Too many clowns

- Louise.wilson@holyrood.com @louisewils­o

MBOJO, THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS clown, is still in town. Somehow.

Despite several rule busting Downing Street parties, increasing food prices, a jaw-dropping energy price hike, and a lifetime of general incompeten­ce, he is still up on the tightrope, on a unicycle, manically smiling and honking his nose for the approval of his party colleagues. And most of them are still lapping it up.

Even the mass resignatio­n of No 10 staff hasn’t been enough to knock him off balance. Indeed, on day one of his new job, all his new communicat­ions chief had to say was Boris was “not a complete clown”.

No, just an incomplete one. He never got his full clowning licence due to his inability to juggle multiple items at once and being unable to make balloon animals other than dead cats. He did perfect the too-many-clowns-in-a-car stunt though – just look at his cabinet.

A part-time court jester, ready and willing to entertain the masses. A part-time prime minister, ineptly running the country. Better, I suppose, than ineptly running the country full time.

And apparently an amateur singer, too. Guto Harri, Johnson’s new spokesman, revealed the PM was treating his survival about as seriously as a karaoke contest. Speaking to Welsh language magazine Golwg 360, Harri said: “I asked ‘Are you going to survive, Boris?’ And he said in his deep, slow and purposeful voice, and started to sing a little while finishing the sentence, saying ‘I Will Survive’.

“He invariably invited me to say: ‘You’ve got all your life to live’, and he replied, ‘I’ve got all my love to give’, so we had a little blast from Gloria Gaynor!”

Meanwhile, much of the country is begging him to go on now, go, walk out the door. Just turn around now, ‘cause he’s not welcome anymore.

But Harri insisted: “Everyone’s attention is on recent events that have caused a lot of hurt, but in the end, that’s nothing to do with the way people voted two years ago.” Very perceptive of the comms chief. The electorate did not vote based on the fact the PM and his staff would break rules put in place because of a deadly pandemic no one knew was coming back in December 2019. Like Keir Starmer, we are all Captain Hindsight.

“90 per cent of our discussion was very serious but it shows that he is a character and has fun. He is not a vicious man as some misreprese­nt him,” Harri continued. I have my doubts. Bojo the Clown seems like less of a joker and more of The Joker. An agent of chaos. Reflecting the UK’S madness back on to it. To quote Michael Caine, some men just want to watch the world burn.

And the PM did survive Covid. He looks to be surviving partygate. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he could survive falling into a vat of toxic waste. His hair turning green and his lips bright red couldn’t possibly make him any more ridiculous.

And it seems The Bojoker won’t have to wait too much longer for the parties to fall off the news bulletins. Half the population will soon be too hungry and frozen to care much about which of his ministers sang ‘Money, Money, Money’ while getting sloshed and celebratin­g the departure of Dominic Cummings. It’s a rich man’s world, after all.

Speaking of rich men, Rishi Sunak – worth £200m – is keen to help out families by loaning them a couple hundred quid to cover their energy bills. “I absolutely recognise this is a difficult time,” the chancellor insisted, enunciatin­g pretty well given the silver spoon in his mouth.

“People understand we have to live within our means, I think they get that, they’d expect that from us,” he added, while struggling to close his wallet because of all the £100 notes.

“I hope it will help ease the anxiety that millions of people feel about rising energy costs by sharing the burden between us all,” he said. Yes. The burden we all feel. Only some people are struggling with that burden from their own personal swimming pool, a recent addition to their Georgian mansion, which they only visit on the weekend because they are busy working from their central London taxpayer-funded flat during the week.

But perhaps Sunak was merely auditionin­g for a new role in Bojo’s circus. He can’t be a clairvoyan­t because, as he repeatedly admits, he doesn’t “have a crystal ball”. But he’s a shoe in for contortion­ist.

Roll up, roll up, and watch the Amazing Rishi bend over backwards to keep his boss happy while still shooting straight for the ringmaster’s job. When asked about Johnson’s Jimmy Savile smear on Keir Starmer, he said: “Being honest, I wouldn’t have said it and I’m glad the Prime Minister clarified what he meant.” Stupefying!

“A part-time court jester… part-time Prime Minister, ineptly running the country. Better, I suppose, than ineptly running the country full time”


…celebrated a belated Burns supper with friends… signed up to a 26mile charity walk in the summer… baked a cake for the office, which went down rather well…

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