Boris Johnson is at his best when he’s at the sharp end of a crisis, which might be why he creates so many.
But there’s no disguising the fact that these are the dog days of his term. The Great Entertainer is a busted flush, ready to move into the media, the circus or whoever else offers him the fattest fee.
Truthfully, the job search has probably already begun – and providing he doesn’t apply for the now-vacant post of Ethics Advisor at Downing Street, he’ll probably get it.
Boris Johnson knew Chris Pincher was a wrong ‘un. That didn’t stop him promoting him.
And at the Dispatch Box yesterday for Prime Minister's Questions, there was bluster and half-truths.
He didn’t answer direct questions about his ‘handsy’ for Deputy Chief Whip. He dodged the question. He didn’t take responsibility for the continued presence in Government of a pervert. And his references to Independent Investigations reminded us all of the Sue Gray whitewash, that helped get him off the hook when he kicked the PartyGate can down the road.
The normalisation of sexual assault, of jobs for the boys, of lies, lies, lies and the absence of a moral compass and moral authority was on full view.
Boris regretted the Member for Tamworth held office, though he was the guy who put him there.
The most telling remark came from his own backbenches: "Are there any circumstances in which you will resign?" Short answer: No. And the one time the House clapped – much to the chagrin of the Speaker – was when a Conservative backbencher told him he ought to resign.
We’re into the endgame now, of course, and Boris Johnson’s diversions about cutting taxes at PMQs meant nothing. The PM tried to change tack and get the conversation onto Brexit and Keir Starmer’s line that the sinking ship was deserting the rat just about summed up the exchange.
Boris Johnson’s team is, as Sir Keir said, The Charge of The Lightweight Brigade. It’s over. He’s had his front bench defending a sexual predator, while knowing they were defending the indefensible. And the problem for Tories, is that they know it’s true, which accounts for the Z-List cast of nodding dogs, as the Opposition Leader said, who now occupy Ministerial posts.
Boris is a busted flush. The people in the shires, the people in the red wall seats and the die-hards who’ve only ever voted Tory have had enough. Just like the list of Ministers who resigned yesterday – and those who will in coming days.
Sir Keir was on form. Boris looked to be enjoying it. But pitting the two against one another was like putting Tyson Fury in the ring with PeppaPig, appropriately enough, for our Child King.
Sorry, Boris, but we all know it’s true. The game’s up. The party’s over. Pickfords is doing a deal – it might be worth giving them a call.