Tuesday 25 October 2016

My week: Boris Johnson*

Eilis O’Hanlon

Published 26/06/2016 | 02:30

Leave campaign leader Boris Johnso. Photo: Reuters
Leave campaign leader Boris Johnso. Photo: Reuters

Monday: Um… ah… musses up hair… right-oh... quick glance to camera from under floppy fringe… I'm ready for my close up, Mr DeMille.

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So here we go. The final week of the campaign. Only three more days to go to persuade my fellow Great Britons to bugger off from the European Union and let me lead them into a post-Brexit land of milk and honey.

And crumpet. Definitely crumpet. I love crumpet. Just don't tell the wife. Uh, mum's the word, yeah?

I bounce out from my multi-million pound townhouse in North London like Tigger on a sugar rush, determined to prove once again that the filthy rich public school- educated child of a banker and celebrity portrait painter is the right person to represent the ordinary people of this great nation of ours. Whichever way the vote goes, the main thing is that I become prime minister at the end of it instead of David.

Things aren't looking good in the polls, admittedly. The country is almost as divided on the issue as my own family. My father, sister and brother are all keen supporters of the EU.

As was I before realising that coming out against it was my best chance of getting into 10 Downing Street.

Tuesday: Off to Wembley Arena for the so-called Big Debate, where I'm disappointed to discover that Cameron won't be there to face me. He's been ducking out of some proper mano a mano action for weeks.

Give the public what they want, I say. That's why I'm feeding them all these whoppers about "taking back control". The servant classes love that bellicose piffle.

It's only a bit of fun. It's not like we're going to win.

As it happens, Remain send a Scottish woman to debate me instead.

They insist she's a Tory, but I don't believe a word of it, a single blinking word of it. The only Scottish Tories I know all have English accents and peerages.

I don't make a fuss. I've never objected to being up against a woman. I check my hair is suitably tousled then shuffle on stage, giving her my best "little boy lost" look.

She's inexplicably impervious to my legendary charms. I'm in despair before discovering that she is in fact an ardent follower of Sappho of Lesbos, if you know what I mean. You certainly would if you too had a Classics degree from Balliol College, Oxford.

I end by saying: "Thursday can be our country's Independence Day."

You can get away with this guff in England when you're posh. On a council estate I'd just be another chav with a Union Jack.

Wednesday: Crikey. More opinion polls say we're going to lose the referendum. I may need to start looking for a new job soon.

I note that Donald Trump has sacked his campaign manager. Maybe I'll give him a call when he's over seeing his golf course in Scotland. We have a lot in common. We were both born in New York. We both have fabulous hair. We both speak lots of different languages… well, two out of three ain't bad.

I spend the last full day of campaigning criss-crossing the country on the trusty Brexit Bus. I wanted them to call it the Boris Bus, but they said "it's not all about you, Boris". How little they know!

Thursday: Look, let me make this absolutely clear - whatever the result of tonight's vote, I will continue to respect the British people's right to see me as an amusing buffoon rather than the opportunistic, podgy populist I obviously am.

On that note, I head to Leave camp headquarters to watch the results come in. The first one is from Gibraltar. I didn't realise we let foreigners have a vote too.

"No, Boris," I'm told. "People there are as British as you are." But half my family tree is Turkish, so that's not very reassuring.

The first proper result (ie, one that goes our way) comes in from Sunderland.

I'd go there to thank them, if only I knew where it was. Somewhere ghastly in the north, I'm led to believe.

Within a few hours, the trickle becomes a flood, and for once I'm not talking about the refugees coming over here, overwhelming our social services just because they don't want their children to be blown up or other politically correct excuses like that.

Soon it's obvious that we've won. Britain is indeed going to leave the EU, and it's all because of me. By Jingo, chaps, what are we going to do now?

Friday: I finally get into bed at 5am, only to be woken soon after by the sound of a Scotsman playing the bagpipes below my window.

I suppose we'd all better get used to the regions giving us a headache. Scotland and Northern Ireland are already demanding their own in/out referendums.

Are they mad? I'm quickly finding out that independence isn't all it's cracked up to be. Is it too late to tell everyone I was only joking?

"Ring Cameron and tell him I take it all back," I say.

"He's already resigned and you're the favourite to succeed him," I'm told.

I muss my hair again, but it doesn't help. Still, at least the public loves me.

I walk out to cries of "scum" and "traitor" from a mob in the street. This must be the kinder, gentler politics I keep hearing about.

I give a victory speech saying Brexit offers a "glorious opportunity" for a "more prosperous" future. For me, anyway. The rest of you can take your own chances. *As imagined by Eilis O'Hanlon

Sunday Independent

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