JUST for fun, let’s imagine Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer could physically kick the shit out of each other instead of having increasingly irate exchanges at Prime Minister’s Questions.
Johnson’s weight would increase the damage of any punches landed on Starmer, possibly knocking out teeth or causing one of his eyes to swell up and close. Also as a QC, Starmer’s respect for the law might stop him fighting dirty and biting off part of Johnson’s ear. Verdict: Johnson wins.
Now the roles are reversed. Starmer’s relatively lithe physique would allow him to dance around flailing tubster Johnson with his illegal switchblade in a scene reminiscent of West Side Story. Verdict: Starmer wins.
Hunger Games-style woodland combat
Johnson’s impulsive desire to grab a bow would allow Starmer to pursue a shrewder strategy of running off into the woods. Johnson would be forced to pursue his prey through darkened forest, impaling himself in a punji pit constructed with Starmer’s usual forensic attention to detail. Verdict: Starmer wins.
Medieval broadsword clash
This two-handed weapon is not designed to be used with finesse, and Johnson’s bulk and recent fitness drive would almost certainly allow him to beat Starmer back repeatedly before delivering the killer blow. Verdict: Johnson wins.
Sniper duel in the ruins of Stalingrad
Johnson’s lack of preparation would leave him unable to operate his Russian Mosin-Nagant sniper’s rifle. By contrast, Starmer would have carefully researched his Mauser 98 and factors like wind drift, enabling him to take out Johnson with a head shot from a range of up to 1,000 yards. Verdict: Starmer wins.
Overall verdict: Starmer has the slight edge, but with an 80-seat majority, Johnson is unlikely to replace PMQs with trial by combat. We will have to wait until at least 2024 before the two men square off in a cage fight.