I see the weary scowl of your weatherbeaten face, your head a wire-covered bunion of disdain, your cheeks so ruddy that if they were any ruddier they’d be ruddy well steering Paul Rudd’s boat. It’s a farce, all this, isn’t it? You’d think a man of your political inclinations would be the first journalist a Conservative leader would want to sit down with but instead Boris is dodging you like you’re a child support payment. It was supposed to be you all over the headlines again, Andrew Neil, the attack dog lauded for eviscerating the man who would be King. Instead you’re grieving, sad for the loss of more infamy. Where’s your story, mourning Tory?

You won’t be getting it, not this time. Johnson’s handlers are no fools, all too aware as they are that the appeal of his public caricature only runs so deep. Press him too hard and the facade evaporates and he ends up raking a finger across his throat like a shit pro wrestler or derailing into a nonsensical train of thought about minestrone. Better, then, to spend hours in the darkness endlessly drilling him on how to handle a debate – thin on details, thinner still on truth, repeating ‘get Brexit done’ like a Furby with a catastrophic brain injury. Wrap all that up with his trademark roguish charm and have him toss out positive adjectives like reality’s going out of fashion and he’ll just about coast over the line.

What’s worse, a cursory glance at the odd Have Your Say section confirms that his Trumpian tactics of discrediting the media through proxies like Gove are working. When Andrew fucking Neil is described as a leftist propaganda merchant we are well and truly through the looking glass, tugging our forelocks and laying our coats over puddles for sociopaths who would happily feed our future into the churning teeth of their personal money press. The man who would lead our country and claims he would stand up for the NHS in a future trade deal he’ll so desperately need won’t even stand up for himself to a right-wing journalist. In this new reality that pathetic cowardice becomes a boon rather than a humiliating embarrassment. Look at Boris, owning the libs by hiding in a cupboard and struggling not to piss himself!

It just won’t wash with you, will it, Andrew Neil?

I see the alley and I hear a street dog yelp before bursting out of a cardboard box and sprinting away into the night, its bristly fur standing on end. I hear the buzz of an electric charge as a fork of light crackles out of the air, licking the damp brickwork. I see it arcing back on itself, branching out and forming a ball of blue energy that swells to fill the alley. I see the edge of a bin melt away at its touch, leaving a glowing red outline of dripping plastic to match the molten dip in the floor where the tarmac has superheated. I hear the pop, Andrew Neil, a tearing of reality announcing your arrival in this timeline.

I see you, crouched and naked in the centre of the alley, unharmed by the red-hot pavement at your feet. I see you stand, your red eyes glowing in the night, your visual processors adjusting to the darkness. I hear the hiss of pistons as you march off into the gloom, plastic bags and scraps of newspaper whirling around you in eddies, disturbed by the atmospheric shift that accompanied your arrival.

You’ve travelled back for one reason, haven’t you? You’ve stepped back to before the postal vote deadline, to before the rest of them sat down with you, to before he could wait and see how difficult you’d make it before tucking his tail between his legs and running for the hills.

You’re here to track him down, Andrew Neil, before unloading both chambers of your double barrelled questgun into his chest. You’ve so much ammunition, too. Fifty thousand more bullets than he’s expecting – if you count the nineteen thousand you plan on not dropping on your way to his house.

I see you, Andrew Neill. I fucking see you.

I See You

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