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Samizdata snicker of the day

Brave Sir Boris ran away
Bravely ran away away
When danger reared its ugly head
He bravely turned his tail and fled
Yes, brave Sir Boris turned about
And gallantly he chickened out

Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat
Bravest of the brave, Sir Boris!

(h/t commenter Pardone)

23 comments to Samizdata snicker of the day

  • Cal

    Er… you do realize that Johnson had no chance of winning once Gove abandonded him? What would be the point of running in that case? He actually did the right thing by withdrawing.

  • Yes but it is still funny. Indeed this whole political bloodbath is high theatre.

  • Boris made the right decision once Gove announced he was standing. There was nothing cowardly about it, and I see no reason to pander to the remainders who will try and make capital of it.

    If Boris is wise, he will be supportive. Although clearly annoyed in the ambush interview earlier today – to be fair, I’d be annoyed if I had to talk to the bigoted idiots that were ambush-questioning him – he managed to say he wishes Gove every success.

    Like many, I was willing to see Boris as our next PM – much better than May – but with Gove in the running, the order of precedence the two had in the referendum campaign now – equally appropriately – needs to be reversed. This thought is doubtless a bitter pill to Boris. We’ll see how well he handles it. Will he be sulkily grudgingly supportive or will he find it in himself to say that a man who has been in parliament far longer and had been a minister, not just mayor of London, is better fitted for the immediate demands facing him. (There are of course far more substantive reasons for Gove; I mention those that Boris could state without stressing his own amour propre.)

    So overall, I’m not not in sympathy with this poem, though I say it as shouldn’t. 🙂

  • Gordon

    Isn’t May a thoroughgoing authoritarian Statist of the worst sort? Is there anyone who respects individual rights available?

  • Mary Contrary

    The meme we need to spread is that Theresa May is the coward.

    When Michael Gove was fighting for his vision of the future of the country in campaign debates and on the doorsteps, where was Theresa May? Polishing up her speech for the leadership contest.

  • My strong suspicion is that Gove had a chat with Boris and realised Boris was actually willing to give away the Brexit farm in order to “unify” the party (under him), and that is why Gove knifed him. If I am wrong, sorry Boris. If I am right, fuck you Boris.

  • PeterT

    Problem with Gove is that where he goes, so does Dominic Cummings.

    I quite like Boris Johnson. Maybe he could be given an ‘ambassador to the world’ type post, reporting to Foreign Secretary Davis.

    I guess it is a message of sorts, that he didn’t feel he could run with Gove as a competitor.

    As has been pointed out, Gove only needs to make it to the final two, to have a good chance of winning.

  • I agree that Perry’s second comment is probable. The more we accept that Gove originally truly did not want to stand, the more probable it is. However I would be nicer than “F* Boris”. Boris did much to get us brexit – that is, he did much to make me happy on Friday morning. He did much to create a climate in which any backtracking on his part is not very viable. He is generally good at winning difficult seats, a skill Leave may need from time to time. He is a calculating politician who may have told himself he planned to advance on his goal not directly but by “the surer mode of zigzag”, while in fact risking selling the farm. That Boris evidently alarmed many of his (now Gove’s supporters) indicates at best that he’s not as skilled communicating with colleagues as with the public.

  • Patrick Crozier

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Boris, ever since the days when he was the Brussels-basher in chief at the Telegraph. But it was really surprising how quickly his campaign folded. Turned out that most Johnson supporters were in fact Gove supporters.

    It would appear that he turns off people close to him. How, one wonders?

  • Bod

    Maybe the old saying “Familiarity breeds contempt” would suffice, Patrick.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Boris made some corking speeches and public arguments for Leave, but that still does not make him PM material. I suspect he’ll have to settle for a minor role in the next administration.

  • Perhaps he is trying to get some diplomatic immunity pre Chilcot.

    LOL 😀

  • Question from across the pond: since there is no written constitution, and since authority still rests (at least theoretically) with the Crown, could Queen Elizabeth in theory overrule the appointment of a Prime Minister or even the result of the Brexit referendum?

    What would happen if she intervened in that way?

  • Mr Ed


    Upon Mr Cameron resigning as Prime Minister, the Queen is advised as to who commands a majority in the House of Commons and invites that person (i.e the leader of the majority party or coalition) to form a government, i.e. to be the Prime Minister and appoint or re-appoint the government ministers. That person would be the leader of the Conservative Party. If there is no clear leader, the queen may take soundings and invite an MP to be Prime Minister and put his or her leadership to the Commons in a confidence vote, and having control of the majority party etc., this is by definition proof that. The PM has the support of the House and may carry on. Should however, the Conservative party be split on its new leader and should there be a confidence vote that fails, by convention the PM resigns and someone else has a go. The loss of a confidence vote used to lead to a dissolution of Parliament and a general election for all MPs, but now there is a convoluted procedure for time for a majority to be put together before such a step.

    The Queen appoints the PM as her Prerogative, but she follows ‘convention’ and advice, and in theory she could inform the EU Council of Article 50 being invoked (or not) but that would lead to at the very least an Abdication Crisis on the basis of her usurping her advisers the politicians, if not abolition of the monarchy.

  • PhilB

    Off topic but the TV series Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister predicted BREXIT way back in 1980.

    It may raise a smile … >};o)

  • Stephen K

    Ferox: in short, no. The spirit of the British Constitution is simple. The Sovereign can do anything, but mustn’t. (Being British helps to understand this.)

  • Replying to Ferox’ question:

    The Queen has considerable prerogative powers.

    – Where there is no clear majority in the commons and/or the ruling party, it is a normative act for the queen to make a substantive choice. Her fathers role in preferring Churchill over Halifax in 1940 is an example.

    – Where there is a clear undoubted majority in the ruling party and parliament, so the queen would be overruling a parliamentary majority, that would be a prerogative act.

    Prerogative is to normative as spending capital is to spending income. You can’t live on capital forever – and usually not even for long. The queen is popular and politicians are not. If the result was that politics settled down into state that liked the outcome, it might prove safe enough. (At the time; there are always losers in any political event and if the PC were the losers they’d be bitter and nasty, and would try to ‘remember’ a decade or two later – probably then being seen off, but they’d need to be seen off. The monarchy survived the governor-general sacking the prime minister back in the 70s, but things did get lively at times. The queen in Britain is far stronger than the governor-general in Australia.)

    Half-way between prerogative and normative is for the queen to dissolve parliament, causing a fresh election. If she felt the result of the politics in parliament grossly contradicted politics in the country, she could do that, making it clear she’ll live with the result whatever it is.

  • Laird

    Stephen K, that is the best explanation of the British Constitution I’ve ever read. Thanks!

  • John in cheshire

    I’m probably stating the bleeding obvious when I say the original of this song comes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I believe written and sung by Neil Innes?

  • Yes you are and yes he did 😀

  • Paul Marks

    Boris Johnson is supporting the candidate I also support – Andrea Leadsom.

    I welcome the support of Mr Johnson.

    And I hope Mrs May is defeated.

    Mrs May has a view of state power that is not limited by clear principles.

    That is bad.

  • Laird

    Andrea Leadsom is not a name with which I am familiar. What is the opinion of the commentariat here about her?