A strange argument has been made today by James Forsyth, political editor of the highly overrated Spectator magazine, in a column for the Murdoch Sun, where he asserts that taking the piss out of London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson should now be made streng verboten, on the grounds that Beano Boris has inexplicably been made Foreign Secretary and should therefore be taken seriously.
A complete muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
I kid you not: the headline “Constantly bashing Boris Johnson will just hurt Britain - so let’s stop it right now … The Foreign Secretary’s circle is becoming increasingly fed up with him being the butt of the Government’s jokes” tells you all you need to know, including that, as Bozza doesn’t have much of a “circle” to speak of, the most likely source for Forsyth’s dubiously argued copy is Himself Personally Now.
But do go on. “The Foreign Secretary’s circle is becoming increasingly fed up with him being the butt of the Government’s jokes”. So Bozza doesn’t like folks taking the piss. Fine. So he should do the right homework, and thus avoid stories like “A source said the Foreign Secretary sparked groans of disapproval at a meeting of the Cabinet’s Brexit committee on Thursday because he had read the wrong briefing notes ahead of the discussion … The news fuelled suggestions that the Prime Minister was ‘coming to the end of her tether’ over a series of gaffes by Mr Johnson”.
There is more in this apologia: “Taking the mickey out of Boris is hardly new, every Tory leader since Michael Howard has done it”. Howard had good reason - Bozza not only got caught shagging Petronella Wyatt, he lied to his then party leader about it. “But taking the mick when Boris is Foreign Secretary is very different to doing it when he’s just an MP or Mayor of London”. Yeah, it makes him an even bigger embarrassment.
Still the excuses come: “When Boris was Mayor, the Tory party could get away with treating him as the party jester - after all, the most important negotiations he had every year was with the Treasury”. Yeah, trying to keep Britain’s capital city from running out of the means to keep it going is just kids’ stuff, innit? This is truly lame.
But there is yet more: “When the Prime Minister and the Chancellor suggest that they regard the Foreign Secretary as a bit of a joke, they invite the rest of the world to follow suit. Why should other governments take him seriously if his own Cabinet colleagues don’t?” Who appointed Bozza to the FO? Theresa May. So it’s glaringly bloody obvious that she takes him seriously, otherwise she wouldn’t have promoted him.
Carry On Excusing: “‘It doesn’t create the right impression in Europe,’ warns one friend of Boris”. You mean “warns Boris”. Have another go. “Boris hasn’t responded in kind to these jokes”. He sodding well has - he briefed you. “But don’t think he doesn’t mind them”. See, he has briefed you. “I am told he has made clear to Downing Street how unhappy he is about this briefing against him”. I was right - he definitely has briefed you.
Forsyth then stretches his credibility beyond the bounds of elasticity: “He has thought seriously about the Russian threat and what Britain’s role in the world should be once we have left the EU. Next week he is making a major speech setting out his foreign policy vision”. F*** off. Just f*** right off and then f*** off some more. Bozza doesn’t do serious thought, unless it’s about enhancing his bank balance.
Still he soldiers on: “But if he is to be listened to, his Cabinet colleagues must stop treating him as a figure of fun”. Fine. And to accomplish that, Bozza has to stop behaving like a clown, opening mouth and inserting boot, offending half of Europe and much of the rest of the world, and thinking that a little stream of consciousness rambling plus a few words of broken Latin will be enough to make him a serious politician.
And as for Forsyth’s parting shot, “If the Government wants Boris to bat for Britain, his team-mates can’t break his bat before he gets to the wicket”, it’s Bozza who is breaking his own bat. Let me put this directly, so Forsyth can be in no doubt.
Boris Johnson never has been, is not, and never will be a credible proposition as a serious politician. His only specialist subject is the promotion of Himself. The only reason foreign diplomats see him as a figure of fun is because that is what he is. He might as well go the full Ken Dodd and complement the ruffled hair with a tickling stick, declaim the phrase “What a day Missus” to introduce his routine, and sign off with a suitably lewd double entendre about the vicar and his Brussels sprouts.
On the subject of Bozza, I commend to James Forsyth the wise words of Cloughie: “He’s a clown, young man”. And he does a lousily concealed briefing.