You might think that a man writing a blog sits in peace while bashing out the words, but you wouldn’t always be right.
“I can’t find my keys,” my wife is saying in a pre-work dash. “And the cat’s been sick.”
She has now been reunited with her keys, and the cat’s still been sick. I break off typing to clean up the latest display of feline ill manners. She sits on the garden bench, looking supremely unconcerned. Not my wife, but the cat. My wife has dashed off for her bus looking concerned.
Now, where was I? Ah, yes, here’s what I had just typed. I like Boris Johnson, I’ve always liked him – ah, sorry, the lack of quotation marks could lead to all sorts of bother here. It’s been a distracting morning.
I don’t like that shameless chancer and back-stabbing charlatan at all (Johnson, not the cat). I regard him as a stain on the untucked shirt of British politics. The person expressing admiration for the ex-Foreign Secretary is Donald Trump, and why is that not a surprise?
Ahead of his arrival in Britain tomorrow, with British police massing for the expected anti-Trump demos, the US president was asked if he had spoken to Johnson since his resignation.
“I have not, no, I have not,” Trump said. “Boris Johnson’s a friend of mine, he’s been very nice to me, very supportive and maybe I’ll speak to him when I get over there. I like Boris Johnson, I’ve always liked him.”
What could possibly attract those two to each other, apart from the self-serving, egomaniac charlatanry and lying? And the allegations of sexual misbehaviour. The other night, Panorama ran with an edition titled, “Trump: Is the President a sex pest?” A question that supplies its own answer, but reporter Richard Bilton went ahead anyway and interviewed assorted women who claim Trump is indeed a sexual nuisance.
A whiff of disgrace hangs around Boris Johnson, too. His old editor at the Daily Telegraph, Max Hastings, described his former Europe correspondent as a “gold medal egomaniac” who had been guilty of “manic sexual adventuring”.
Mind you, Hastings is not without blame, as many of the anti-Europe lies we’ve heard ever since originated in untrue stories Johnson wrote about the EU – fake news, as his presidential mate says, or flaky news.
Anyway, it is hardly surprising that Trump and Johnson should cuddle up to each other in the truth twisters’ self-admiration society. But it is still a surprise, even though it shouldn’t be, the way Trump reduces everything to the personal exchange. The important thing is not what has happened, but just that Trump ‘likes’ Boris Johnson who is “a friend of mine”.
Trump also told reporters that Britain was in “turmoil” – a reference to Brexit, naturally, a departure that Trump originally said was a wonderful thing, but only after Nigel Farage whispered sour nothings in his ear.
Farage, incidentally, has just popped up at the smeared window of British politics to say that he’ll be back to lead Ukip if Theresa May doesn’t get Brexit “back on track”.
How you get something “back on track” when it’s never even touched the rails is another matter, but there you go.
In other news (but only sort of), the Sun reports that the government has drawn up a “secret plan” to stockpile processed food in case of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Oh, that’s a relief – the government as a secret Spam plan. There’s hopeful nostalgia for you. We can hunker down to making our own future while eating our own cans of Spam.
The cat, incidentally, is still on the bench.