This was first posted on Facebook on 3rd February 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
The most complicating factor in figuring out what might happen in Northern Ireland over the next few weeks or months, is that Boris Johnson is a chronic liar, and yet neither mainstream media nor his ministers nor his MPs seem able to say so.
We can note what Boris Johnson says. But we know, from past experience, that what he says doesn’t correspond to what he’ll actually do: and what Johnson wants to do, essentially, is anything that’ll make him popular.
This was first posted on Facebook on 7th September 2020, with support from my Ko-Fi network. Every time I tried to begin a post here about politics, since Thursday, I kept thinking “But David Graeber is dead.”
David Graeber died in Venice on Wednesday 2nd September. I didn’t know him personally and my sense of loss is only what I feel when a writer I admire and respect and want to keep writing is gone: there will never be any more clear sharp insightful essays and articles from him, never again. He was 59 and I am old enough to feel strongly that this is far too young to die.
I watched PMQs on Wednesday, and Boris Johnson, fresh from his holidays, reacted to Keir Starmer’s questions with an outpouring of poisonous bile. He didn’t look well, not that his illness excuses his behaviour: as John Crace noted, PMQ is essentially a kind of Westminster performance, something perhaps only political afficionados care to watch: but it is a dance with rules, a question followed by an answer, a follow-up question, a follow-up answer. Boris Johnson was interrupted mid-flow by the Speaker, who very gently and politely told him to answer the question. I don’t think I’m inventing this: Lindsay Hoyle looked worried.
This was first posted on Facebook on 5th February 2020, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
I am not a fan of PMQs.
The format, which alternates grovelling questions from Tories inviting self-praise from the PM, with questions from Labour and from the SNP, isn’t really conductive to anything except letting the Tory PM self-praise and spout BS.
(I am not arguing that Blair or Brown’s PMQs were any better, but the last time I listened to a Labour PM at PMQs was at least a decade ago.)
I listened today because it’s the first PMQs after Brexit, and Boris Johnson was taking them himself instead of squirrelling off somewhere else and handing the job to one of his minions.
This was first posted on Facebook on 1st October 2019, with support from my Ko-Fi network.Tomorrow is Boris Johnson’s first PMQ since he unlawfully attempted to prorogue Parliament.
However, rather than handle PMQ himself, Boris Johnson has told off Dominic Raab, the former Brexit Secretary, now the Foreign Secretary, to take PMQ for him: Johnson plans to enjoy the last day of the Tory conference and give the closing speech, not be bothered with questions from Jeremy Corbyn and Ian Blackford.
When Boris Johnson was Mayor of London, he appointed multiple deputy Mayors to do his work for him. This looks like more of the same.