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RIP XPM …




So he’s not the messiah then, just a very naughty boy. The end, when it came, was as swift and sudden as it was unexpected. And, as our Political Correspondent Peter Spencer reports, the dethroning of he who would be world king was riddled with irony.


Boris Johnson will be remembered as the man who got Brexit done. That’s to say his form of hard Brexit that’s cost us all so dear.


That route was his lever. His way of getting Theresa May out of Number Ten and him in.


It was going to be so easy, he promised. The deal was oven ready. Just sign on the dotted line and all will be well.


Except that it isn’t.


The economy was always going to take a hit thanks to the rupture with our biggest commercial partner. But the extent of the severance has made it so much worse.


Only last week Rishi Sunak was hobnobbing with the US President, proclaiming a new and improved partnership.


But where was transatlantic trade deal that Boris said was within our grasp? The link that would have made all the difference to our fortunes?


Nowhere.


Oh, and where’s the government in Northern Ireland? The hobbled administration that fell foul of the botched arrangements cobbled together by good old Bojo?


Likewise, nowhere.


Then there’s the extra money we have to shell out in the weekly shop, thanks to the increased prices of imported food.


Not to mention the extra hassle we face at the borders if we fancy a trip overseas.


No wonder all the polls now point to bucketloads of buyers’ remorse on the part of the British electorate.


Three cheers for Bozza. Sold us a right pup there and no mistake.


Still, he got the Tories an eighty-seat majority at the last election, so what’s not to like?


The sheer force of his magnetic personality also, and this to his genuine and eternal credit, galvanised western nations to rally round the Ukrainian cause.


Here, the prayer is that the military hardware pumped into the invaded nation will get the Russian bear stuffed back into its cage to lick its well-deserved wounds.


That will be a triumph not just for the defenders on the ground but also for the values and security that we all hold dear.


So the once-mighty Johnson has indeed led a fair few dances to the music of time.


Which makes it all the more ironic that he who seemed able to walk on water should drown in such a grubby little puddle of mendacity.


He’s always liked to be liked. Nothing wrong with that. But turning a blind eye to the Covid lockdown-busting high jinks in Downing Street was beyond careless.


At some point the news would be bound to leak out. And he, every bit as inevitably, would be called to account.


The fact that he couldn’t see that coming is of a piece with his not thinking through the consequences of his exploitation of Brexit for his own political gain.


All those porkies in parliament could hardly fail to strike the jurors in the court of public opinion as just that. An inverted pyramid of piffle, to coin his own phrase.


Clearly the commons committee sitting in judgement decided it was an open and shut case. Meaning, when he saw the report, Johnson saw the game was up. Finally.


He’ll be all right, in his lovely new nine-bedroom, five-bathroom moated gaff in Oxfordshire, raking in millions on the international lecture circuit.


Not his problem that quitting the Tory tent might not work like the quick and easy operation to remove a troublesome appendix.


If it’s left to rupture and turn into peritonitis, the damage can be life-threatening.


Perhaps rude to point this out, but the Conservative brand’s not exactly in rude health anyway.


An MRP poll last week suggested Labour will do even better than Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide victory, ending up with a majority of nearly three hundred seats.


This fits the narrative of voters, having simply had enough of the Tories’ crumbling public services and cost of living crisis, feeling like giving the other lot a go.


Meantime, Johnson’s trying to spare his own blushes by accusing his inquisitors of stitching him up, conveniently forgetting the committee’s Conservative dominated.


But the blame game’s the only game in town these days, wherever you look.


Take the humanitarian and ecological disaster caused by the blowing up of the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine.


It’s blindingly obvious to just about everyone that Vlad the Mad’s followed in the footsteps of Stalin, who did the same thing with another dam not far distant.


And yet Putin and his henchmen are having the brass neck to maintain it was the Ukrainians wot done it.


He’s also getting in a snit about isolated drone attacks on Russian soil, apparently not remembering he’s invaded an entire country, and is a serial war criminal.


Calls to mind the classic definition of chutzpah. The kid who murders his parents then demands clemency, on the grounds he’s an orphan.


Not like Donald Trump’s not having his moments, mind.


He’s falling back on his usual patter about witch-hunts, as he finds himself up before the beak. Again. This time accused of nicking secret documents from the White House.


All this on top of multiple charges about alleged dodgy business practices, and his proven repugnant behaviour towards at least one woman. If not many more.


And yet, and yet, he is way out front for nomination by the Republicans as their candidate for the next presidential election.


Needless to say, if he does get in again he can and will squish any legal proceedings against him.


So, as that one-time ad went: ‘The future’s bright, the future’s orange.’ Or may be. Perish the thought, say Trump’s millions of detractors worldwide.


Not least in Ukraine. Because if, perish the thought again, the war’s still going on then vital military support may well dry up.


But, hell, there are prettier prospects heading our way too, thanks to the new Barbie film on release next month.


No prizes for guessing what colour the enormous set had to be painted in. And no wonder, according to the producer: ‘The world ran out of pink.’


Director Greta Gerwig says she deliberately made it a bit OTT because she didn’t want to: ‘Forget what made me love Barbie when I was a little girl.’


Or, as the character Viola put it in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: ‘Why then methinks ’tis time to smile again.’


Which, believe it or not, can be a challenge in Japan.


Partly because people were wearing face masks for so long during and after the Covid crisis, it seems many have actually forgotten how it’s done.


Good news at least for Keiko Kawano, who’s seen a seen a huge jump in demand for the services of her ‘Smile Education’ school.


She put her students through all sorts of interesting exercises, like holding up mirrors to their faces and stretching the sides of their mouths with their fingers.


This is gospel. Honest. And maybe even now Bojo’s giving it a go …



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