Boris Johnson’s first major speech to his party since becoming Prime Minister will be remembered for two things.
The joke about the Speaker of the House, John Bercow being forced to eat kangaroo’s testicle.
And the joke about Labour Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn being blasted off into space like a “Communist cosmonaut.”
Boris Johnson is never better than when he is being Boris Johnson – forever looking for the comedic angle, always in search of a more memorably silly turn of phrase, never quite able to play at being the grown up in the room even though he’s now Prime Minister and that’s supposedly his job.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has an embarrassing problem. Her name is Rachel Johnson and she is his sister.
Here is Rachel cheerfully knifing her brother on Sky News:
“My brother is using words like ‘surrender’, ‘capitulation’, as if the people who are staying in the way of the blessed will of the people, of the 17.4 million who voted to leave in 2016, should be hung, drawn, quartered, tarred and feathered. And I think that is highly reprehensible language to use.”
Here she is, doing him over on the BBC’s World At One. (From around 17m 50s in)
“I love my brother but he is a very different person in the Commons. If you put a man in front of the dispatch box he becomes a completely different person. It becomes a sort of bully pulpit.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has allegedly ruled out a general election pact with Nigel Farage’s The Brexit Party. Furthermore, a ‘senior Tory source’ has poured scorn on both Farage and his friend and occasional donor Arron Banks, describing them as ‘not fit and proper’.
I’m not sure how much of this is true: it comes from the Mail which, though generally accurate and professional, does tend to spin things in a Remainer direction…
But I do think that if Boris and his colleagues are indeed making such pronouncements then it is a foolish, unforced error: a needless slight to a potentially invaluable ally; an insult to the many natural Tories who currently trust the Brexit Party more; and a boon to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour whose only chance of gaining power is if the Brexiteers and the right can be divided.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson may need to change his nickname.
The actor, producer and professional wrestler has been caught performing a humiliating and craven reverse ferret when he deleted a tweet praising his ‘namesake’ – Britain’s new prime minister Boris Johnson.
His original tweet went:
“Breaking: PM Boris Johnson is in fact my cousin [though we clearly look more like twins].
“Jokes aside, PM did say something in his speech I liked – ‘the people are our bosses’.
100% agree. The people/audience/consumer will always matter most. #ourboss.”
Leader of the Commons and Lord President of the Council Jacob Rees-Mogg has issued a style guide for his staff.
Male recipients to be addressed in communications as Esq.
Measurements to be recorded in Imperial not Metric.
Anyone using the phrase “going forward” or overheard pronouncing ‘h’ as ‘haitch’ to be transported forthwith in shackles to the Colonies.
Unfortunately, the last one isn’t true, but it does capture the spirit of what the Moggster is doing here: restoring some of the traditions and courtesies and rigours of Britain’s glorious past while simultaneously trolling the opposition like a boss.
Boris Johnson has passed his first test as prime minister with flying colours. He has appointed the most robustly conservative (and pro-Brexit) cabinet since the Thatcher era.
Like his joyously uplifting speech on the steps of 10 Downing Street yesterday, Boris’s appointments augur extremely well not just for the delivery of Brexit by October 31 but also for Britain’s future as a thriving economy and beacon of freedom and prosperity in the years beyond.
At a stroke, the chances of Britain now falling for the alternative of an anti-Semitic, pro-terrorist, Marxist regime led by Jeremy Corbyn have been reduced to almost zero.
In financier-speak Britain has been oversold for too long. Now it is most definitely a BUY.
Today Boris Johnson becomes Britain’s prime minister.
But who is he, what’s he like and what can we expect?
By weird coincidence, he happens to be the second prime minister with whom I was friends at university. And the first reassuring news I can bring is that he is going to be a considerable improvement on his predecessor-but-one, David Cameron.
To understand their differences a good place to start is their attitude to the exclusive education they were lucky enough to enjoy.
Both went to Eton, where they learned – among other things – that they were born to rule. But where for Cameron this was a stigma – an embarrassing impediment to his attempts to pass himself off as the people’s prime minister ‘Dave’, for Boris it’s all a jolly wheeze, something to be celebrated at every turn with old school slang and Latin epigrams and a self-consciously posh, fruity accent. (As a recent profile put it: “Johnson’s rare gift is to combine unabashed elitism with popular appeal.”)
I’m a lot more optimistic about Boris than many people seem to be. On Brexit, certainly, I think he’ll do the right thing — not least because all the other options have been exhausted.
But I’m also prepared to be disappointed.
So which will it be? Bold Boris or Useless Boris?
We’ll know soon enough. Here are some of the problems he’ll need to tackle successfully in order to fulfil his Churchillian destiny.
1. Deliver Brexit Brexit-in-name-only won’t be enough. Theresa May tried and failed several times to get that one through and the people weren’t having it. Boris has committed to leaving the EU with or without a deal on October 31st. And if he doesn’t it will be career suicide.
Only a couple of days now before Britain bids a relieved farewell to the worst prime minister in history. But let’s give credit where credit is due: it wasn’t just Theresa May who was so sublimely useless; it was her entire administration.
Under Remainer Chancellor Philip Hammond, Britain’s tax burden has risen to its highest in over 40 years.
Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, was heard as recently as last week not pleading to be spared exile to the backbenches (as she deserves) but rather strutting around like some prize hen as if she still owned the whole barnyard, clucking that any future Cabinet in Boris Johnson’s government should have a 50/50 gender split.