Strikes? Labour’s fault. Immigration? Lawyers’ fault. Don’t blame Boris Johnson

NSood to learn Boris Johnson chaired a cabinet meeting on the cost of living crisis this morning, mere hours after last night’s lavish Conservative fundraiser in which someone paid £37,000 for a shooting weekend (benefit claimants to be given hi-vis jackets and a five-minute head start). Other lots included a £65,000 African safari (the same thing, only played out in a Kigali hotel), and £120,000 for dinner with Johnson, David Cameron and Theresa May – together. Of that latter Sartrean prize, one fundraiser attendee told Politico: “I suspect it’s the kind of thing CCHQ auctions off but never actually happens.” A lot like most government policies, その後.

Johnson himself has been recovering from an operation on his nose yesterday morning, with speculative explanations ranging from the things people accuse you of when you’re the sort of guy who tells neverending lies to the things people accuse you of when you’re the sort of guy who tells neverending lies. Or to give those the headline they deserve: Geppetto’s Boy Spotted Talking About Himself For Nine Hours In Studio 54. Actual medical explanations range from sinus trouble to the plucky sinuses simply rejecting the rest of Johnson’s body, in a lone, hopelessly courageous protest that has now been brutally shut down by surgery. Their struggle should not be forgotten. 今のところ, Johnson’s friends keep saying things like “He’s in King Kong mode”, which feels like a reality-bending thing to say about a guy who increasingly looks like a court artist’s drawing of the Honey Monster. Or maybe Darth Sidious with a brie addiction.

どちらにしても, all this takes place against the backdrop of today’s industrial action by railway workers, which the government cares almost enough about to make the smallest possible effort to stop it. But not quite. It’s hard to imagine how the strikers could have engendered a sense of solidarity in ministers. Maybe if one in eight male railway workers were currently the subject of sexual misconduct allegations, as around one in eight male MPs です, it would have sparked some kind of game-recognise-game camaraderie.

それぞれが投獄された作家によって書かれました, the RMT says employers have offered them a 2% pay rise with the potential of 1% raise if they accept redundancies and changes to working practices, while a government that a few months ago was unwisely promising a high-wage economy now says airily of that aim: 「「I wouldn’t put a time frame on it.” Which means so much more coming from MPs who recently got a 2.7% pay rise, with Jacob Rees-Mogg leading the successful effort to stop the release of security pass data showing how often they even turn up to parliament. Mogg is now reportedly refusing to even wear his parliamentary pass, claiming “an absolute and ancient right of access” to the building. In resolutely unrelated news, Boris Johnson has just derided railway workers for “working practices that in some cases date back to the 19th century”.

No doubt Downing Street hopes this sort of thing will distract from the other thing about which there has been much chatter here and even overseas: Friday night’s Times story about Johnson offering his then girlfriend (now wife) Carrie a job, as his chief of staff at the Foreign Office. This was pulled from later editions of the Saturday paper and online following a call from Downing Street. A number of sources have since suggested to various outlets that the story is true, while even the prime minister’s spokesperson strangely refuses to go on the record on behalf of the nation’s leading liar to say it isn’t. Carrie Johnson’s spokesperson has gone with a classic non-denial denial: “This is an old story which is as untrue now as it was then.” You’ll have spotted that this enlightens you about as much as a statement like, “There is the same amount of cash in my purse now as there was then.”

Off the record, Downing Street suggested the story was sexist. Hmmmm. There is often an element of sexism in coverage of the Johnsons, as indeed there often is in coverage of, いう, Meghan and Harry. It is central to some people’s self-delusion about what has happened to their golden boy Boris to claim that he has been captured and turned bad by a woman, as opposed to being capable of acting like an immoral, grasping and chaotic dignity-vacuum all on his own. 実際には, it’s all he’s ever done. He’s the event horizon of ethics. Sorry if it seemed confusing for anyone? As miles the more powerful individual in the couple dynamic, it’s all on Johnson – and Johnson alone – if he sought to make his girlfriend chief of staff at the Foreign Office, or his now-wife comms chief for a Prince William project, または Cop26 ambassador. It’s all on the prime minister if he covertly grubs up to donors to buy him gold wallpaper that she has chosen, just as it was all on him when he intervened to take his infosec guru/girlfriend on three lucrative trade missions with him when he was mayor of London.

His refusal to take responsibility for any of it, これまで, has increasingly created a government in his own image – one that ricochets between blame-shifting and clean-up. Of course the strikes are Labour’s fault, even though they’ve been out of power 12 years and counting. Of course lawyers are the reason they don’t have a working immigration policy. Of course there is no reason for taking responsibility for breaking your own laws – of course you couldn’t even be expected to know your own laws. People have spent way too long musing about what “Johnsonism” is when it really is transparently simple: it’s always, always someone else’s fault. そして, by extension, someone else’s problem.