Mark Andrews: A Trumpian comeback for Boris and why bad grammar is nothing to be proud of

Mark Andrews takes a wry look at the week that was.


              
Prime Minister Boris Johnson reads a statement outside 10 Downing Street, London, formally resigning as Conservative Party leader after ministers and MPs made clear his position was untenable. He will remain as Prime Minister until a successor is in place. Picture date: Thursday July 7, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Johnson. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Prime Minister Boris Johnson reads a statement outside 10 Downing Street, London, formally resigning as Conservative Party leader after ministers and MPs made clear his position was untenable. He will remain as Prime Minister until a successor is in place. Picture date: Thursday July 7, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Johnson. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Back in 1996, there was a bizarre story about Kevin Cullis, the former chairman of Cradley Town FC, who somehow became manager of Swansea City. There was disbelief that a bloke who had scarcely set the Banks's Brewery league alight, somehow hit the big time.

He lasted six days, with the players mounting a coup at half-time during his second game in charge.

Which feels a bit like how Britain has been governed this week. We had an education secretary, probably not as well-known as Kevin Cullis, who lasted 36 hours in her post before deciding to quit. It's just as well she wasn't responsible for anything important.

Harold Wilson once said a week was a long time in politics. No kidding.

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One thing I wouldn't bet against, though, is a Boris Johnson comeback. Should the Conservatives lose the next election, it is easy to envisage party activists feeling nostalgic for his pithy slogans and witty, upbeat speeches.

You only have to look across the Atlantic to see Donald Trump's fightback to know that a similar comeback by BoJo is perfectly feasible.

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Chutzpah from Suella Braverman, who declared herself as a leadership candidate before the PM even announced he was going, and without having the manners to quit her post.

Suella, you were great in Dallas. But you might just be getting ideas above your station.

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Angela Rayner – consonant dodger

Writers of Hansard, the record of parliamentary debate, asked Labour's Angela Rayner if she wanted them to correct a sentence where she wrongly used the word "less", when she actually meant "fewer". Condescendingly, she told them to retain her "working class grammar".

Listen Angela, you mouthy consonant-dodger, class is not a bar to being able to string a sentence together. Or pronouncing your 't's. Indeed, if you researched your own party's history, you would learn how many of its greatest orators came from backgrounds far more modest than yours.

Bad grammar doesn't make you "working class". The word you are looking for is "thick".

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You can't beat Boys from the Blackstuff

Best thing on television this week? Repeats of Boys from the Blackstuff, Alan Bleasdale's dark comedy from the early 1980s about labourers working in the black economy.

The beauty is in the subtlety, with real, believable characters one can empathise with, even if one doesn't approve of their behaviour.

Imagine if it were made today. It would be all shrill, feisty stereotypes delivering extended monologues about "heating or eating", and the politics behind their predicament. With all the subtlety of a smack in the mouth with a shovel.

Blackstuff reminds us of when TV could make powerful social comment without giving viewers a boring lecture.

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