Alan Duncan should have spoken out sooner about Boris Johnson

Sir Alan Duncan (L) and  Boris Johnson (R) walk down Whitehall on March 29, 2017 - the day Theresa May triggered Article 50

Sir Alan Duncan (L) and Boris Johnson (R) walk down Whitehall on March 29, 2017 - the day Theresa May triggered Article 50 - Credit: Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Former Conservative politician Alan Duncan's new memoir In The Thick Of It contains much criticism of Boris Johnson - but why didn't he say this earlier?


Former Conservative politician Alan Duncan, whose new memoir In The Thick Of It (can’t imagine where he came up with that title) is causing a stir with its frank and unfiltered revelations about what Mr Duncan truly thought of his fellow striders along the corridors of power. Such nuggets of scuttlebutt are, let’s face it, the only reason anyone ever reads or indeed writes one of these books. 

Michael Gove was, we read, “an unctuous freak... a wacky weirdo who is both unappealing and untrustworthy”. Gavin Williamson, meanwhile, is described as “a venomous self-seeking little shit”.

Priti Patel was “a complete and utter nightmare” while Jacob Rees Mogg is dismissed as “a cheap nationalist with faux manners and an ego the size of a planet”. As for our dear leader, we find “he is disloyal; his comedy routine has gone stale; his lack of seriousness in a serious job rankles”.

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It’s just a terrible shame that Mr Duncan was never in a position to alert the rest of us to what a bunch of shysters and maniacs our current leaders were BEFORE they seized power and started merrily changing the rules to make it all but impossible to ever make them unseize it. 

Unfortunately for all of us, at the time Mr Duncan made these observations, he was toiling away in obscurity as deputy foreign secretary and minister of state for Europe and the Americas.

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Sir Keir Starmer, who “celebrated” one year as leader of the Labour Party by giving an interview to the Sunday Times in which he stated, among other things, that he considers himself to be “nothing like Boris Johnson”. This is true: Boris Johnson is able to give the impression of being extremely busy while he is in fact not doing a damn thing.

I’m sure that Sir Keir and his team would like us to believe that they’re playing the long game, biding their time, laying their plans and waiting for the perfect moment to strike, and indeed maybe they are. 
It’s just that from everyone else’s point of view, “playing the long game, biding their time, laying their plans and waiting for the perfect moment to strike” and “doing absolutely bugger all” look almost identical. 


Racial equality campaigners have condemned the Sewell Report into racism in Britain (TL;DR: there’s hardly any and what there is ain’t so bad) as, with due sense of irony, “whitewashing” and called for it to be withdrawn.

It’s vanishingly unlikely that the government will pay any heed to these objections but if they’re feeling stung by the criticism, an easy solution presents itself: just commission a report into the report which can conclude that there was nothing wrong with the report. 

Then if anyone objects to that report, commission ANOTHER report which (repeat until re-elected).


Things are proceeding apace in the case of extravagantly bequiffed Republican congressman and enthusiastic Trump cheerleader Matt Gaetz, currently implicated in a teen sex trafficking scandal.

It was revealed this week that in the last days of the Trump administration, Mr Gaetz had petitioned the outgoing president for a “pre-emptive blanket pardon”, which is of course exactly what a completely innocent person would totally do.

Meanwhile, the beleaguered congressman issued a defiant and combative statement delivered in Trumpian third person, announcing in part that “Matt Gaetz cherishes the relationships of his past and looks forward to marrying the love of his life”. 

Alas, poor Matt; whatever will he do when he discovers that the love of his life is already married to a Slovenian woman called Melania?


The “staunch defenders of free speech” end of the commentariat, who, despite reacting with “Don’t tell me what to think!!!” every time a multi-racial family turn up in an advert, seemed to be refreshingly unconcerned when our national broadcasters decided to devote the whole of last weekend to telling us all: “YOU WILL BE SAD NOW. STOP WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING AND BE SAD UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE”.


So everything is open
It will be safe I’m sure
It’s not as if the timing
Was ever off before 
The pubs will soon be heaving
And that’s completely cool
‘Cos always when we’re drinking
We follow all the rules

So everything is open 
And it will all be fine 
At last you’ll get a haircut
If you wait in line
We’ll revel in our freedom 
In oh so many ways 
Coughing all over each other 
Just like the good old days

Yes everything is open 
And we will not forget 
There are still rules to follow 
And it’s not over yet
So have faith in the British
Leave no room for doubt
That we’ll all be back in lockdown 
Before the summer’s out 

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