1 May 2021

I’ve blogged very little of late, being taken up with spring gardening jobs and wrapping up a new book but I am forced back to it by the need to sound off yet again about that ‘greased piglet’, Boris Johnson, who still seems able to get away with murder – or at least manslaughter. Here is the ever-lengthening charge sheet, compiled by Jonathan Freedland and supplemented by Peter Oborne; here is the man and his court responsible for it, analysed by Rafael Behr; and here is how – for now – he gets away with it, explained by Andy Beckett. I need only add to Beckett’s piece that Prime Minister Johnson’s poll ratings remain high first, because he has been allowed to take personal credit for the UK’s highly successful vaccine rollout, when in fact it has been achieved by the scientific community and the NHS in spite of rather than because of him; and second, because – rather than doing his proper job, for which of course he is worse than useless – he has succeeded in appearing on TV almost every day wearing PPE in a hospital or a safety helmet and high-vis jacket at a factory or building site, bantering with staff and workers alike, and thereby carefully fostering the image that he is a man of the people.

As Freedland concludes in this morning’s Guardian, ‘Americans got rid of their lying, self-serving, scandal-plagued charlatan 100 days ago’. It’s up to British voters to stop being taken in by ours and, at the first opportunity, give him the same medicine.

Meanwhile, with the aid of a new aircraft carrier, Johnson and his talentless cabinet (all the decent Tories are either chairing select committees or have left Parliament altogether) are struggling to give substance to the slogan that passes for his post-Brexit foreign policy, ‘Global Britain’, the opposition to which was neatly summed up by Nick Robinson on BBC4’s Today Programme a few days ago as ‘vain, empty, and pointless’.