IN 2015 Boris Johnson, then just a lowly backbench MP, wrote a blockbuster film script. Here are a few key excerpts:
EXT. DOWNING STREET
MARMADUKE BURTON (HERO): The prime minister won’t listen. He’s a girly swot, elected by a blinded electorate. There’s no choice. I’ll have to handle this myself.
PETUNIA (GORGEOUS BUT SCHOLARLY): But Marmie? How?
MARMADUKE: He forgot two things, Petty. I went to Eton. I went to Oxford. And I’m a journalist for the Telegraph. Pack your bags. We’re heading into the dark heart of the most dangerous continent on earth.
CLOSE-UP ON FACE
EXT. ROOF OF EU PARLIAMENT, BRUSSELS
MARMADUKE: Okay. I rappel down the building here. I break through the window here, and distract the guards with a brief but brilliant elucidation of Aristotle’s Ethics. Meanwhile you, Petunia –
FRANCESCA (ACADEMIC BUT STUNNING): It’s Cheski. Petunia got pregnant.
MARMADUKE: (WRYLY) That does tend to happen. You set off the alarms in the Council of Ministers building opposite, using technology. While they rush over there, I’ll locate the files and bluster my way out. Meet me in the bar opposite. I’ve ordered moules-frites for two.
FRANCESCA: But what if they hurt you?
MARMADUKE: Don’t worry. Nothing has ever hurt or damaged me so I’m working under the assumption it’s impossible. Because I was (WINKS TO CAMERA) born rich.
INT. DOWNING STREET.
PRIME MINISTER: So it’s agreed. To bamboozle the British public into making a terrible decision, we’ll –
MARMADUKE BURSTS IN WITH DELILAH (HOT BUT GLASSES)
MARMADUKE: Not so fast, so-called prime minister. Your little game’s been rumbled.
PRIME MINISTER: Marmaduke! And Francesca!
MARMADUKE: Not Francesca. She got pregnant. This is a new one. Anyway, I know your whole plan. You’re going to call a referendum on Britain’s EU membership, deliberately lose and drag the country I love out of the world’s largest trading bloc, causing incalculable damage.
PRIME MINISTER: Damn you, Marmaduke. You were always better than me and I was wrong to pretend otherwise.
POLICE OFFICER: Your pardon, sir, but since we’ve arrested him and you’re in his office, by the law of prorogation you’re now prime minister.
MARMADUKE: I am, aren’t I? And all because I’m honest, principled and unfailingly make the right decisions.