One week to go. One week until Parliament returns and the proverbial hits the fan.
Boris’ Premiership is still very much in its infancy – he’s only had the job for a few weeks, after all.
Usually, this is still the “honeymoon” phase for a new Prime Minister. Supporters would normally be rallying around their new leader and opponents would begrudgingly cede power to their victor.
None of that for BoJo though!
Boris only had one session in Parliament with him at the steering wheel before the summer recess kicked in, taking MPs out of the spotlight. While he’s been off meeting with foreign dignitaries and masterminding his own Brexit plans, his opponents have been lurking in the shadows, plotting a quick and brutal end to his reign.
This is why next Tuesday is so important – the plots and schemes will either kick in or fall flat. They will all have a rapidly-approaching deadline of October 31st, too.
And, in a weird turn of events, Boris also seems to be competing with a whole new kind of opponent.
In today’s slightly bonkers society, it’s actually quite comforting to know that there are sentences out there that are still genuinely surprising. Here is one now.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the UK’s most senior Christian authority, is currently speaking with Remainer MPs to help form a Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit.
God, as it turns out, is a Remainer.
Well, maybe not a Remainer, but certainly no fan of a no-deal Brexit. The Most Reverend Justin Welby, the AoC, is being tipped to chair a series of meetings with 100 citizens to try and hash out alternative strategies to just flying out of the EU with no deal.
A no-deal Brexit is widely believed to be a catastrophic outcome for Britain, with certain food and medicine stocks threatened and chaos at airports predicted.
So, the AoC is going to step in to try and help avoid it. This has drawn the ire of Iain Duncan-Smith, the heavily Eurosceptic Tory MP who is also a top contender for the coveted “most out-of-touch politician” award.
After Duncan-Smith told the AoC to “stay out of it,” the Bishop of Buckingham replied by asking Mr Duncan-Smith what he’s afraid of.
I, for one, really did not think for one moment that the Church would ever be so brazenly trying to influence politics – for an institution that is supposed to be deliberately removed from government, it really is rather surprising.
It’s also probably not a very good idea.
But it will be interesting to watch an argument between two people who preach about putting your faith into something where there’s no proof of it existing. It’s just that one is God, the other is a Brexit nirvana.
Messiahs or Pariahs?
Meanwhile, the leaders of the Lib Dems, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and Change UK (or Change for Independent Changes within Independent Change, or whatever they’re called now) will meet today to try to figure out how to stop Johnson.
Ian Blackford, the leader of the SNP, has called for leaders of all parties against Brexit to come together to stop a no-deal Brexit, which is admirable.
However, as is often the way in politics, politics has gotten in the way.
The meeting today will be chaired by Jeremy Corbyn, a man who has led Labour like Jose Mourinho – stubbornly, arrogantly, and with an unwavering belief in a philosophy that is no longer relevant.
He has offered to become a ‘caretaker’ Prime Minister should Boris Johnson be voted out of power by a Vote of No Confidence, which has been largely perceived as a cynical attempt to seize power.
Were he a man of more substance, he might be able to pull the wool over the eyes of his peers, but sadly he isn’t. Jo Swinson has already written to him saying that she could back a Labour-led coalition, but not with him at the wheel.
Woof. I’ll get the Savlon, coz Corbyn got burrrrned.
So while these pro-EU MPs and leaders are meeting today in good faith, there is more than a faint whiff of gamesmanship underpinning the whole thing.
If Remain-favouring MPs want to oust Boris and stop a no-deal Brexit, they will need to use teamwork. Today we will see if this is something they are capable of doing. If they aren’t, then October 31st will really be the day the UK leaves the EU.
But if there’s a Will, divine or not, there might be a way.