BOris Johnson He is an honest man. It is possible to tell this from the sheer number of times he professed his sincerity. In his written note to the committee deputyIn the investigation of whether he deliberately misled Parliament because of the party portal, the word “honest” appeared about 20 times in one form or another. At a three-hour hearing on March 22, he showed more honesty, at one point even “hand over heart”. And few speak of honesty more than declaring your honesty 20 times in two days.
Mr. Johnson first attracted national attention to A.J BBC Comedy show “Do I Got News For You”. Watch it now and those episodes feel like a prophecy: The Privileges Committee, with applause. It’s all there: poetry; Storm charges of wrongdoing. And of course, honesty. When asked afterwards about an alleged crime, he replied, “Honestly, I don’t remember.”
It didn’t matter after that. He was so funny, so blonde, and so charismatic. As the show’s host said at the time: “Everyone will love you.” And large parts of Britain did deputy, then as mayor of London, then all the way to Downing Street. And Johnson loved Britain again, so much so that he became the first British Prime Minister whose exact number of children is not known.
The act now appears to be coming to an end. The committee hearing was another panel, another show. But the mood of “Have I Got Pixellated Photos For You” was less jovial. Noisy gatherings in Downing Street during lockdown are known as the Partigit scandal. But his hearing aura was a pure waste. Mr. Johnson’s mood fluctuated between rants (“complete nonsense”, spat at one point) and the kind of penitential refrain that follows extravagance. A man who once said he was a professional cake-eater confirmed that, at his 2020 birthday gathering, “the cake stayed in its Tupperware box.”
Mr. Johnson has tried to do little: he has spoken of “electrical force fields” and “pig-crowded lanes”. But his audience was less interested in pig-snuggling passages than he was in pages 30, 40, and 41 of his bundle of evidence: can he refer to them? Above all they referred it to pictures – a complete appendage of embarrassment, with bottles of wine, crisps and a deplorable ready-meal on a silver platter.
There were other unfortunate takeaways for Johnson from all this. If the committee finds against him, it may begin a process that will end with his exit from the House of Representatives. But whatever her judgment was, he looked forward to it. On the day he tackled questions about alcohol and trestle tables, deputyHe accepted the Northern Ireland Agreement negotiated by Rishi Sunak. His vote fell. His chances of reaching the political top again are slim. He might admit as much, if he’s being honest with himself. ■
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”