What a week, eh? When we woke up on Tuesday morning, we had no idea that yet another political storm was brewing – and that it would be the messiest of Boris Johnson’s tenure as Prime Minister. By the end of the day, MPs were handing in the resignations in quick succession, prompted by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid handing in their notice because, well, Johnson was living up to his terrible reputation just a little too well.
Embarrassing. Initially, it looked like even the complete destruction of his cabinet wouldn’t stop Johnson from squatting in No.10, but yesterday, it finally happened. “I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world. But them’s the breaks,” he said, officially telling the British public that he was calling it quits. We still have to deal with him for a while longer while the Conservatives scramble to find a new leader, but let’s focus on the win for now.
What happens next? Well, this is British politics, so, er… we have no idea. To get a clearer reading from the political crystal ball, we consulted a few experts for their predictions. Buckle up, Britain.
A yassified Theresa May strikes back
A summer 2022 fever dream…
Parliament has descended into disarray after the resignation of Boris Johnson. In between speeches to US far-right think tanks who think gay marriage is causing sinkholes, he’s filming a new reality TV show. Keeping Up With The Johnsons stars the former PM alongside his accused groper father Stanley, Ghislaine Maxwell’s simp sister Rachel, very much alleged findom scammer wife Carrie (and her gays), plus cameos from Johnson’s unspecified number of children (and mistresses).
With the UK in crisis, unknown backbencher Rupert von Toe-Fuckre has surged ahead in the Tory leadership contest. He wants all taxes abolished, mandatory sterilisation for anyone earning less than £80,000-a-year and… daily bin collections. Behind him is a re-energised Priti Patel, who plans to starve the Irish, just for fun, and release great white sharks into the English Channel. In third is Nadine Dorries, who has superglued herself to Downing Street in protest of Johnson’s removal, even though Larry the cat keeps weeing on her.
Who can save the day? Suddenly, the House of Commons falls silent. The familiar click of heels is interrupted by a door squeaking open. A single spotlight appears. Through the door waltzes a newly yassified Theresa May, donning the very bedazzled ballgown she wore to (probably) vote “no confidence” in Johnson. Gasps fill the room as she announces her plan to re-enter Downing Street. May is returning to create an even more hostile environment for anyone who scorned her. Backed by a coalition of ABBA fans, that one former Change UK voter and FBPE liberal die-hards – who used to hate her, but now inexplicably idolise her for some reason – the “bloody difficult woman”has been rehabilitated, baby. Because, clearly, a terrible scandal like Windrush doesn’t matter to some people – not when there’s a sassy narrative and “yasss kween” gifs to be shared. Girlbosses stay winning! Louis Staples
James Cleverly pioneers 21st century workhouses for kids
With Johnson’s claims of resigning but staying on as the caretaker PM – like the outcast recluse janitor of an old, cursed hotel – we are stuck with James Cleverly as Education Secretary for at least the next few months.
Best case scenario? Like all children up and down the country, he takes the summer off. He kicks back. He takes a trip to Center Parcs and rides the log flumes. He sleeps in until 10am and then spends the day at the park playing footie before asking if he can stay at his mate’s house whose family has Sky TV.
The worst, and therefore most likely scenario? He enacts a plan to turn all schools into apprenticeship factories, or as they’re commonly known, “workhouses”. Gone will be the national curriculum! Now, children will be required to spend four days a week working for little to no pay, with one day a week at a school facility, learning truly non-woke material like Churchill’s Legacy. All foreign languages are cancelled – with only one day a week actually spent learning. All the arts and humanities subjects are cancelled, apart from in private schools which will remain exactly the same as they are now, but with the state-educated children working there as tiny apprentice butlers.
Also the apprenticeships are unpaid until the children turn sixteen, when they are paid 80p per hour. No holiday allowance. Every working day starts and ends with the national anthem. Mollie Goodfellow
An autumn election prompts a polite Guy Fawkes plot
Well, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel “dems the breaks” Johnson isn’t going to move out until the very last second. And like hell is he cleaning up to get the deposit back. Nor will he be made to answer for all the horrible shit that went down during his time. Resignation is a panacea-slash-get-out-of-jail card, it seems.
Through the seemingly imminent numb bit of time where he’s in charge but not really, all these “new appointments” in precarious jobs probably won’t do anything beyond saying “as you were” to the seriously overworked civil workers, nurses, teachers, etc.
Meanwhile, we’ll all just be stewing in annoyance.
Not least across the borders. Scotland is already whetting its lips at the idea of IndyRef2, and Wales are probably getting similar ideas (or looking to make big Drakey king of the world). As for Northern Ireland, they’ll keep laughing from across the sea – its “economic input” is already at a fifteen year high and, frankly, it’s not going to get any worse while Westminster is too busy putting out its own fires to take notice.
Back in England, meanwhile, Keir Starmer will continue to speak like that secondary school teacher we all made cry while failing to do anything constructive, despite having all the time in the world. Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid will go for prime minister and deputy – and probably get both. Loads of racist Tories will have their peanut brains imploded as a result.
There’ll probably be a general election in the autumn. Of course, on the hustings opinion will be as polarised as any time in living memory. But we will all be united in one thing: with Bonfire Night approaching, this would be a great time to bring that Guy Fawkes Energy back to Parliament.
Alright, perhaps not actual explosives – we’re too polite to coup, let alone crack open the barrels of gunpowder. But maybe someone could organise an ad hoc firework display outside the Palace of Westminster. If nothing else, it’ll rustle some Old Etonian feathers.
The Daily Express would call it a celebratory farewell, anyway. Rhys Tomas