Britain’s top undercover detective brings you exclusive election-time photos from the streets of Westminster … and reflects on related matters.
Momentous events call for momentous acts … thus it was that by 11am yesterday I was out of bed and seated in front of the television screen with a silk dressing gown enveloping my person, while the housekeeper fussed about with a breakfast tray.
The result of the Tory party leadership election would be announced some time around midday. But no-one knew exactly when, and led by the likeable Huw Edwards, the BBC ad-libbed very professionally with harmless chitchat. We also had numerous close-ups of the Johnson family sitting in the second row of the auditorium … prompting me to reflect, once more, that I’m already rather fed up with the ubiquitous Stanley Johnson, who is altogether too visible and audible for my taste. We have Boris and his hair … and Donald and his hair … and that’s enough, thank you, without Stanley elbowing in on the act.
As various BBC people reminded us several times, the two contenders would be told the result just before they went into the auditorium at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster. This to give them time to compose themselves. Thus informed, we could see, the moment Boris walked in, that he had won. He then gave a good one-nation speech, paid a generous tribute to Jeremy Hunt … and also managed to say some charitable things about the May woman.
Yes, I suppose he had to do it. But together with the apparently asexual Edward Heath, was Theresa May not the worst Tory PM ever? Weak, duplicitous, indecisive, but stubborn at the same time … oh, and entirely without self-knowledge … this being a quality which Boris surely has; or so his sense of humour would suggest.
Anyhow, I have an intense, visceral dislike of this mendacious vicar’s daughter. She leaves behind her the most awful legacy … not least a legal commitment, entered into without the slightest reflection, for the UK to have zero net carbon emissions by 2050. If implemented (and God knows how it can be), this absurd undertaking would involve the destruction of all industry, and, indeed, of modern life as we know it.
For that reason alone, I want her to burn in hell, along with her stupid costume jewellery and her stupid leopard-skin kitten shoes and her intolerably dull husband. If the Devil rings me (or, indeed, if he contacts me via this blog, which is easy to do), I will gladly join him in stoking the fire, and we’ll have a cold beer afterwards.
“That was fun, wasn’t it, Lucifer?” I’ll say. “Anyone else we can think of for the same treatment? Mary Beard? Owen Jones? Ken Clarke? Jo Brand? Oh, and Russell Brand, come to that? How about it, mate? You know you want to.”
* * * * *
But back to Boris. I couldn’t care less about his rackety love-life. Think of Napoleon, with his endless mistresses. Or of Nelson, with his Emma Hamilton. And Julius Caesar was quite a player, wasn’t he? And my ancestor Prince Talleyrand, one of the greatest and wiliest politicians of all time. What they had in common was balls. Then they say that Boris is ambitious for himself. So what? If he delivers Brexit, by which I mean a proper break from our shameful servitude to the EU, he deserves an earldom at the least, and ten thousand acres to go with it.
Anyhow, post-TV-news, I grabbed notebook and solid gold pen, chained the housekeeper to the stove (breakfast had not been entirely to my liking, and she had also insinuated that she should be paid more; can you imagine!), and made my way to the QEII Conference Centre to get a taste of things on the ground … as they say in the trade.
Although one of the BBC men had dubbed this place the ‘Plaza del Chaos’, it was all quite good humoured. I stood by one of gates, only a few yards away from the entrance to the conference hall, and soon a voluptuous glossy-skinned Tory MP of Indian extraction emerged. It’s not often that I fancy a politician. Only a few feet away from me, an impeccably turned-out Andrea Leadsom was waiting to go on-camera.
Nearby, a Remainer eco-loon dressed in homespun tat shouted out a few slogans, to which no-one paid the slightest attention. Later, I heard him in conversation with a madman in his 70s. (As a result of a few rocky periods in my past, I can tell in a fraction of a second if someone is mad or homeless.) The conversation went as follows:
Eco-loon: “You see, the melting ice-caps are shifting the weight of water on the Earth’s surface, and that’s what’s causing all them earthquakes.”
Madman in his 70s: “Yeah, makes sense. Makes sense.”
No it doesn’t, you doddery fools. As we all know, earthquakes are caused by hugely powerful tectonic movements far beneath the surface of the Earth … not by ice-caps melting on the surface. (Icecaps melt in the summer months, when all the eco-loons take apocalyptic photos, and then reform in the winter, when eco-loons with cameras are unaccountably absent.)
Nearby, a group of Remainers and their cheerleader started up:
Q: What do we want?
A: People’s vote!
Q: When do we want it??
In football style, another group started chanting:
No more Brexit!
No more Brexit!!
No more Brexit any more!!!
Then the reply came … from a group of attractive young Brexit girls:
Their presence here, it seemed to me, tended to discredit the claim, so often heard, that the young are unanimously in favour of Remain.
The riposte from a group of nearby Remainers went as follows:
The time being 1pm, it was perhaps a little late for breakfast … but it was all good fun.
* * * * *
Returning home, I found that despite having been chained to the stove (I am, I hope, a reasonable man, so her chain is long), the housekeeper had prepared an entirely acceptable kedgeree for dinner. Perhaps she deserves that payrise after all.
In the meantime: “Hail Boris!”
But not “Hail Stanley!” As previously noted, I fear that I am already rather Stanleyed-out. A little bit of Johnson père goes a long way, is my feeling. Got that, Boris? Otherwise: good luck, mon ami.