Always a good day for a new entry in the DISPATCHES FROM LESSER BREXITANIA:
It’s been a rum few days (weeks/months/years) on the Juice, has it not? I don’t know about you, but when l took The Cole’s Shilling and settled in here for some long term lurking, I was promised three-day weeks, inspirational political commentary and all the mustard I could find crevices for, but recently it feels like it’s been one bag of salted dicks after another and, frankly, I’m concerned about where my sodium levels are at. Politics can drive you bonkers. You’re up, you’re down, you’re happy, you’re sad, you’re united, you’re divided, it’s a big old mad Hokey Cokey that drains every last drop of vim from your reservoir of pip and sends you racing for the darkened room where you can watch the good guys punch the bad guys and that nice Mr Deadpool can remind you how much fun a guy can have with twelve bullets and maximum effort.
I get it, people can be exhausting. Bad people, stupid people, wilfully deluded people who actively choose to vote for evil wankers, they harsh the mellowest mellow, especially when you have to share a country with them. It does your head in and greys the soul. With that in mind there is one service I’m happy to provide, and that is to open up time, space and opportunity for all y’all to look beyond your borders and goggle in disinterested horror at the bowl-circling wankastrophe that is British Politics. Why worry about your own travails when other people are doing even worse things on a daily basis?
So, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson isn’t a happy chappie these days.
All he ever wanted out of this jolly romp we call life was for everyone around him to play Renfield to his glaringly obvious abandonment issues by saying how spiffily wonderful he is and just, you know, give him things. Lots and lots of things. Ideally, all of the things, but without being so gauche as to raise any difficult questions about why he of all people should have them or (shudder) ask him to do any actual work for it.
While less well-educated peons such as ourselves might find this attitude at trifle… onanistic, it was most fortunate for our Ministerio Primo that he was raised far away from the banal normalcy of ‘family’ in the soul-destroyingly predatory habitat of Eton, that tumorous enclave of accumulated bastardy where the barely-weaned spawn of our betters are abandoned by their Nannies in the shadow of the school gates and ‘informed how things are now’ by the looming presence of a 50 ft monolith of Rhodesian granite called The Statue of Privilege (modelled, so they say, on that great protector of the status quo Lieutenant-Colonel Guy L’Estrange) with its famous bowl of mouldy gruel held tantalisingly aloft so that the three emaciated waifs reaching for it (christened ‘Plebs’, ‘Brownies’ and ‘Uptight Fems’ in school vernacular) are all denied so much as a taste until they agree to sign the rolled charter nestled in the statue’s other arm, itself inscribed in flowing Gothic text with the school’s unofficial credo “Give me your lazy, your wealthy, your inbred elites yearning for unearned authority, the entitled graspers who still demand more…”.
Everything a future Peer of the Realm and non-Executive Director of a major lobbying firm needs to know about the realities of life are hammered into them at that School for Scoundrels, and boy, did young Flobalob learn his lessons well. Not his academic lessons, naturally, since he’s a disorganised fungal spore who can’t concentrate on one topic for longer than a few minutes, but the real ones. Lie, cheat, punch down, suck up and always, always, ALWAYS remember that without money and the status it buys, you are very much minus quam nihil with a side order of sub calcaneo to boot [Ed – I see what you did there, stop it]. Unity in the face of Equality has always been the fighting chant of the British upper classes, back-scratching and nose-tapping their way into the executive corner suites of all the important Establishment bodies with barely a ripple of dissent from the Fourth Estate who, after all, play by exactly the same rules for exactly the same reasons. Why change your tactics when they’ve won you all the battles? Eh? Haven’t you heard of the playing fields of Eton?
