Once we get into the mind of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, and let’s be honest that’s not too difficult because there is plenty of room, we see that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is the hero in the movie of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel’s life, and he’s chosen to embark upon a crusade against the Germans and their Anschluss of the sunloungers because it gets him the attention that he craves with the Daily Mail and the Telegraph.
In the Discworld series of novels by the late great Terry Pratchett, anything that was described as having “a million to one chance” of succeeding was pretty much nailed on, as long as it was exactly a million to one chance, and not say 999,999 to one, or 1,000,001 to one. This is because whenever a hero in a war movie or a sci fi movie cries out there’s only a million to one chance of blowing up the Nazis or inserting a virus into the mainframe of the Klingon battleship’s computer, they invariably succeed because in the movie it’s always exactly a million to one. It’s the magical power of narrative.
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson obviously fancies himself as an all powerful and all seeing Lord Vetinari and not as the Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler, purveyor of dubious meat-esque pies, that he really is. During the Conservative leadership contest he claimed that the chances of a no deal Brexit were a million to one. He clearly meant that it was – in his estimation – exactly a million to one, and not 999,999 to one, or 1,000,001 to one. As we’ve seen he is the hero in the movie of his own life, and the rest of us are at best supporting players. You or I get to be the guy in the red shirt who gets eaten by the rapacious Lizard people of Brexitron Prime immediately upon beaming down to the planet’s surface, or the plucky Scot who is shot in the guts as the collateral damage sacrifice that saves Our Hero’s life. In other words, by claiming a no deal Brexit was a million to one, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was saying that he was pretty much convinced that it was a slam dunk. Or since this is a post no-deal Brexit UK we’re talking about here, a dank slum.
It was revealed in the Observer newspaper today (Sunday) that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has sought legal advice on closing down Parliament for the five weeks leading up to Brexit day on 31 October. It’s only by avoiding Parliamentary scrutiny that he can be certain that he gets his own way. This is the Parliament whose sovereignty we were told was going to be restored by Brexit, that Parliament. But apparently only it’s only to be sovereign as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the disaster capitalists and tax avoiders who are driving Brexit. In Brexit Britain the UK Parliament possesses sovereignty, but only in the same way that a meat pie from Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler possesses meat.
Also on Sunday, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was telling the press at the G7 summit in Biarritz that in the event of a no deal Brexit the UK would get to keep the £39 billion which is owes the EU. This is despite the fact that a large wodge of this money is in fact owed for past commitments, and the UK has legal obligations to pay it. The comment is only going to annoy the EU even more than it’s already annoyed, but that’s precisely why it was uttered by the British Prime Minster – and it’s still hard to write those words in a sentence that also contains the words Boris and Johnson without a cold shiver running down the spine and ending up as a feeling of nausea in the pit of one’s stomach. It’s not really that this government is thinking outside the box, as there is no box and there’s precious little thinking.
It’s as obvious as the artifice with which Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson contructs his clownish Boris persona that the aim here is to put the blame for the disruption that a no deal Brexit will create on the EU and remainers MPs. “It all depends on our EU friends and partners, ” he told the BBC. The Withdrawal Agreement is dead, he told Sky News. He has nothing to replace the deal, and he doesn’t want anything to replace it. The possibility of shortages of food, fuel, and medicines are just “bumps in the road” in the heroic movie of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s life. Never have so many sacrificed so much to the sense of entitlement of so few.
Despite the headlines in the Conservative press, nothing has really changed since Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson got the starring role that he’s craved all his life. The EU remains opposed to any renegotiation of the deal. It remains as committed as it ever was to the Irish backstop. And once the UK does crash out of the EU without a deal, it will demand that the money owed to the EU is paid in full, and the open nature of the Irish border is respected before it agrees to any trade deal with the UK. The only difference will be that the UK, which already has a poor hand, will be negotiating from a position of abject weakness.
The truth which Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson doesn’t want written into the script of his movie is that no deal is not a final destination. One way or another there will be a deal. It can either be a deal that the UK reaches with the EU before it leaves the EU, or it can be one forged in the panic and mess of a no-deal crash out. The only certainty in this movie script is that we’ll get to be the plucky working class Scots who are sacrificed in order to save the public schoolboy hero. There’s exactly a million to one chance of that.
My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.
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