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Speed Read: Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Boris Johnson and other Boris Johnson

Blog date

21.07.2019

Author

The Friday Speed Read

Every week, The Friday Speed Read heaves itself from its slumbers to faithfully go through its morning routine of exercise – shower – teeth – loo – clothes – Weetabix – shoes – car – coffee – Boris Johnson. Our sanity, although weakened, remains in tact for now. 

The art is in concealing the art. Whatever might be happening behind the scenes, beneath the surface, on the other side of the mirror (pick your own ill-fitting metaphor), the greatest artists, magicians, politicians, weekly column-writers are able to do what they do without revealing mundanities and struggles that have had to be endured in order to get  their wares in front of their audience. When we think of Leonardo Da Vinci we think of the Sistine Chapel, we don’t imagine him spilling all the coins from his wallet when buying milk at his local Spar; when we’re minded to remember Audrey Hepburn, we smile at her beguiling, pitch-perfect performances in Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, we don’t think of her banging the side of an old telly with a slipper in frustration because she wanted to watch the snooker and the picture was flickering; when a stadium roars to its feet at yet another unfeasibly-brilliant goal scored by Lionel Messi, we don’t think of the times he sits in his pants eating spaghetti hoops from a tin while listening to an album of jazz classics played on the recorder.

So we’re sorry to whip back the curtain on the dirty process that goes into the writing of The Friday Speed Read each week (and yes, we’ve just not-so-subtly put ourselves in a Venn diagram with Da Vinci, Hepburn and Messi and yes, we’re fairly comfortable with this*) but usually by this time (8.42am BST) we’re stripped to our waist, wearing a headband a la John McEnroe circa 1985, flicking through our battered notebook marked “NEWS STUFF” and letting our fingers fly over the slightly soiled keyboard as we deftly respond to the week’s news. Coffee is involved. Lots of coffee. And usually it’s fine; usually the process, as unorthodox and unsightly as it may be, is effective. But this week, this week is different. This week is problematic. And that problem is Boris Johnson.

Every news story this week seems to have been, directly or indirectly, about our next Prime Minister. Everywhere we’ve turned, every paper we’ve opened, every television channel that we’ve flicked onto, there was Boris Johnson being Boris Johnson. He was sitting in the cupboard this morning as we reached for our Weetabix; he was in the Dads’ race at our child’s sports day (he came sixth); he was in the little window serving us our coffee and hash browns at the McDonald’s drive-through; he was in the bottom of the pint glass . . . .you get the idea. And maybe this is the new orthodoxy; maybe everything we experience going forward will be rated on a scale from Johnson Lite to THE FULL JOHNSON (a film that no one wants to see) and we’re just going to have to get used to it.

And so, as the wheels on the Friday Speed Read production truck begin to cry with the strain of trying to get them into motion, we’re just going to have to embrace this strange new world as we present a retrospective of the week’s biggest stories and Johnson’s involvement in each of them.

THE NEWS THIS WEEK PRESENTED IN JOHNSON-O-VISION

  1. BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO US RESIGNS

The story: UK ambassador to the USA Kim Darroch resigns after his comments about the Trump administration (basically, Trump’s an idiot and he’s surrounded by idiots and they all live in a house of idiots, perched on idiot hill which is in Idiotsville in the state of Idiotiana) are leaked to the papers.

THE JOHNSON FACTOR:

BJ fails to publicly support Kim Darroch (“Johnson has thrown Darroch under the bus” – The Guardian) despite him being a crown employee and basically just doing his job of reporting back his opinion to his government. Classy work!

  1. BORIS JOHNSON AND JEREMY HUNT BEHIND PODIA ON ITV

The story: After weeks of fevered anticipation Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt appear on television together in attempt to win the votes of their old, white, rich, male electorate all of whom have already decided how they’re voting. The spectacle was not edifying.

THE JOHNSON FACTOR:

Aside from saying that we would completely, definitely, absolutely leave the EU by Oct 31st, Boris Johnson said absolutely nothing of substance and just smirked. A lot. Despite this, he was on every front page the next morning.

  1. CARRIE SYMONDS’ EXPENSES CLAIM “ABUSE”

The story: The Daily Mail broke a story this week that the current “Mrs” Johnson was removed from her post at Conservative Party HQ for flagrantly submitting false expenses claims. She denies the change.

THE JOHNSON FACTOR:

Only a story because of who Symonds shares a bed with (euww) oh, and yes for the fact that Johnson tried to intervene to prevent her sacking.

  1. ENGLAND REACH FINAL OF CRICKET WORLD CUP

The story: England’s cricket team thrashed Australia in the semi-final to reach Sunday’s final at Lord’s where they will play New Zealand. The match, glory-be, will be shown on proper telly (Channel 4) and it’s going to great. Unless England lose.

THE JOHNSON FACTOR:

Batting at number 4 for Australia, Johnson made a scratchy 6, 2 of which were off his helmet after being struck by a bouncer from Jofra Archer before his leg stump was sent spinning into the air following a peach of a delivery from Chris Woakes. Johnson’s innings was among the best of the day for Australia.

  1. STRANGER THINGS 3 APPEARS ON NETFLIX

The story: Everybody’s favourite retro horror-sci-fi series starring Winona Ryder returned to Netflix last Friday. And it’s bloody ace. Probably the best series so far and we’ll fight anyone says differently.

THE JOHNSON FACTOR:

In new departure for our soon-to-be PM, Johnson plays the role of the Mind Flayer: a big old monster that’s escaped from The Upside Down and draws its strength from melting and then absorbing Tory voters from Hawkins, Indiana and Farnham, Surrey.

A quick race around other news finds Grandparents allow far more screen time for the grandchildren than the children’s parents (and Boris Johnson); Meghan went to Wimbledon and didn’t want her photo taken (or Boris Johnson’s); a glass of fruit juice a day can cause a higher risk Boris Johnson, and many supermarket products have inaccurate labelling that fails to account for the amount of Boris Johnson they contain.

And with that. Let’s make scramble for the weekend. Hold our hand; we can make together.

To play out, Taylor Swift was revealed as the world’s richest artist this week, earning a none-too-shabby $185 last year. According to our friend Shaun, this is a terrible song but a great video. Access it below by clicking on Johnson’ face.

*irony alarm

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