From time to time, we all have bad weeks.
Sometimes things never seem to go right, and we feel overworked, underpaid and in need of a good nights kip – or a glass or two of something chilled and sparkling, anyway.
But a sense of perspective is key, and acknowledging that someone, somewhere is experiencing a tougher week than you.
And this week, that person was Boris Johnson.
BoJo has had a shocking time of things in 10 Downing Street, losing a catalogue of important votes and thus far failing to do the one thing he promised he would: moving Brexit forwards.
This week, things came to a head and got downright nasty: proof, perhaps, that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, former Etonian and MP for Henley, is not a ‘man of the people’.
As far as politics goes, this was close to the week from hell.
Trump Talk – Monday September 25
Having never attended a UN summit, it’s hard to say for definite what really goes on.
But you can imagine that they are like school trips to the farm, or workplace ‘team bonding’ outings: ultimately pointless, but a good excuse to get out of the office for the day.
So off went Boris to New York to meet other world leaders in New York; the same world leaders who lecture on climate change and carbon footprints, and who clearly haven’t heard of Skype.
In NYC, Johnson met up with Donald Trump, which is a veritable meeting of (small?) minds. Imagine having to schmooze with the US President, knowing that you will probably need their help in the event of a No Deal Brexit. It’s enough to turn the stomach….
Alas, that was just the start of the misery for our erstwhile leader.
Lying to the Queen – Tuesday September 24
It was confirmed: our Prime Minister had lied to the Queen in order to get his own way.
The Supreme Court’s ruling deemed that Boris’ decision to prorogue Parliament was against the rules, and ultimately his ‘advice’ to her majesty was unlawful. Not ideal, really.
And so the suspension of parliamentary affairs came to a immediate end; forcing Boris to cut short his jollies in America.
That led to calls for Boris to resign, which no doubt a man of his standing met with grace and diplomacy?
Well no, not really. He said the Supreme Court should not rule on a ‘political question’, and deflected attention away from his ills by again calling for a general election, telling Jeremy Corbyn to ‘finally face the day of reckoning’.
Boris Johnson accuses Parliament of being “paralysed” and dares opposition parties to table a motion of no confidence or back a general election in order to “finally face the day of reckoning with the voters” pic.twitter.com/TMSeXc7rcs
— PA Media (@PA) September 25, 2019
A bold claim indeed for a man that has just been found guilty of lying to one of the most powerful people on the planet.
He even goaded ‘smaller parties’ (his words) into tabling a Vote of No Confidence against him in order to trigger an election. Boris is desperate to go to the polls, even though he has twice been voted down by the Commons on that topic.
A bad week was about to get even worse….
On the Attack – Wednesday September 25
It was on Wednesday that Boris displayed something more than mere ineptitude and a failure to grasp basic political concepts: he showed his horrible side.
In talking about Brexit he referenced the murdered MP Jo Cox, saying the best way to ‘honour’ of her legacy was to ‘get Brexit done’.
That’s the same Jo Cox who voted Remain in the referendum, by the way.
When rival MPs bemoaned Johnson for using her death as political point-scoring, he replied by saying that their concerns were ‘humbug’.
A stormy session in the Commons threatened to boil over when Boris continually refereed to the Benn bill as a ‘surrender’ bill.
The Benn bill, also known as the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act, dictates that Boris and his chums have until October 19 to either pass their Brexit deal in parliament or get them to approve a No Deal scenario.
If this deadline passes with no progress, Boris would be duty-bound to request another extension from the EU until January 31, 2020.
By using inflammatory language like ‘surrender’, critics accused Boris of trying to once again stir up confrontation between Leavers and Remainers – to such an extent that the daughter of Yvette Cooper has confirmed that they have had to have panic buttons inserted in their home, such is the animosity in her local constituency.
On the Defensive – Thursday September 26
In unprecedented scenes, the Speaker John Bercow had to tell politicians to calm down and temper their language following Wednesday’s vitriolic scenes.
Boris took on a new approach, showing his sensitive side after his reputation took another battering 24 hours later. He spoke about ‘deploring threats to anybody, particularly female MPs’ – a direct reference to his Jo Cox own goal.
“Obviously I’m deeply sorry for the threats that MPs face and I think it’s very important we look after them, particularly look after female MPs,” was what he told the BBC.
“But it’s also important to protect the right of MPs to speak freely in the House of Commons about important political matters, and the fact of the so-called Benn Act is that it surrenders our powers.”
It’s classic Boris: a very brief show of contrition before reminding everybody that he doesn’t have the humility to just admit his mistake, apologise and let the matter lie.
And then he had the audacity to try and shut down parliament again, this time for a six-day recess. That was voted down 306-289.
So there you have it: the perfect week from hell, in political terms. The bookies have made it an even chance that BoJo will leave office by the end of 2019, and judging by this week’s ‘entertainment’ that cannot come soon enough.
Other specials include 5/6 for him to be the shortest serving Prime Minister in parliament history.