I see the door swinging behind you as your exit, your little blonde head bobbing like a cork among a sea of photographers as you walk away. It’s odd, watching you go; like a reflection of Boris in a funhouse mirror come to life, gaining just enough sentience and morality to think for itself. You’re not one for all the drama, are you? It’s time to rethink your priorities and pull a reverse Ruth Davidson, leaving the job behind in order to focus on what really matters and spend less time with your family.
Who can blame you, Jo Johnson? Your brother wanted to drag you into the basement and reenact the last days of the Lannisters, pretending the EU dragon was trashing everything above when in fact he was the idiot who set the charges. What have we come to? It’s been weeks since we had a Prime Minister this terrible. Who could have seen it coming, apart from anyone who’s ever read one of his articles, listened to a word he says or done a tiny bit of research into the sort of man Boris is?
‘Give the man a chance’ was the rallying cry. Well now he’s had several and guess what, he’s every bit as terminally incompetent as we all said he’d be. He’s the Dulux dog of modern politics, all boundless floppy-haired enthusiasm but still entirely the wrong species of creature to successfully navigate any of the nuances of our parliamentary democracy. He keeps crashing through it, Dominic Cummings the tail that wags him, still every bit the entitled buffoon expecting everything to fall at his feet. Even now he’s defiant, several embarrassing defeats and a humiliating departure from his brother in. He’s the stump of the Black Knight threatening to bite the EU’s legs off.
Remember when all that talk of Labour deselections from the grassroots up in order to shore up Corbyn’s support was derided as the worst kind of Trojan horse politics, an antidemocratic front to the plurality of voices in the movement? Turns out he should have just done it himself, snatching the whip from those who oppose him like an intemperate toddler. In what world is Ken fucking Clarke not Tory enough for the leader?
The pivot from a handful of MPs with enough principles to oppose an authoritarian power-grab might be commendable in isolation but I’ll not rush out to embrace the sudden attack of conscience from those who’ve spent careers gleefully voting to fuck the poor. That Boris Johnson is unpalatable to Tories blue through to their bones means only that they’re averse to his particular brand of Brexit disaster capitalism. They have enough common sense to recognise that no deal likely means nothing other than yet more years of negotiations on behalf of a series of unstable governments with razor-thin majorities. While the kinks are ironed out the corpses of our markets and services will be picked clean and we’ll end up with nothing but a tweaked version of May’s withdrawal agreement and an economy shackled in a fetching pair of American handcuffs.
Boris is absolutely, unequivocally not to be trusted. Despite claiming the opposite, he’s doing nothing to seek a deal, refusing to reveal his plans and alternatives because they don’t exist. He lied about the timeline of his scheme to prorogue parliament. He’s refused to reveal any details from his contingency planning, knowing full well precious little all has changed from the unending pessimism of the last leaked Operation Yellowhammer reports. He’s lost jobs to being full of shit, inventing quotes and presenting his own imagination as reality. He doesn’t deserve the opportunity to run a quick-fire election campaign on Brexit alone, without the breathing space to actually consider his reckless approach and debate his end-of-austerity mirage.
He’ll do all he can to reframe the mess as a result of Corbyn’s cowardice, posing in front of police recruits and stumbling through speeches that show him up for the ill-prepared farce he is. He’ll sign off on cringeworthy attack ads straight out of the My First Orwellian Nightmare playbook. Dignity’s out the window, with Dominic Cummings staggering drunkenly around Portcullis House and chanting “come and have a go if your Brexit’s hard enough.” Ironically enough, it’s the bullshit circus and Boris himself who’s finally managed to pull enough cross-party support to Labour’s side.
Then there’s you, Jo Johnson, awkwardly picking at your spuds around the dinner table, silence hanging heavy in the air. Every clink of cutlery, every scrape against a plate, every nervous swallow amplified. Rachel and Stanley are there too, desperately averting their eyes, avoiding the stare boring down at you from the end of the table. It’s a Bullingdon of blondes, twitching anxiously like haystacks with teenage lovers hiding inside them as the farmer passes with a pitchfork.
I see you chew your chicken, Jo Johnson. It’s not the most noble of meats, but in this situation it’s the correct approach. I see you sigh, dabbing at the corner of your mouth with a napkin. I see your reach forward, your hand hovering over a serving tray. I see Rachel’s eyes flicker, the threat of an explosion of laughter twitching at the corners of her mouth.
I see you lift the tray, offering it down the table.
Brussels sprouts, Boris?
I see you, Jo Johnson. I fucking see you.