For the first time in his life Boris Johnson is suffering from a severe case of electile dysfunction. And two hundred and eleven of the blue chappies won’t save him from the disappointment of not being able to raise his game.
The poor fellow puts the dick into predictability. His ‘save big dog’ operation almost mirrors the complacency of Margaret Thatcher’s campaign in 1990. John Moore was her campaign manager. He spent most of the time in America. My old friend Michael Forsyth bounded up tand asked if I was onside. I politely replied that I wasn’t. Did I receive a call from the Thatcher camp? Of course not. And when Peter Morrison advised her that if she were to lose then an awful lot of Tory MPs must have lied. He clearly misunderstood the electorate.
Let me give you a clue. There are people who pretend to understand how these things work who come out with the most appalling bollocks. The first is the payroll vote. Hah, it’s a secret ballot. There will be ministers and bag carriers who have publicly sworn undying loyalty to Johnson who have secretly voted against him. How do you think Liz Truss voted? We don’t know. I was a teller in the Major versus Redwood election. It was fascinating. The creeps actually showed me their ballot papers so I could report back. And those who were going to vote against him slunk to the back of the room. Mind you when I joined the parliamentary press gallery after I lost my seat in 1997 the elections for Chairman of the Press Gallery were delightfully chaotic. One hopeless twat won it because journos were so pissed that some mistook the letter box for the ballot box. Oh happy days.
So what will happen? The usual. There will be another change of team. Promises of tax cuts. Threats of a snap election, which is daft as they would lose. More personal smears of Jeremy Hunt. Oh, the next one will be that he would be a national security threat because his wife is Chinese. A few will have the whip withdrawn so they can’t vote against the great man. The weirdest smear was by the even more weird Moggy who attacked Jesse Norman, an intellectual and husband of Kate Bingham, who delivered the vaccine. But what must be most worrying for Number 10 is that despite all the bluster this was by no means an organised campaign. Steve Baker will sort that out.
The whips operation in this government has always been chaotic. The chief won’t have to courage to tell Johnson that it’s time to go. So who will? I really don’t have a clue, but I will hazard a guess. Downing Street has been briefing against Sunak for a while. He is a good man but rather naive. The non dom stuff didn’t compute with him and he hated how his wife has been attacked. Johnson also wants to blame him for tax and spend. All nonsense. However, a resignation coupled with ‘ I have no intention of standing for the leadership’ would be devastating.
At the end of the day the view of the press and sentient MPs is that Johnson is fucked. The most ludicrous whips office spin is that it’s all the wicked remainers. Nah, I’m a Remainer and that ship sailed a while back. We just have to try and make it work. Ironically, the most valued asset in diplomacy is trust. Getting rid of Johnson might just get Brexit done.