The older you get in life, the less easily you get surprised. The more experiences you go through, the more one’s sense of bewilderment and excitement at the novel becomes dulled.
In a way, therefore, we should be grateful to our politicians for showing us that we can, indeed, still be incredibly surprised.
Not only did David Cameron, ex-PM and rumoured porkophile, launch a scathing attack on Johnson over the last few days, but Johnson also managed to piss off Luxembourg.
Managing to piss off Luxembourg is akin to making Piers Morgan feel self-conscious: it basically never happens and makes you feel very uncomfortable when it does.
Either way, the beleaguered Prime Minister can’t seem to do anything right at the moment, and the last few days will not have helped.
The Johnson bubble is no longer a happy fizz in a champagne glass.
It’s more of a fart in a bath tub.
12 Years a Dave
Ah, David Cameron. Remember him? Not a particularly unattractive chap. Seemed to have some social liberalism about him. The sort of person you’d take to meet your mum for tea if she was visiting.
Also, the catalyst for the divisive hellscape that has become our political discourse.
“Call me Dave” has, perhaps unsurprisingly, been silent since he left office. The day after the Referendum result, he announced his resignation, and departed, leaving Theresa May in charge.
That went well.
Anyway, Cameron has spent the last few years working on his memoirs, which is what ex-Prime Ministers tend to do. Supposedly, these were going to be published once we’d left the EU.
…As we haven’t yet, the publishers got a bit bored and decided to release it anyway. It’s not actually out until Thursday, but extracts have been released to The Times and Sunday Times ahead of its release.
And hoo, nelly. He does not hold his punches.
He calls Michael Gove, currently in charge of no-deal Brexit preparations, a “foam-flecked Faragist,” despite the two of them once being firm friends. He accuses his former allies of being totally disloyal.
And, most damningly of all, he says that Johnson only pursued Brexit to further his own career. Johnson, Dave-o writes, believed that Brexit would be “crushed like a toad under the harrow,” and he would get away with being a patriotic darling without having to deal with the consequences.
Also, the sky is blue, bears are Catholics and popes shit in the woods.
Look, at the end of the day, Cameron’s political stock has fallen so low that his memoirs are only ever going to be mildly damaging to Johnson. But to hear someone who was largely a peacemaker during his time in office attack Johnson so vehemently is enough for it to be worth a mention.
Luxembourg? More Like “F*ck ‘Em Berg.”
It’s hard to know where on earth to begin with this story. Again, nothing was meant to happen yesterday. Plenty might happen today (more on that below), but yesterday was a photo-op, PR slamdunk with a tiny, and friendly, European nation.
What could go wrong?
First, protests. Luxembourg has little over 610,000 citizens, and from the sound of things around 700,000 turned up to show their displeasure to the British PM. It was, in fact, around 100 very vocal demonstrators.
Johnson began the trip by attending a meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission President, and Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator. Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s PM, also attended.
After this, Johnson gave a brief interview, then was supposed to step outside with Bettel to give a press conference.
However, the noise levels from the protestors outside caused some alarm for Boris. He asked if the press conference could be held inside, but there wasn’t a room available that was big enough. As such, Boris pulled out of the press conference.
But Bettel didn’t.
Bettel tore into the Prime Minister and laid responsibility for Brexit firmly at his feet. It’s quite a watch.
He even posed for the handshake photo at the end of the conference.
A handshake with thin air.
Now, say what you will about Boris (and I have, frequently). But a tactical retreat because of bad optics is not a bad political strategy. If Boris had taken to the podium and not been able to be heard over the boos, it would have been awful publicity.
It is, therefore, pretty unfair of Bettel to make such a stunt out of it. Not only that, but it has infuriated further those who see the EU as pompous and out-of-touch.
So while Boris is getting stick for this, I’d say it’s not entirely warranted.
It does, however, show exactly how much clout he holds with his counterparts in the EU.
Law And Disorder
Today, we will see what comes of last week’s decision by the Scottish Courts that deemed prorogation illegal. The ruling is being appealed in the Supreme Court, the highest legal body in the United Kingdom, by the government.
And honestly, it could go either way.
It was a historic ruling, and quite extraordinary, which means that the Supreme Court might not favour it. A case such as this is highly sensitive, and it would be improper for public opinion or speculation to cloud a proper judicial ruling.
However, the Supreme Court, as final arbiters of the constitution, might agree that they need to protect our laws, even from the Prime Minister.
If the ruling is upheld, Parliament may have to come back early. Many MPs would do so with quite the anti-Boris agenda.
But if it is reversed, it’ll be a win for the government. And by God, do they need one.