. Moreover, the Leader of the House of Commons mentioned the famous cartoon character in the Business of the House. When asked about a statement of support for the world puddle jumping championships, Rees-Mogg responded:

This is a brilliant idea, and who cannot recall the episode of “Peppa Pig” where Peppa decides to go and jump in a muddy puddle, that being her favourite activity?

Jacob Rees-Mogg, 2020

In 2020 Members of the House of Lords criticized the children’s show during a debate about the Role of Women in Public Life. Baroness Bertin and Lord Watson of Invergowrie suggested that characters like Peppa Pig portray a bad example for young girls. Furthermore,Jo Swinson mentioned the character during a Westminister Hall Debate on Ethics and Artificial Intelligence.

We have read about children watching a video on YouTube of Peppa Pig being tortured at the dentist, which had been suggested by the website’s autoplay algorithm. In every one of those cases, we have a right to be concerned.

Jo Swinson, 2020

Check out our UK Weekly Digest series to find out more about the events in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.


This article was originally published in English. Translations have been generated automatically and may be incorrect.

Pictures: © UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

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