Even the weekends are mad these days.
We enter this week with the real chance of it being Johnson’s worst yet since becoming Prime Minister. Either today or tomorrow, the Supreme Court will make its ruling on his prorogation of Parliament, and whether or not it was legal.
If they rule that it was illegal, the ramifications could be huge. Parliament may have to be recalled, Johnson may call another prorogation, or more legal challenges could be made against him.
Yet even if he wins the legal challenge, another scandal that broke over the weekend could yet fatally damage him.
Also, the scandal might be Johnson’s first about misusing his “Johnson” since becoming Prime Minister!
Sound the “headlines-we-all-knew-were-coming bingo” klaxon.
Also, the Labour Party has been having its conference over the weekend. Here, the plan was that the party would come together, form a unified front, and finally be the Opposition the country needs them to be!
Q: How did that go, I wonder?
A: ABSOLUTELY F*CKING TERRIBLY
What was meant to bring the Labour Party together actually threatened to finally tear it apart over the weekend. Reports emerged late on Friday night that Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the party and prominent People’s Vote campaigner, was to be kicked out.
A senior Corbyn-ally tabled a motion for the position of deputy leader to be disbanded, thereby removing Watson from office. The fears amongst prominent Labour leaders was that should Corbyn resign (which has been lightly-rumoured) then Watson would inherit the leadership by default.
Seeing as Corbyn has been slowly filling the other positions of power around him with far-left, largely Brexit-favouring allies, Watson’s Remainer disposition put him at odds with many of Labour’s head honchos.
Not, however, with everyone in the Labour Party.
Corbyn’s stance on Brexit is to remain impartial to Leave vs. Remain. If, however, Labour were in government, they would negotiate a new deal with the EU then hold a referendum on it : this deal, or Remain.
However, many within the party have already broken rank on this – Emily Thornberry, Sir Keir Starmer and Watson himself have all prominently spoken about their preferences to Remain.
This is directly contravening the party’s leaders – and they are the most vocal of a very large number of moderate Labour MPs. The rifts between the party are getting worse and worse, just in time for a General Election.
Just to compound things further, one of Corbyn’s closest allies, Andrew Fisher, also left the party the previous weekend. Fisher, who helped write the 2017 manifesto for Labour, left with a note criticising the leader’s office and their “lack of professionalism, competence and human decency.”
JOHNSON’S JOHNSON STRIKES AGAIN
In other news, Boris Johnson might have used government funds to help the career of an American businesswoman whose apartment he frequented.
Yep, that’s just another headline that rolls by, these days.
The Sunday Times, who are easily winning the media war for best investigative journalism over recent months, revealed in an article yesterday that Johnson, while London mayor, might have used his position and public money to help promote a “friend” of his.
This friend is Jennifer Arcuri, a former model who is now a tech entrepreneur. The Sunday Times alleges that Johnson personally intervened to allow Arcuri access to international trade missions, give her company sponsorship grants and even win a £100,000 government grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
This grant was for UK-based start-up companies. Miss Arcuri left the UK in 2018, but registered the company at a rental house in Cheshire, the Times claims.
If you want to see just how closely Johnson got to Arcuri’s career, have a little gander at this:
Just to add more lighter fluid to the barrel-fire that is this story, it is alleged that Johnson frequently visited Ms. Arcuri’s Shoreditch flat. Far be it for me to speculate on the activities of a convicted serial womaniser, but I doubt that Johnson would have been able to concentrate on any business-oriented meetings there, what with the stripper-pole that is in the centre of the flat.
Look, these kinds of headlines used to kill careers. But these days, in this environment, it’s likely that we’ll forget all about this. I hope we don’t, as if this story is proved true then it means that a politician used public funds, our taxes, to give preferential treatment to a foreign businesswoman.
But, despite everything, I think he’ll survive it. The man has enough puncture wounds to kill a rhino, but he keeps trundling on regardless.
Today could prove to be the day where his chickens come home to roost. And they may roost pretty damn hard. Serious, next-level roosting.
But do not think that the fight is gone out of this Prime Minister yet. With his opposition about to quite literally fall apart and anger against the Lib-Dems’ “Revoke or Bust” policy, he may yet survive.
At what cost, however, remains to be seen.