There’s a very good reason why one of these hasn’t surfaced since I returned: I’m an avid watcher of Have I Got News For You and listener of Radio 4’s The News Quiz. Both, whilst recorded on a Thursday, are broadcast on a Friday, which gives them a headstart on anything I might be thinking about writing about for a Saturday morning post.
See, the last accusation I want to have levied at me is one of plagiarism; I’ve lost count of the amount of times over the past few weeks I’ve intended to post something here, then watched/listened to those shows, and deleted my post as there were a few too many similarities gag-wise.
But when a big news story breaks on a Friday…well, the tables are turned.
So no prizes for guessing who today’s post is all about…
The problem is, I don’t have much to say that I haven’t said already, so this won’t be much of a rant, more a celebration. Not of the man, but of the fact that he’s gone. For now.
And it is extraordinarily good news, and it must be, because I’m not even going to spend much time gloating about Nadine Dorries, not someone greatly troubled by either facts or brain-cells, quitting as an MP because PM Rishi Sunak actually had the balls to block her peerage, a peerage which you’ll recall Johnson had nominated her for in his
jump before he was pushed resignation honours list as a thank you for her unwavering support through all the…jeez, where do I start…I dunno…through everything. No matter what he did wrong, there was loyal Nadine, slurring her defence of the walking marshmallow in an ill-fitting suit.
This proved to merely be the amuse-bouche for the day of strops and sulks that would come later…
Belle & Sebastian – Nice Day For A Sulk
(Perhaps appropriately, we appear to be a bit B heavy with the bands/singers so far…best I rectify that:
…dammit. Bends. With a B. There’s no escaping him.)
Anyway, where was I? As yes: it was a day of toys being thrown out of prams, of allegations of a conspiracy against Johnson by the MP-led Privileges Committee who were looking into whether or not he misled Parliament over lockdown rule breaking parties at Downing Street. We all know they happened, at a time when mixing with those outside of your bubble was prohibited, but did he lie to the House about them?
Shortly after being advised of the contents of the report the Committee had prepared, Johnson realeased a resignation statement, where he said: “I am not alone in thinking that there is a witch hunt under way, to take revenge for Brexit and ultimately to reverse the 2016 referendum result.” Looking at the state the country’s in now, I bloody hope there is.
Bloc Party – Hunting for Witches
He still doesn’t get it, does he? He still thinks he can’t have done anything wrong, because he is Boris and he can do whatever he likes. I’m reminded of this extract from a letter written to his father back in 1982:
Crazyhead – What Gives You the Idea You’re so Amazing Baby?
Lest we forget, whilst the Privileges Committee was considering whether he lied to Parliament about Partygate, it has always been Johnson’s position that no rules were broken, but if they were, it was unintentional, and any statement he made to Parliament which may also have been incorrect was inadvertent. He told the Committee that social distancing had not been “perfect” at gatherings in Downing Street during Covid lockdowns but insisted the guidelines (as he understood them) were followed at all times.
“As he understood them.” Like he had nothing to do with creating the guidelines. Like he didn’t stand behind that expensive lectern and tell the nation precisely what the guidelines were. Perhaps if they’d been written in faux-Latin he might have remembered them better.
And then, a couple of weeks ago, his sister accidentally let slip that it wasn’t just at Downing Street that the lock-down rules had not been followed:
Camera Obscura – I Missed Your Party
Let’s take a closer look at his resignation speech.
“I am now being forced out of Parliament by a tiny handful of people, with no evidence to back up their assertions, and without the approval even of Conservative party members, let alone the wider electorate.” You’re not being forced out, you bumbling comb-less oaf, you resigned (for the second time, I might remind you. No, wait – third if we count that time you quit as Foreign Secretary. But it’s interesting to note you struggle with the difference between resigning and fired. Between renuntiate et accentus, if it helps. You’re welcome). You could have stayed on and seen how the vote in the House of Commons as to whether the findings of the Committee should be accepted or not went, but you have chosen not to, because you know that vote would not go in your favour. And that’s with the massive majority that your party currently holds. Forgotten how many MPs rebelled against you to bring your time as PM to a close have you? 52. In one day. And that’s before we consider the 148 who voted against you in the confidence vote in June 2022 (although there was doubtless an overlap between the two, a bulging middle section of the Venn duagram, if you will).
“When I left office last year [you mean resigned, Boris], the government was only a handful of points behind in the polls. That gap has now massively widened. Just a few years after winning the biggest majority in almost half a century, that majority is now clearly at risk.” The old selective memory is really kicking in here. Let’s not forget that during your tenure as PM, Chris Pincher, a senior member of your government – appointed by you – was forced to resign after allegations he had groped two men on a drunken night at a private members’ club. His resignation prompted multiple reports of other past sexual harassment allegations against him. Your spokesperson initially said you had not been aware of any allegations made about Pincher when you appointed him to government. You backtracked after it emerged you’d been briefed about a specific allegation ahead of that appointment. Not forgetting that it was reported you had quipped “Pincher by name, pincher by nature.”
I mean, that kind of leadership can’t have helped the support getting decimated, now can it?
And then there was Neil Parish MP, who was forced to resign after admitting watching “tractor porn” in Parliament? (What even is tractor porn? I have visions of a Page 3 photo of a tractor, and a caption reading “Massey Ferguson just loves getting dirty out in the countryside…”). Another (whose name escapes me, and I am not going to Google it to find out) was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy. In local elections held to replace the pair of them, opposition candidates won by large majorities. So yeh, everything was just hunky dory when you quit as PM.
But enough of this. Time to look to the future:
Viola Wills – Gonna Get Along Without You
Glen Campbell – I’m Not Gonna Miss You
…following his most recent resignation, the usual candidates lined up to pay tribute to him. Winner of Most Reasonable Employer of the Year award 2022 (current holder one Mr D Raaaaaaaaab) Priti Patel described Johnson as “a political titan” (two letters too many at the end there, Priti), whilst Richard Mills, Johnson’s local Conservative association chairman, said he had “delivered on his promises to local residents” (and if he hasn’t then he now has plenty of time on his hands to pop round and sire another couple of kids he’ll deny all knowledge of later).
Oh. Before I go, there’s just one more thing…
…those glad to see the back of him were much easier to get quotes from. Liberal Democrats, deputy leader Daisy Cooper simply said: “Good riddance.” And that’s where I’ll leave it.
Green Day – Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
Good job I didn’t have much to say, eh?