boris johnson

    If the Prime Minister's a Junkie, the Public Has a Right to Know

    John Crace, writing his Guardian parliamentary sketch:

    “If he was a decent man, he would apologise,” Starmer said. But Boris isn’t a decent man, so he didn’t. Instead he continued to rush on his run.

    – John Crace, Boris left flailing as his limitations become clear for all to see

    Any Velvet Underground fan immediately recognises that as reference to their song ‘Heroin’:

    When I’m rushing on my run
    And I feel just like Jesus' son
    And I guess that I just don’t know
    And I guess that I just don’t know

    I don’t know if ‘to rush on one’s run’ is a common expression among heroin addicts, but John Crace has been there himself, so presumably knows what he’s talking about. Is he, then, trying to tell us something about Boris Johnson’s predilections?

    Perhaps not; perhaps he just means that Johnson’s enjoying the high of parliamentary debate, of being in the chamber, of being prime minister. But since the rest of the piece is about what disaster PMQs was for him, that seems unlikely.

    Is this one of those open secrets that everyone in Westminster knows, including political journalists, but no-one reveals, because it’s not the done thing, old chap?

    I do hope not; but we should be told.

    This Is No Time to Unlock

    Boris Johnson’s update to Britain’s – or in fact, only England’s – lockdown conditions has confused people. But even if it hadn’t, it’s too soon for us to be opening things up again.

    By “us” I mean everyone: the human race as a whole.1 Everywhere in Europe, to go by the papers, there’s talk of easing lockdown conditions. In Australia people can meet in groups of up to ten.

    But the virus hasn’t gone away. It’s still out there, being breathed out and in. Waiting for our preventative measures to fail. Not to anthropomorphise it.

    It’s not over. It’s not close to being over. It won’t be over till there’s a vaccine. Or a cure, but a vaccine seems more likely.

    1. Don’t get me started on how politicians, at least here and in the US, have been referring to a “national emergency,” when it’s so much more serious than that. ↩︎

    Fear and Loathing All Over the Land

    The time is almost upon us, and I have The Fear. Or at least, I understand The Fear.

    I understand the fear of Brexit; of giving the Tories control, yet again, of the NHS, and of the economy; and of their plans for changing the constitution in all the wrong ways, since I feel it myself.

    But despite my problems with Corbyn, I don’t understand the loathing for him. It doesn’t seem to come from dislike of his policies. Some of the people who say they don’t like or don’t trust him seem to be Labour voters, who you’d expect to have similar beliefs. Even if those people have more centrist beliefs, you’d think they’d be close enough to the party’s current policies not to be put off totally.

    It seems almost to be personal. Do some people dislike him as a person? Strikes me as odd, as he comes across as quite moderate and reasonable to me. To be sure, he can get snappy with interviewers at times, but it’s nothing compared to some people. And at least he doesn’t bluster; doesn’t lie; and always gives the impression that he knows what he’s talking about.

    Yet some people say they don’t trust him. Sometimes those same people say they do trust Johnson, even as they acknowledge he lies. It’s unfathomable.

    On tonight’s Channel 4 News they interviewed a guy in Johnson’s constituency who claimed to be a socialist, but who is going to vote for Johnson this time. They didn’t push him for an explanation.

    In the same constituency there was a business owner who had always voted Tory but is not going to this time, because of the way the party has been taken over by the far right. It takes a Tory businessman to recognise what a “socialist” can’t. We are through the looking glass and no mistake.

    Anyway, I’ll be voting Green. I hope everyone reading this will get out and vote on Thursday, for anyone who isn’t the Tories, and to stop Brexit.

    Time for writing crosses in booths, folks

    You know what's coming. It's nearly the 1st of May, and that means elections. An all-too-infrequent chance to exercise our fundamental democratic right and duty. Always important, even when you're quite happy with how things are. Somebody else won't be, and you don't want them to change things.

    Of course, that’s not what gets people out to vote: a desire for change is much more likely to bring crowds to the local schools, village halls, and other little nooks and crannies of public space that experience a kind of sovereignty for a day.

    Either way, there’s no better or nobler duty that you can do in a few minutes in a small cubicle with a pencil and a piece of paper.

    And if you live in London, and have a vote, please, please, please get out and use it against Boris Johnson.

    I don’t really care who you vote for (well, the BNP are standing, but I’m sure anyone reading this is much too decent and right-thinking to go there). Though it’s clear that only Ken has a serious chance of keeping the bumbling buffoon out.

    I’m convinced, by the way, that the Tories put him up to it as a joke. The thinking probably went something like, “Nobody’s going to beat Livingstone, so let’s put comedy candidate up, and make a mockery of the whole thing.” Then somehow, thanks largely to the vile rag that is ??The Evening Standard??, and the lack of seriousness with which some people treat politics, Boris climbed up the polls, and now looks like a serious contender for the Mayorship.

    It will be a disaster for London if he gets elected, of course. We can only hope that it will backfire on the Tories: that he fails fast enough that it seriously harms them in the general election.

    Putting your hopes for the country on disaster for your city is no position to be in, though. So I can only reiterate: get out and vote, and stop Boris. Give at least your second vote to Ken. He has his faults, but he’s done a pretty good job of running the city this last eight years.