Kevin Doyle: 'Power hungry Boris's plot is bloody obvious'
It's a thin line between all-powerful and lame-duck. Since his days as a journalist, Boris Johnson has always had a way with words - but it appears he may be unable to talk himself out of the latest Brexit conundrum.
Theresa May was widely viewed as a boring and predictable leader who was outflanked by the Brexiteers at almost every turn.
Johnson is far from boring. However, he has turned out to be far more predictable than his predecessor.
Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.
In the six weeks since he took over Downing Street, the former mayor of London has focused more on securing long-term power than finding alternative arrangements to the much maligned backstop.
His manoeuvres aimed at sparking a general election were so bloody obvious that many refused to believe he could be that blatant. To be fair, the idea of a prime minister attempting a coup is hard to comprehend.
Cheered on by the Tory press, Johnson has been outrageously disingenuous in his comments about the EU.
He has lied time and again about the nature of discussions in Brussels, misrepresented statements from Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, and attempted to hoodwink his country.
It was all about trying to keep the Conservative Party together long enough to ensure a crash-out Brexit and a general election.
Stage one was to string the EU along and try to blame Brussels for the lack of a breakthrough. While members of his government like Michael Gove spoke publicly about the "wrong and sad" intransigence of the EU, in the backrooms key advisers like Dominic Cummings were describing the EU negotiations as "a sham".
Johnson also cut his Brexit negotiating team to less than a quarter of the size it was under May.
This exercise in running down the clock was supplemented by the effort to suspend parliament for most of September.
It emerged in court papers yesterday that Johnson was planning the shutdown as far back as mid-August.
A handwritten note was produced in which he argued "the whole September sessions is a rigmarole" anyway.
However, Johnson overplayed his hand, attempted to bully MPs and was blind to the risks.
Parliament is taking back control - but what happens now is less bloody obvious.