Johnson is so short of answers he can no longer form complete sentences

It felt very much like the end of days. An intellectually and morally bankrupt government lurching from one crisis to the next while the country is left to flatline. No one is even surprised these days when yet another Tory MP is accused of sex offences. While we don’t know what the truth of these new allegations will be, the fact that there are fresh claims is no more than people have come to expect. The MP hasn’t even been suspended as he would have been in any other workplace.

The ongoing scandal at Westminster is one that might have proved fatally toxic for some administrations, but now has become normalised. Just wait for the next story to break. And with 56 MPs, including three cabinet ministers, being investigated for sexual misconduct, it may not be long before it does.

The Commons was nowhere near full for the first prime minister’s questions of the new parliament. Many Tories had clearly decided they were better off out of Westminster than enduring the laboured ramblings of their leader. No one could really blame them.

Waiting to take his place on the frontbench, Boris Johnson stood behind the Speaker’s chairs while several of his parliamentary private secretaries patted him down and tried to smarten him up. But Joy Morrissey had no joy. Despite her best efforts, the Convict still looked a complete state. Crumpled, ill-fitting suit held together only by the stains. Tired and pasty-faced. An unbrushed toddler haircut. Johnson can’t clean up his own act, let alone his party’s.

With inflation rising to 9%, there was only ever going to be one subject on Keir Starmer’s mind, and he duly devoted all six of his questions to the cost of living. Labour was all in favour of a windfall tax. The Tories had voted against one, even though the chancellor had said only a few days ago that he hadn’t quite made up his mind yet. Rishi Sunak needed a few more people to starve before reaching a decision. So where did Johnson stand?

The Convict scratched his head. Then his arse. Not the most attractive of habits. He looked puzzled. His mouth opened and a torrent of disconnected phrases poured out. Boris can no longer speak in complete sentences. Partly because he can’t be bothered, but mainly because he now has no coherent answers to anything. Speech is no longer a form of communication, but more a smokescreen. That’s when he’s not lying, of course.

“Um … er,” he mumbled. It was like this. Starmer didn’t even know what a woman was. He seemed to think this was a killer putdown, but he didn’t even get any laughs from his own MPs. It was just random, tone-deaf nonsense. Playing the culture wars card while refusing to acknowledge the genuine hardships many people were suffering was not a good look. The Convict tried to change tack. The government was not, in theory, in favour of putting up taxes. Mmm. Possibly. But it definitely is in practice. Johnson and Sunak have done nothing but put up taxes since they took office.

The Labour leader continued to do his own scratching. Though rather more productively, as he was pawing away at the open sore of the windfall tax. A tax that almost everyone in the country thought was a good idea. A tax on which it was inevitable the Tories would be forced to reverse-ferret on within a few weeks. Not that it would be called a windfall tax. That would be an admission that Labour had won the argument. So it would be an excessive profit levy.

None of which helped the Convict in his short-term ambition of merely getting through the next half-hour. Because Johnson really didn’t know what he actually wanted, other than for Labour to stop bugging him and for the little people to be more grateful for what he was doing for them. Whatever that was. He couldn’t remember exactly, but he was sure it would come to him in the end. His performance lapsed from the incoherent to the pathetic.

Nobody could have predicted the Ukraine war, but it was our duty to suffer alongside the Ukrainian people. The Ukrainians wouldn’t expect a windfall tax at such a time, and neither should we Brits. In fact, Starmer was appeasing Putin by demanding one.

The Labour benches just looked bewildered. As did Tory backbenchers. Even by the Convict’s recent standards, this was deranged. Johnson is decomposing before our eyes. Being prime minister is something beyond his shallow talents. He can no longer cope. He was only ever in it for the good times. The parties. The status. The Being There. A tanking, stagflating economy and an imminent recession is beyond his compass.

Starmer ended by telling the story of a man who could barely afford the costs of running the dialysis machine that kept him alive. Johnson was choosing to let people like him struggle. The Commons was unusually quiet as the Labour leader spoke, and Johnson should have been humbled. Except the Convict has no shame. The only pity he has is reserved strictly for himself. This was far too real for him, so he pawed the air, as if to bat Starmer away.

Then he went on the attack. People should just be grateful they had jobs to do as they went hungry and cold. If they wanted luxuries, why didn’t they just get jobs that paid a bit more, like Rachel Maclean had said? Hell, he had taken a pay cut to be prime minister, so how about a bit of sympathy for his suffering? And what about some applause for Crossrail? That was all down to him. It wasn’t, of course. It had been Ken Livingstone’s idea. But hey, if the Convict wants to take the credit for an infrastructure project that was years late and massively over budget, then who are we to stop him?

The rest of PMQs passed in a haze of anticlimactic apathy, the only highlight being Johnson insisting that no one worked well from home. He can speak for himself.

Labour could only sit and wait. They could make suggestions, but there was nothing they could do to force the government to tackle the cost of living crisis. The Tories, too, could only sit and wait, though they only had their crippling indecision to blame. They knew the Convict was just a hollowed-out, corroded hulk. There was no saviour rising from the streets to come to their rescue.

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