Attentive viewers will recall that I spent last week’s column pondering how the then-freshly resigned Boris Johnson might plot his return to prominence… Well as it turned out, scarcely had last week’s New European hit the stands (do they still have stands? OK, hit people’s iPads then) than we learned that our last prime minister but one had returned to the ranks of those most loathsome and parasitic of creatures; the newspaper columnists (boo!).
The only surprise is that he has not gone back to his former home, the in-house newsletter of the Tory elite, the Daily Telegraph, but rather to its pre-chewed for easier digestion counterpart the Daily Mail. But of course, the Telegraph is in dire financial straits, and probably couldn’t meet Boris’s asking price.
Leaving aside the incidental nugget that Johnson, having resigned rather than face the suspension imposed upon him for breaking the ministerial code has, by taking this new gig immediately and without consulting the House, once AGAIN broke the ministerial code, speculation has been rife as to what subjects his new column might cover. Since he can’t just trot out Ten Reasons I Should Still Be Prime Minister every week (can he?), here are some suggested topics for Johnson’s Mail column…
BARD FOR LIFE; WHY SHAKESPEARE WOULD HAVE THOUGHT I WAS GREAT
Being a man of uniquely acute perception and wit, William Shakespeare would have recognised our current political situation for the human tragedy it so surely is, with a great, wise, noble and handsome leader brought down (as is inevitably the case with tragic heroes) by his one fatal character flaw, to wit, his determination ab incunabulis to deliver his beloved nation in its time of deepest crisis, indeed so determined was he to do this he even took the trouble to engineer the crisis himself.
Read more in my forthcoming bestseller The Tragedy of Boris the First – I mean, my biography of Shakespeare – coming any day now, honest.
BACH, VAN GOGH, TESLA, KAFKA AND OTHER GREAT MEN WHO WENT CRUELLY UNRECOGNISED DURING THEIR LIFETIMES
Throughout history, there have been many visionaries and innovators whose ideas were simply too radical for the times into which they were born, and so rather than being granted the reverence they so obviously deserved, they were left to toil in obscurity, living in poverty, scorned by the establishment and, eheu, fobbed off with a mere three years as prime minister (continues…)
SO JUST WHO IS GOING TO BE THE NEXT JAMES BOND?
While I am of course as pro-diversity as the next man (if the next man is Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg) I feel that only somebody with the right background – loveless childhood, public school, permanently getting into scrapes, that sort of thing – could truly embody Ian Fleming’s immortal creation.
And while the casting of Daniel Craig caused much brouhaha among those unable to adjust to a blond-haired 007, perhaps the problem was that he wasn’t blond ENOUGH…
KEIR STARMER IS UGLY AND BORING AND HE SMELLS
Well look at him, the ghastly tick, all puffed up because some of his party still like him and he’s a footling 25 points clear in the opinion polls. He wouldn’t know his way around a 24-piece dinner service; he’d probably use the cake fork to comb his quiff.
And yet, for all this, he regularly triumphs at prime minister’s questions, wiping the floor with the current (for now) incumbent of No 10 whose name momentarily escapes me (continues for another 12,000 words)
THOUGHTS ON BEING A WORKING DAD IN THE MODERN WORLD
No-one could be more pro-family than myself – I have several – and with it just having been Father’s Day (my busiest day of the year!) over-stressed fathers have been asking me: “Boris; how do you juggle your familial commitments with your busy working life as writer, speaker, public intellectual and Once and Future Saviour of Albion?”
I’ll tell you what I tell them; the best way to discharge your paternal responsibilities is DENY EVERYTHING. Say you’ve never seen the filly before in your life, insist she’s a poor starstruck groupie who’s making it all up and if she insists on a blood test, bribe a friend to go instead (I have a box of blond wigs for such occasions) or flee the country for a few years. Usually does the trick.
POEM OF THE WEEK
Partygate was fading
We might have let it go
We might just have forgotten
Then we saw the video.
It was all that we’d suspected
And all that they’d denied
Drunken dancing and guffawing
With no attempt to hide.
Now the memories are returning
Of months trapped in our rooms
Of unattended funerals
And Christmas over Zoom.
And still they just don’t get it
The pain that they have wrought
Because we’re just the little people
The unimportant sort.
What would it take, I wonder
For them to truly see
You don’t get to cause such anguish
Then dance off merrily.
What would it take, I wonder
To make them comprehend
That there’s really nothing special
About them in the end.