You can now stream and download the latest episode of my brand new politics podcast, What The Actual F*** Is Going On With This Whole Politics Business? from your favourite podcast provider.
Once upon a time, there was a boy who wanted to be the King of the world. He dreamed of untold riches, limitless power and endless adoration, but the crown was the one thing his father couldn’t buy him, so instead, he settled on becoming the prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
It wouldn’t be so hard, he would often think to himself. After all, who was more qualified than him? He had read every book about Churchill in Eton’s library. He was going to go to Oxford to read Classics, so why not him?
He was a lonely boy, often left waiting at the window for his father to return home, and only really finding company with his siblings, but he told himself that the road to greatness was paved with loneliness. It didn’t matter, because one day, everyone would adore him, so a little suffering was good for building character.
He would spend hours in the British Museum, studying all the great men that came before him and imagining paintings and statues of himself filling the halls. He pictured his thick, blond hair, immortalised in granite, and fell a little in love with the idea, never knowing that one day, it would be thin and threatening to turn grey. It wasn’t enough to be Alexander The Great. He wanted to be Alexander The Immortal. Alexander The Everlasting, and after all, why shouldn’t he be? He wasn’t allowed to be King, because of some stupid rule about birthright, so the most beloved Prime Minister of all time was the least that his country owed him.
The boy became Boris, somewhere in the daze of his hazy school days. He’d turn up late, make the whole class laugh, and debate with the best of them, honing his soon to be unforgettable persona. Ruffling his hair in the mirror every morning, he’d go in search of the stares he had often given to the statues of his heroes. He was a scholar, a prefect, editor of the school newspaper, and a future Prime Minister, so there was no harm in getting the adoration started now, right?
Off to Oxford, the boy who became Boris was now old enough to start putting some plans into place, and for his legacy to begin to seed, but, as he often says now, alas, it was not an easy road. Our hero was about to find out that sometimes, you can get everything you want, and still be deeply unhappy.
After an unsuccessful bid for president of the Oxford Union, he was successful in his second attempt, finally, the King of something other than his family’s affections, but, as he often says now, alas, his reign was unremarkable, and many questioned his competency and seriousness. For the first time, the boy who longed to be King was facing a public revolt.
There was no guillotine, no storming of the palace, but their indifference to him tore him apart all the same. Didn’t they know that he was the boy born to be King? Didn’t they know that he excelled at debating when studying at Eton? Didn’t they see all his potential? Alas, apparently not. He tried to smile, falling in love to pass the time, reassuring himself that it didn’t matter, because the gates of Downing Street were still waiting for him.
There was a lot of waiting to do. He waited in the lobbies, as a journalist for a while before finally entering into the world he felt born to rule, but of course, there were obstacles, because he was a hero, my friends, and heroes must face tests before they are rewarded.
It took many years, many fancy offices, many mistresses and many wives, but eventually, he made it. Past all his peers and contemporaries, there he was, walking through the door he had dreamed of since childhood. The boy who became Boris, finally became King, primarily because the monarchy had no power any more, and Larry the cat sitting on your lap was the only coronation anyone needed to rule the British Isles without much restriction.
Am I jealous of him? I used to be. I’d look at him and become an inferno, because I knew that if I had been given scholarships I didn’t need and internships through family connections, I could be the King of the world too, but today, I realise, I have something that he, nor his father could never buy for him.
I’d like to tell you that I can survive without adoration and validation, but it just isn’t true, however, I will always know that when it comes, it comes genuinely. I have no power. I have no money. I have no influence. I have no house in the countryside. I’m just a gobby cow on the internet who writes poems, songs and poorly constructed political analysis. I have nothing to offer but that. Except absolutely great cleavage. There is no secret benefit to being my friend, or falling in love with me. Just a life time of pasta and pesto in front of a doctor who box set and the occasional holiday to Blackpool, so if there is nothing to gain from being by my side, I know that nobody is there to gain anything.
Everybody wants love, but when you have nothing to give but love, you are always certain that the love you get is genuine, and my friends, our hero will never have that. Maybe he will have real love. Sincerely, I hope he does, but he will never have the certainty that it’s real. Do I pity him? A little. Do I think it’s a situation of his own making? A little, and that is why he tore himself to pieces, trying to make us all love him, while we watched our own loved ones suffer. It was too much to bear, to finally get to the top of the mountain and hear nothing but sobbing from the ground below, so, at all costs, our hero wanted you to shower him with smiles.
I think it drove him a little mad. It began to eat him alive. You could see it a little more every day. The madness became a monster, dripping poison in his ear as he slept, but the King was immortal, my friends, ever lasting, so it was never really going to kill him, but it filled his body with doubt, desperation and fear.
He’d stare at himself in the mirror, wondering if he truly looked statesmanlike, or if his Secretary just said it every morning in the hopes that he’d knock her up so she’d be set for life on child support. He would pour over his old columns and wonder if they existed because he was an excellent writer, or because someone owed his Father a favour. All the while, his beloved Britain was burning down before his very eyes, and he knew he needed to do something, but he could never figure out what.
If only the people were happy. If they were happy, maybe the flames would just be a pleasant ambience in the background? So, he decided that the people must smile. The people must laugh. The people must get bladdered at Spoons and then get a kebab on the way home. Happy people love their Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister was starved of love, and suddenly so aware of it.
Are you tired of lockdown? Don’t worry, the King of the world will banish it! It might come back, and that will definitely be your fault and not his, but it’s gone (for now), so smile! Do you want to be back in the pub? Then let’s go! Lunch is on the King of the world. Eat out to help out! Some old people might have died to make it all happen, but, they were old, and you are young, so thank our hero with a smile!
It might be considered a madness, to let the bodies pile high, simply because you desperately desire to be adored and celebrated, but my friends, Boris Johnson’s ego matters more than your grandma. Don’t you know that by now? Boris Johnson’s ego matters more than your small business, or whether you can pay your rent or mortgage. The whims of the mad King will decide the fate of a nation. Four countries bound together, having their fate decided by the boy who never really became a man.
So, smile, as you slave away at a minimum wage, zero hours job. Smile as your landlord hikes up your rent. Log onto Twitter dot com as you wait for a late bus in the pouring rain, and pour praise on our hero, my friends. Let him know that you appreciate all his hard work and sacrifices. Smile for Boris, because truly, he has had the hardest life of all.
Go outside your house, right now. Clap for Boris. Clap for him, you fucking peasant. Take the rainbow flag from the tank topped bum boys (by force, if necessary) and wave it for Boris. Go out to your high street and spend for Boris. Leave no credit card unmaxed, my friends, because if the economy crashes, it will look bad for him, and he’s your friend, remember? He was on panel shows and he has messy hair, so he’s your friend, and you owe him, so spend every penny you’ve got, work until you can’t stand up and for god’s sake, smile while your doing it.
He needs this. He really needs this.