I don’t reckon much to the new version of Shameless, with Boris Johnson in the title role and Michael Gove unblushingly telling the BBC Today programme that he never stole the wheels off that constitution.
Welcome, if you’ll pardon the inelegancy, to the Twatsworth Estate.
Unlike the Manchester setting of the original Channel 4 TV series, this estate is peopled by upper-class chancers and truth dodgers. In a shocking plot twist at the end of last season, Johnson came up with a wheeze to kidnap parliament so that the neighbours in Commons Close would stop asking questions about his peerless Brexit scam.
That bit of political dodging and diving fell apart yesterday when the filth, aka the Supreme Court, ruled the suspension illegal, leaving MPs and peers free to return to parliament today.
Johnson has been in New York meeting chief chancer and dodgy dealer Donald Trump (don’t look at the photographs if you’ve just eaten). Now he’s flying home be hauled before parliament to explain himself.
A glance at today’s headlines won’t give much comfort to the Eton version of Frank Gallagher (famously a father of six, don’t you know). To be fair, let’s start with two that do.
First up is a totally bonkers headline from the Sun – “Ooh you are lawful… but we don’t like you!” It comes to something when your best riposte to a legal ruling unfavourable to your side is a play on words from a dead and buried TV comedy that limped to its grave in 1981.
Incidentally, the Dick Emery Show appears never to have been repeated, possibly for good reason. Whatever, the editor of the Sun seems to have been a fan.
That odd headline tops a round-up of reactions from readers who “bombarded” the paper, allegedly, while reacting with “fury”. The Sun reports Dave Martin of Sheffield as saying: “The elite have shafted us again.”
How handy to find a reader in Sheffield who speaks just like the Sun writes, but we shall return to the elite after the adverts.
Over at the Daily Express, aka the Brexit Beacon, we have: “Unlawful? What’s lawful about denying 17.4m Brexit!” This is a blatant and calculated misunderstanding of a Supreme Court ruling that had nothing to do with Brexit, but everything to do with allowing parliament to carry out its constitutional fuctions. The court unanimously ruled that there had been no reason – “let alone a good reason” – to advise the Queen to prorogue parliament for five weeks in the run-up to the Brexit deadline of October 31.
Brexit is the backcloth for this decision, but not the reason – and the Express and the Sun know this but twist the result to mislead their readers and stir up discontent.
Other headlines tell the story straight, with The Times saying: “PM flies back to chaos”, the FT going for “Johnson faces calls to resign as judges rule parliament’s closure unlawful” and the Guardian slapping down the PM with: “He misled the Queen, the people and parliament.”
Johnson will resist all calls to leave the Twatsworth Estate, and instead will fall back on another disreputable wheeze, the people versus parliament.
This mess is basically where referendums get you: a simple yes/no choice, just put your mark here, and everything will be simple. Only it isn’t and wasn’t and never could be – and, besides, in a country of 66m people, why do we only ever hear about the 17.4m who voted to leave the EU, some of whom will have died, changed their mind or possibly both?
As for this being the elite thwarting the will of the people, Brexit is a project of the elite who want to run Britain to their own best ends.
You can’t get more elite than Boris Johnson, for heaven’s sake. Or Jacob Rees-Mogg. Or Nigel Farage.
Heading up the Supreme Court was Lady Hale, a plain-speaking, morally sound grammar schoolgirl from Yorkshire – and nowhere near as elite as the latest Eton old boy trying to run/ruin the country.
I know who I’d rather have by my side.