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Posts Tagged ‘Boris Johnson’

I realised we’d reached peak politics at Hill Towers when Geoff and I sat down for supper and I looked across the table expecting to see Laura Kuenssberg.

I need to get a life, I thought. I must turn my back on the 24/7 drip-drip newsfeed.

It’s not hard to understand how the BBC’s political editor has become so much a part of our daily lives: after all, she and her politically inclined colleagues on TV – and on radio – are as familiar to us nowadays as our own relatives. Just like family, I’d say, were it not for the fact that I can turn them off.

Meanwhile, their insistent presence means I have little chance to fantasise about how it must feel when the media world isn’t going demented and foaming at the mouth with newsflashes and convoluted statistics.

The post-election mayhem (forgive the unavoidable pun) caused us all to become political pundits as we unravelled the knotted threads on the cat’s cradle of governance. The words ‘Oh, but surely not . . .’ froze on our lips as one unbelievable denouement followed another, occasionally even overlapping to create the new phenomenon of The Great British Double Denouement.

It will pass, Geoff said sagely when I expressed alarm. He’s right, and it will, but there’ll be bumping and boring along the way. Especially the boring.

Some of the bumps come sugar-coated with a little hilarity, the reward for staying engaged with the unfolding events: Theresa May, for example, apparently admitting that she had resented and disliked having to repeat the phrase “strong and stable government” ad nauseam whenever she gave a pre-election speech or answered an interviewer. (Memo to self when I am in a similar position, for that day will surely come: do not slavishly follow the edicts of ‘advisers’. The world doesn’t end if there is a little drift off-message from time to time. Be brave! Be bold! Break free from the shackles of dull old convention!)

Not quite as hilarious but still a little troubling, was a shot of Boris Johnson wearing a fleece (as you do, in June) in fetching shades of lipstick pink and lavender. Trust Boris to provoke another of those ‘Oh. but surely not . . .’ moments.

Trust Diane Abbott to give us one, too, when she suffered what was presumed to be a tactical illness for the purposes of damage limitation to the Labour cause.

In truth, Diane Abbott, she of the mis-speaking and the unreliable memory, inadvertently leavened the whole election campaign, helping to make many of us feel that politicians really can be more human than the robotic autocue-readers we’ve been used to. (Memo to self when I am in a similar position, for that day will surely come: do not allow myself to be set up by bullying interviewers and remember that a smile, a shrug and a swift “I can’t remember but I’ll let you know later” would cut it with most viewers and listeners, especially if followed by “Hey, look at you, reading your questions from a crib sheet!”)

I suppose we might have known that when hustings include such candidates as Mr Fishfinger and the intergalactic space lord, Lord Buckethead, the outcome would be unorthodox. But this unorthodox? Trust Britain to go completely over the top. Now we just have to sit tight and hope we can cope with life on a new battlefield.

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