The Queen waved goodbye to Theresa May and sighed heavily. She had been in this job too long. As had the next person she was about to see. And he hadn’t officially even started. Moments later Boris Johnson breezed in as if he owned the place.
“Has it really come to this?” said Her Maj.
“I’m afraid so,” the Johnson’s Johnson replied, grabbing her hand as Donald Trump had suggested. “You see, the Tory party have tried a hopeless leader with integrity and that hasn’t worked out. So now they have gone for someone who is equally hopeless and totally amoral.” A needy, badly damaged man for a needy, badly damaged country. A man whose charisma exists largely in his own imagination.
Back in Downing Street, Larry the cat walked out of the front door of No 10 and raised a paw to the world’s media. He had seen off two prime ministers and he was fairly sure he’d see off Boris too.
Fifteen minutes later, the prime ministerial limo pulled up and Johnson shambled his way to the wooden lectern. This was his big moment. The one he’d been waiting for all his life. The one he had lied, backstabbed and cheated to get his hands on. Here was his chance to make the speech of his life. To amaze and engage. But then, why break the habit of a lifetime?
Johnson waved his arms randomly in the air, as if someone was giving him electric shocks, and began babbling. “Pifflepafflewifflewaffle,” he began. Meet the new bollocks. The same as the old bollocks. It was basically all the fault of the 48% who had voted remain that the country was in the state it was in. The gloomsters and the doomsters had just got to learn to cheer up a bit and believe in some blue-remembered-hills version of Blighty. There’s nothing more guaranteed to make you depressed than to be told to be optimistic by a narcissistic fantasist. A man you wouldn’t trust to do the shopping, let alone run a government.
Telling half the UK they could basically sod off was a strange way of going about uniting the country. But then he had just appointed as a special adviser Dominic Cummings, the former Vote Leave campaign director, a man so toxically divisive he couldn’t even unite himself. In any case, Boris was now on a roll. Lost to himself, lost to the nation as he failed to take responsibility for the fact that the main reason Britain was still in the EU was because he and the Brexiters had voted against May’s deal.
As protesters kept up a steady background noise in Whitehall, Johnson went on to make a few mindless promises about social care, schools and hospitals that he had no idea how to fund. Even if he had ever intended to keep them. Like any sociopath who doesn’t believe anything, Boris makes everything he says sound equally unconvincing. He concluded by saying he was going to get a good deal because the EU was going to give him everything he wanted because everyone always gave Boris what he wanted. Me, me, me. Johnson through and through. Boris first, second and third.
But if the EU somehow didn’t give him everything he asked, then the UK would be leaving with no deal and it would be all their fault. The logic is unimpeachable. One day there will be a truth and reconciliation committee for all this Brexit shambles. Though it will be lost on Johnson as he is incapable of distinguishing between truth and lies. Just one more blast about the gloom-mongers needing to bugger off and a quick refrain of White Cliffs of Dover to keep the 95,000 certifiable members of the Tory party who had elected him happy and he was off.
Once inside No 10, Johnson could let the real fun begin. The man who has made a career out of disloyalty is notoriously thin-skinned when anyone dares even gently challenge him. Now he could show his real talent. No one could come close to him for holding grudges. Jeremy Hunt would be waking up to find a horse’s head in his bed and dozens of others would be publicly kneecapped. Out would go anyone with any semblance of self-respect and decency. In would come a cabinet shaped in his own image. A cabinet of shits, charlatans and shysters. One in which having been previously sacked for lying was almost a precondition.
Earlier in the day May had taken her last prime minister’s questions. Almost a greatest hits show. Yes, it really was that unmemorable other than for Tory MPs, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, who had spent much of the last year trying to get rid of her, praising her sense of public service. The insincerity was shameless. On days like this, Westminster can resemble a sewer.
May left the Commons slightly teary-eyed but she was a lot more chipper when she came to give her final, final, final – there have been so many, I’ve already lost count – leaving speech. Her husband, Philip, looked even more thrilled. He would get his wife back. No more having to watch Theresa being humiliated. The bad guys had won. Let them see how lucky they now felt.