Today's Evening Standard has a report by Andrew Gilligan about the supposed Compass Dossier on Boris Johnson including a section on what he really said compared to what they said he said which I have selected from below. The rest of it can be read on the Standard's website.
'FANATICAL SUPPORT FOR IRAQ WAR'Who'd have thought that they would take him out of context in such deliberate ways? Anyone might think that they're scared of him or something?
What they said he said: "That is why it is so important to persuade the public to snap out of their current curmudgeonliness [towards the prospect of war]."
What he said: This phrase is actually part of a strong attack on the "cynical and ludicrous" attempts by the Government to "persuade the public to snap out of their curmudgeonliness". It condemns the use of "Whitehall-generated drum rolls of alarm" for which there was "no evidence whatever" and continues: "If we are really concerned about the weapons of mass destruction, then let the UN process work itself through."
SUPPORT FOR GEORGE W BUSH
What they said he said: "America's performance in Iraq was formidable, and made Europe look ridiculous."
What he said: This is taken from an article expressing concern about the consequences of American global dominance. The full quote is: "America's performance in Iraq was formidable, and made Europe look ridiculous. But in the hearts of many moderate people, the very lopsidedness of the world demands some sort of compensation."
''A FANATICAL THATCHERITE"
What they said he said: "After it [the deposing of Thatcher] was all over, my wife, Marina, claimed that she came upon me, stumbling down a street in Brussels, tears in my eyes, and claiming that it was as if someone had shot Nanny."
What he said: The quote actually reads: "After it was all over, my wife, Marina, claimed that she came upon me, stumbling down a street in Brussels, tears in my eyes, and claiming that it was as if someone had shot Nanny. I dispute this."
What they said he said: "Not only did I want Bush to win, but we threw the entire weight of The Spectator behind him."
What he said: As the use of the past tense might suggest, this is actually an extract from a piece in which Johnson bitterly regrets his support for Bush, describing him as a "cross-eyed warmonger" and "serially incompetent ... maniac" whose re-election was "the most dismal awakening of my life".
ADVOCATES LARGE-SCALE SACKING OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
What they said he said: "That is why we must explain to them [tax collectors] that their dismissal could be good not only for the economy as a whole, but also for themselves."
What he said: This sentence is actually about how large-scale public-sector job cuts are supported by both Labour and Tories. The quote continues: "It should be explained, first, that the notion of weeding out some of the new public-sector jobs is accepted across all parties, and the loss of some 80,000 posts is envisaged by Labour's Gershon review."