What a £150,000 treehouse for a child tells us about priorities…

Chequers, minus £150,000 treehouse

Here is a conversation between the anti-Boris Johnson devil perched on one shoulder and the bored angel on the other.

Bored Angel: I see you’ve opened your laptop. Please don’t start writing about Boris Johnson again. You’re getting obsessed. Go and find something else to bang on about.

Anti-Boris Devil: But have you seen what he’s done now?

Bored Angel: No, but I’m sure you’re about to tell me.

Anti-Boris Devil: According to the Times, he asked a Tory donor to pay for a treehouse for his two-year son Wilf…

Bored Angel: What’s so bad about being a doting dad?

Anti-Boris Devil: It was at Chequers, which Johnson is only borrowing for as long as he is prime minister – and it would have cost £150,000. That’s nearly half the price of an average house in the UK. Millions of young people in this country can’t afford to buy a house, and he wanted to spend £150,000 on a treehouse for a two-year-old.

Bored Angel: Heavens, why did it cost so much?

Anti-Boris Devil: Well, it had bullet-proof glass for windows. Perhaps there was gold wallpaper, too.

Bored Angel: Sigh. OK, can I go and see if it was worth the money?

Anti-Boris Devil: No, you can’t, as the idea was vetoed by security services. And Downing Street sources have been quoted as saying Johnson was warned about the optics of spending so much on a treehouse.

Bored Angel: I really don’t need to know this, but who was lined up to pay for this treehouse?

Anti-Boris Devil: I am glad you asked. David Brownlow, life peer and the chap with deep pockets who coughed up for all the gold wallpaper and other expensive decorative fripperies Johnson and his wife inflicted on the Downing Street flat.

Bored Angel: Boris Johnson certainly knows how to annoy people like you. What else has he been up to?

Anti-Boris Devil: Well, he’s just told reporters in Rwanda, where he’s been hiding out at a Commonwealth summit after losing those two byelections, that he is “actively thinking about the third term and what could happen then”. Downing Street later said he was joking.

Bored Angel: I hate to ask this, but what does he want to do with a third term?

Anti-Boris Devil: Glad you asked. He says he wants to continue with his plans to reduce inequality across the country, all that levelling-up stuff he’s always trotting out without doing anything about it. After his party spent years levelling down the country with austerity before he came along and pretended none of that was anything do to with him. And it’s all a bit, well, rich as he belongs to a Cabinet of millionaires that is a sticky coagulation of privilege and right-wing nastiness.

Bored Angel: I hate to admit it, but “sticky coagulation of privilege and right-wing nastiness” is quite good. Think I’ll hop over and join you on that shoulder.

Anti-Boris Devil: Welcome to the proper shoulder.

Bored Angel: You mentioned a summit in Rwanda earlier.

Anti-Boris Devil: I did…

Bored Angel: Well, it occurs to me that Boris Johnson is the only person the home secretary has so far managed to send to Rwanda.

Anti-Boris Devil: Ha! Very good. I think you’re getting the hang of how things work on this shoulder.

Leave a Reply