I think it would be fair to say that Boris Johnson, the shining star of the Tory party faithful, has had a pretty shit weekend.
DISCLAIMER: I came up with the following analogy and thought about not including it, seeing as it is not exactly unbiased. However, I am too proud of it to not put it in, so please read on with a pinch of salt.
The shining star has by no means already imploded into a black hole yet. Some would argue that seeing as a black hole is supposedly the densest thing in existence, then he has actually already been one for some time, however.
Regardless, he is not the star he once was. Perhaps he’s more akin to a supernova: he’s still shining brightly after a major explosive event, but he’s starting to suck in all the matter around him.
And, eventually, the inevitable. He will pull everything down with him, reducing all of the surrounding matter into a singularity.
In short, not only does Boris suck, but he’s also dense.
See what I mean?
Oh No, BoJo
Back to impartiality, and it is an impartial statement to say that both Boris and the Tories had a shite weekend.
First up, Mark Field MP came under intense scrutiny for aggressively handling a Greenpeace protestor who had successfully made her way into a black-tie dinner at Mansion House. Seeing her wander towards the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, Mr Field decided to stand up and grab her by the neck, before marching her out of the room.
If that sounds like a biased way of describing the incident, please see below:
And while debate has raged on since, with some arguing in his defence about not knowing whether or not the protestor was armed, carrying a bomb or actually a tyrannosaurus rex in disguise, it is fair to say that grabbing a woman by the neck is not a good look.
Mark Field is a prominent supporter of Jeremy Hunt, it is worth noting – so much so that the expectation is that he would be deputy Prime Minister if Hunt won.
Fuel to the fire for the Boris camp, right?
Reports came out on Friday evening that the police had been called the flat that Boris lives in with his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, who owns it. According to reports from the Guardian, neighbours heard a blazing row that included sounds like “banging” and “smashing plates”; Symonds saying ‘Get out of my flat,’ and ‘You’re spoiled and don’t understand money,’ (paraphrased); and Boris saying ‘Get off my f*cking laptop.’
Not only that, the neighbours recorded it, too.
This has led to pundits viciously disseminating BoJo’s personal affairs, such as biographers and former colleagues coming out and saying that he has a short fuse, is profoundly slapdash in his approach to everything, or simply that he isn’t fit to lead a stag do, let alone a country.
They even located Boris’ clapped-out old people-carrier, a Toyota Previa no less, that he leaves outside Symonds’ flat, allowing it to accumulate parking tickets. The seats were riddled with leftover food boxes, books, papers and clothes, making it look even less like the car of a future Prime Minister, but that of a student who spent his entire month’s loan on jaegerbombs and Dominos.
But all of this was simply foreshadowing to the actual political event of the weekend – the first leadership hustings in Birmingham.
In their first public showings as the final two, it was Boris’ to lose and Hunt’s to pray for. But Boris refused to answer the question about the incident on Friday night, despite the tenacity of Iain Dale, the interviewer. He got noticeably agitated, telling Dale that, ‘People don’t want to hear about that,’ before eventually accusing him of ‘Hostile bowling.’
To rub salt in the wound, Jeremy Hunt’s performance as an interviewee was undeniably far stronger than Boris’ low-energy, mumbled and awkward answers. It must be acknowledged, however, that Hunt’s speech was hardly barnstorming – for the first minute, every other word was ‘Urghm…’
All in all, it was an absolute train-wreck of a weekend for all of Boris’ supporters, and a pretty abysmal weekend for the Tories in general.
Supermassive Black– Hold On A Second
Because the game is not even remotely over.
While in the politics of around five years ago, everything that happened over the last few days would be a career-destroying scandal, we simply do not live in those times anymore.
In order for real damage to be inflicted upon a politician’s career, they have to do something as extreme as break the law (e.g. lie about a speeding ticket like Fiona Onasanya) or swindle their own constituents (e.g. Chris Davies’ fraudulent expenses claim).
Being a bit of a dickhead (or a massive dickhead, some would argue) simply won’t cut the mustard anymore.
Boris is a noted philanderer, having had a number of affairs and at least two children out of wedlock over the years. This, in and of itself, is not necessarily a sign of a bad person, but it used to mean the end of a career by virtue of it being a sign of an “unsuitable candidate”.
But because it is common knowledge amongst the public and Boris still remains popular in some quarters despite the fact, it’s now managed to metamorphose into a strength.
…Well, for his supporters, at least.
People have affairs, people lie and people cheat – it’s life. But when an already arguably-sleazy politician with aspirations to the highest office in the land refuses to leave his girlfriend’s flat after being told to (never, ever, ever ok), and then refuses to tell the public why, is cause for concern.
But to those Tory faithful, who have backed Boris from the beginning, they will continue to do so. The star still shines brightly.
But will they be the matter absorbed into nothingness if or when the star implodes?
Please help to support Between the Lines by:
- Liking, commenting on or sharing articles;
- Following or recommending us on Facebook;
- Following us on Twitter;
- Donating on Patreon;
- Or following Between the Lines via Email.