Flobalob’s problem is that he achieved the first of his lifetime aims (World King and Galactic Majestor require him to wait on events) without overmuch effort. He’s Prime Minister now, just like he always expected to be. Sitting in the same chair as his supposed hero, Winston ‘The Boy’s Own Bumbler’ Churchill and his schoolboy pal/rival David ‘Forget the lipstick, just give me the pig’ Cameron, which is about as big a boo-sucks to you to the world as you can hope to achieve in the British goldfish bowl. True to his mantra, Flobalob didn’t have to work very hard to get here, either. A career of uninspired bullshittery as a right-wing ‘journalist’ won him the hearts and minds of what passes in the Shires for the Tory Party intelligencia, telling them lurid tales of how that dreadfully foreign European Union was oppressing Great White Britain while enjoying the Brussels highlife on someone else’s credit card. It also earned him the sack for lying and fabricating quotes, but that’s all just part of his winsome charm, so we’re told, just like the numerous affairs (which he also lied about and got sacked for) and the unnumbered offspring. People love a rogue, runs the simplistic narrative, especially one who doesn’t take himself very seriously.
Except, of course, Flobalob does take himself seriously. He, himself, the one, true centre of the Universe around which the wispy shades of other people’s wants and needs revolve but never come into focus, that he’s always been superüberdeadly serious about. ‘Boris’ is the stage-act, the comical, dishevelled Everyman character straight out of an Edwardian farce upon whom the punters can project whatever storyline suits their mood. Alexander ‘Al’ Johnson, on the other hand, he’s a cold fish and a merciless operator, the very model of a modern Tory politico. It was ‘Boris’s’ connections and flattery that got him on TV (playing that funny, floppy haired Tory with the funny, flobalobby accent) which got him a safe Tory seat, which got him into the Cabinet, which got him important posts, which got him more Media exposure, which got him the London Mayoralty, which got him back in the Cabinet, which got him yet more exposure, which got him the platform from which he was able to project his bullshit far and wide. But it was the entirely ruthless and self-serving Al who chose to cast in his lot with the far-Right Brexit project and its even further-Right éminences grises, then went on to ride the greased bull of Brexit right through the china-shop of British politics and across Theresa May’s trampled corpse straight into the top job. It’s Jekyll and Hyde, except with this blert the deformed and uncontrollable Hyde is the comparatively nicer personae.
In a situation you might all find dreadfully familiar, Flobalob’s great good fortune has been that decades of ‘consolidation’ have produced an Infotainment industry that’s ideologically geared towards humanising the Nasty Party even as it systematically dismantles and flogs off the nation’s infrastructure, one that is always happy to popularise a fully-committed frontman who can sell the Tory brand to Joe and Beryl Bloggs, which is why ‘Boris’ still gets all the Media love, the slightly outraged giggles and the “What’s he like, eh?” shrugs from the guardians of our national narrative, but the dirty little secret behind the magic is that he only gets them because the ‘savvy’ people who know what the score is have belatedly come to understand that Al Johnson is actually the current figurehead for a much larger, more sinister and frighteningly well-funded operation than the Conservative Party he leads, one that can and will eviscerate the lives, reputations and careers of anyone naïve enough to get in its way.
What once was a bit of a joke usefully employed around the light-entertainment circuit has morphed into a Trojan Horse for a torrential barrage of lunatic Libertarian bollocks and Kulturkampf Anglo-Nationalism that threatens to turn the UK into a catastrophically failed state, all because the people and institutions that were supposed to quietly step in and ensure that ‘this kind of thing can’t possibly happen here’ were too busy lining their pockets with oligarch cash and turning a blind eye to the damage inflicted by generations of hand-cranked monopoly capitalism to notice that the ‘Populist Right’ they were applauding as the death-knell of traditional ‘working-class Labour support’ were actually well-funded neo-fascists who have become the bedrock of the ‘Blue-Kip’ movement.
No one in the upper echelons of the British Establishment seems to want to be the first to stick their necks out and call a spade a spade, seemingly for fear that said spade will quickly separate their empty heads from their soft, white bodies. When the Party of the well-heeled Establishment and their upwardly-mobile outriders has been allowed to become a vehicle for frothing mad racism and open corruption on a previously unimaginable scale, who is left to save the day?
Not Flobalob, that’s for sure. The Bullingdon Bunter didn’t get where he is by worrying one whit about consequences. That’s what underlings are for.
But I mentioned he had a problem, and it is this.