What a week. This has been the World Cup for politicos, the week to end all weeks in the mother of all Parliaments.
It will be spoken about, dissected and analysed for years to come.
Just quickly, let’s remind ourselves of what happened. Links to earlier blogs in subheadings.
Boris started the week off with a bang. Having planned to prorogue Parliament the week before, the rumours began swirling that he was facing a Parliamentary nightmare.
Opposition (and some Tory) MPs were planning to seize the timetabling away from the government and vote to block a no-deal Brexit on October 31st.
Johnson, looking harried and worried, appeared outside No. 10 to make a statement about not wanting a General Election. A GE was being considered as the only way to get out of the Brexit mess, should he lose the vote.
This statement was made to a soundtrack of boos and chants of “Stop the coup” from people outside Number 10.
It was a sign of things to come.
On Tuesday, Parliament wrestled control of the timetable away from Bozza Jozza. 21 Tory MPs defied the whip to do so, and were all sacked.
These included highly-respected and well-liked Parliamentarians such as David Gauke, Rory Stewart, Phillip Hammond, Sir Nicholas Soames and even Ken Clarke, Father of the House (the longest-standing MP, having been elected in 1970).
This would prove to be a masterstroke in how not to handle an already cacophonous situation.
Additionally, Boris lost his majority of one – Dr Phillip Lee dramatically walked across the house to sit with the Liberal Democrats. He had defected, making Boris’ government a minority.
He was now a sitting duck.
Bang, bang. Two barrels, two shots.
Boris lost the vote, brought forward by Parliament, to make a no-deal Brexit on October 31st illegal. Now, Johnson would have to negotiate a new deal by that deadline and have it ratified by the house, or would have to ask for an extension.
He then called for a General Election, hoping to tempt Jeremy Corbyn into the trap. A GE would have made the vote that had just passed null and void, causing a no-deal Brexit by default.
Corbyn, to his credit, didn’t take the bait. He and his cross-party alliance of MPs who were united in their plans to thwart prorogation and no-deal stood firm.
Boris was now being held in place by Parliament.
And things only got worse for Boris: he was appallingly bad at PMQs, floundering and mumbling his lines to every question put by Corbyn or other MPs; he was branded a racist by a Labour MP for calling women in burkhas “letterboxes”; and Sajid Javid’s spending review, the grand announcement of “The End of Austerity,” was immediately shot down as being nothing more than policies that sounded good but were impossible to finance.
It was a day to make you think back to Theresa May’s historic loss on the Withdrawal Agreement vote and think, “Maybe she didn’t do too badly, after all…”
Boris’ week couldn’t get much worse. Surely.
But if there is one thing modern politics has shown us, it’s that when you reach rock bottom, it will always shatter to reveal new depths.
Boris’ brother, Jo Johnson, and MP and Minister, resigned from politics, stating irreconcilable differences with Boris.
Then, to make matters worse, Boris began the campaign trail for when the General Election comes, and it was an unmitigated disaster.
He held a speech in front of police officers, making him look like every part the “tinpot dictator” that he has been recently been accused of being. Whoever thought the image below was a good idea may well have been huffing glue.
And, just to compound matters, one of the officers behind him fainted, having been made to wait in the sun for over an hour.
While wandering around in Leeds, a man also heckled Johnson, telling him, “You should be in Brussels… you’re in Morley.”
The video has gone viral.
Boris woke up this morning and immediately fell out of bed. He stubbed his toe on the radiator, trod on a plug then hit his head on the doorframe.
He went to make a coffee, but the kettle wasn’t working. He had an orange juice instead but poured it down his t-shirt.
He accidentally said “Good morning Marina” to Carrie, his girlfriend, causing a row, which made the new dog piss on the carpet.
He checked his phone to see that Stanley, his father, had texted him to say that he was being having the Johnson whip taken away, and he could consider himself an independent Boris.
He swore, loudly, and a nearby paparazzo took a photo of him, covered in orange juice and dog piss, and made it viral.
And it still wasn’t Boris’ worst day this week.
Oh, and as a true fact, the opposition leaders fully agreed to delay a General Election until after the EU summit. His week of humiliation is, now, finally complete.
Thank you to all who have followed the week’s events on Between the Lines. It’s been a hell of a time, with a lot of blood, sweat and tears put into it.
I can’t wait for the next one.
I hope you all have wonderful weekends – get yourselves ready for Monday: Mission Impossible: Prorogue Nation.