“Commons hits boiling point,” is the headline in two newspapers this morning. Yes, and Boris Johnson has his finger glued to the switch.
Last night the PM turned himself into the human kettle, spouting and spitting for all the see.
This is what we’ve come to, a country led by a ranting, rude and nasty over-boiled kettle; a man who is happy to bellow in the Commons that the best way to honour the murdered Labour MP Jo Cox is to get Brexit done.
If we end up with the leaders we deserve, we must have done something very bad to deserve this rotten man.
Johnson’s performance as he was dragged back into the Commons after the Supreme Court decreed that closing parliament had been illegal, was disgraceful.
His unapologetic, finger-pointing, abuse-throwing turn was almost too awful to endure, causing the volume on the TV to be turned down to half its usual level.
A “barnstorming performance”, according to the editorial in the Sun. Oh, if that’s barnstorming, you can keep the barn.
Johnson only has one way forward: to shout inflammatory nonsense about the people versus parliament, to jab his nasty finger and to insult anyone who disagrees.
The nasty truth is now out there. That allegedly charming, buffoonish bumbler known as Boris always was a creation; some of us spotted the act for what it was a long time ago and may feel a “told you so” moment coming on.
We told you it was all a put-up job, a bit of pantomime, a stand-up act from a nuclear-grade ego wrapped in a suit that never quite fits. And now we can say, yes, look and see that’s the man he is, not the other conning charmer.
Interesting to note also, through the fingers half-covering your eyes, that Johnson is neither smart nor deft as a political performer. He arrives with a bulging pocket of insults and delivers them with obnoxious brio. He is all swagger and bluster, blowing in a wind of his own making.
His performance last night might have suggested confidence, but really all that bullying and bellowing surely covered inner and doubt and weakness. You only behave like that when you can see no other way out.
OTHER NEWS: And, yes, there is some. The BBC has made peculiar rulings against two of its broadcasters.
The Breakfast present Naga Munchetty has been told she breached editorial guidelines after she criticised racist comments by Donald Trump about the backgrounds of four female politicians.
In discussions with a Trump supporter, she told viewers: “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism. Now, I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.”
A clip of the discussion went viral, helped along by the BBC itself. But when a viewer complained, the BBC’s complaints unit ruled that Munchetty had gone too far.
While an angry, fuming white man such as Andrew Neil can say pretty much what he likes on the BBC, a brown woman asked to comment on racism is ticked off. Bizarre and wrong.
In another ruling last week, the complaints unit backed a viewer who said Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis had been “sneering and bullying” in her questioning of the right-wing commentator Rod Liddle.
The unit conclude that the “persistent and personal nature of the criticism risked leaving her open to the charge that she had failed to be even-handed”.
Is it even possible to be even-handed with a man like Liddle? He’s a professional big-mouth commentator who lays his views on with a trowel. Nothing wrong with that, so long as you have a strong stomach, but someone of such robust and occasionally vicious opinions doesn’t need to be handled with kid gloves.
And, by the way, Emily Maitlis is ace and deserves the support of her employers.