29 February 2020
As a courtesy to a very wonderful man, I’ve decided I should no longer refer to our outstandingly competent and selfless prime minister as ‘Bonzo’ and future references in this blog will be much more respectful. For the benefit of cynics, I should explain this decision is based solely on my realisation of the sheer genius of the Rt Hon Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and is not in any way influenced by the fact that so many of his decisions are intended to concentrate power in his hands so that he will ultimately become He Who Must Be Obeyed.
His unassailable majority in parliament, his appointment of a cabinet of sycophants, his attempts to transfer power from the judiciary to the government, his ejection of civil servants who actually know what they’re doing, his trust in an adviser who’s a walking advertisement for charity-shop clothes, and his emasculation of the BBC, one of the few British products that is still respected worldwide, are obviously all planned to make it easier for our dear prime minister to assume personal control of everything. The help he’s getting from the self-destruction of the royal family is fortuitous but no self-respecting prime minister would take unfair advantage of this, would they?
His disappearance from public view (apart from a brief visit to a hospital to patronise the staff) and his refusal to carry out the duties that former, lesser prime ministers have done, such as visiting flooded areas and talking to their victims, are just further proof of his natural leadership qualities and, when he does declare himself Dear Leader and assume complete power over everything, I’ll be in the front row cheering him on because I want food on my plate in the weeks that follow.
I’m glad the Court of Appeal has ruled plans for a third runway at Heathrow illegal (on the grounds that they didn’t match the government’s plans to tackle the environmental crisis) so our nice Mr Johnson won’t have to prostrate himself in front of the first bulldozer and risk getting his clothes dirty.
I’m also absolutely confident in his ability to get a brilliant Brexit deal out of the EU in the 10 months that remain and, at the same time, do the deal of the century with America. He’s already described the EU’s concerns about chlorinated chicken as “hysteria” and “mumbo jumbo” and I’m sure he won’t let the EU’s more stringent food safety controls stand in the way of importing contaminated chicken as part of a deal with America. Come on, Mr Johnson, you don’t need to worry about the idiots in the NFU who said “To sign up to a trade deal which results in opening our ports, shelves and fridges to food which would be illegal to produce here would not only be morally bankrupt. It would be the work of the insane.”
But, Mr President-To-Be, you stick to your guns. It doesn’t matter what you’ve promised in the past, or what experts advise (that almost-as-nice Mr Gove has already written-off all experts), it’s what you want for yourself that matters.
Forget the independent Pitt review carried out after the serious floods in the summer of 2007 during which 55,000 properties were flooded, 7,000 people had to be rescued and 13 people died, costing insurance companies an estimated £3 billion. The report made 92 recommendations covering “prediction and warning of flooding, prevention, emergency management, resilience and recovery”, many of which were “far-reaching and called for a radical reshaping of our flood risk management practice”. (One key point was that flood defences pay for themselves many times over.)
The 2007 report said “The country must adapt to increasing flood risk” but I’ve been unable to find any recommendation in the report to build more than 11,000 new homes, which are now planned, on land at the highest risk of flooding in the regions suffering the worst winter storms in a generation, or to the estimated 10% of new homes that have already been built on high-risk flood sites since 2013.
The (Labour) government in power in 2007 responded to the report’s recommendations by increasing spending on flood defences by 10%, but we then had George Osborne and the cuts he made in the name of austerity so hard-working and dedicated company directors’ bonuses could increase astronomically every year.
I’m also thrilled to hear that you’re now about to have your sixth child (at least) and am deeply impressed that, at your age, you still have the energy to devote to managing the staff who will look after the baby.
I’m ending here, your greatness, because I don’t know how long I can keep this up.
PS – Since I published this yesterday, I’ve learnt that the ever-modest Mr Johnson owns socks depicting the Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal, who called himself “king of the world”, an ambition also expressed by Mr Johnson who, when he was a child, announced that he planned to be “world king”. When I was a child, I wanted to be an engine driver. I didn’t make it.