Johnson vs Starmer: Who would win in a variety of combat situations?

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. 

Bare-knuckle boxing 

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. 

Knife fight 

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.

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I'm keeping my children off school because they're better than your children

By middle-class mother Francesca Johnson

ACROSS England, children are returning to school today. But not my children. Because they are better and more special than your children. 

They will be staying at home with me. I’ve told the school it’s because I don’t trust their Covid safety. I’ve told my boss I have no choice. I’ve even written to my MP.

But the real truth is that I’ve spotted an opportunity to be more precious about my children than you are about yours. And that makes them better, and makes me a better mother.

My children have always been better, of course. Their ballet and capoeira prowess alone proves that, let alone their academic achievements. How wonderful, though, to be able to prove it so definitively.

Just imagine the look of pitying superiority I’d give you if we met. My children safely tucked away in a coronavirus-free home while you send yours out to the frontline like soldiers in World War One.

Imagine if they tried to fine me for it. A middle-class mother with a good job who shops at John Lewis treated like a common criminal. Forget the local paper; I’d be on the front of the Daily Mail.

Of course, I won’t let it go that far. After a couple of weeks my children will return to school alongside everyone else’s. This is, ultimately, a futile gesture.

But it’s one that’s made every notice me, and our children, and how special we are. So gaze upon us and feel envy. It’s all you’re good for.