The six stages of every Boris Johnson scandal

THE scandal over the wildly gropey deputy chief whip continues along entirely predictable lines today. Here’s how they all unfold: 

Stage one

The scandal is exposed. The government declares that it has taken action by writing a letter expressing mild disapproval, a line has been drawn, lessons learned, and it is time to move on.

Stage two

The scandal is discovered to be worse than originally claimed. The government is forced to take actual action, which it ensures is as lenient and ineffective as possible. The public is invited to sympathise with the perpetrator. A line has been drawn, lessons learned, and it is time to move on.

Stage three 

Rising public anger – initially blamed on those few media outlets not following direct Tory orders – forces the action which should have been taken at stage one. The obvious lie that Boris Johnson was entirely ignorant of the serious crimes committed by his friend and employee is repeated. Line drawn, lessons learned, move on.

Stage four

Public anger continues. Several witnesses come forward, saying Boris Johnson definitely knew about the whole thing and didn’t give a shit, in fact joked about it. The original perpetrator is forced to fall on their sword in a vain attempt to take the heat off as they could have done at the start. Line learned, move lessons, draw on.

Stage five

A cabinet minister who is only in their position because they will suffer any humiliation is sent round breakfast news to repeat that Johnson knew nothing. While they are on air, incontrovertible proof is released that Johnson was fully aware throughout and in fact encouraged it. Minister continues pathetic, broken denials regardless.

Stage six

The government’s lies are fully exposed and traced back to the prime minister. A civil servant who has moral standards resigns. A by-election in which the Tories will lose a seat that has been safe since 1821 looms. The Conservatives do nothing to get rid of Boris Johnson, because he is a proven vote-winner.

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The shit that happens in every single sodding fantasy novel

MADE the mistake of reading more than one fantasy trilogy? Then you’ll have realised they’re all the f**king same and these clichéd tropes crop up every time: 

Someone’s the chosen one

You’ve put in years of hard work becoming the world’s most evil and powerful warlock. Then along comes some twat farm boy who’s never done a day’s slaughtering in his life, but is the chosen dick of prophesy. Oh, so he’s the secret son of the fallen king? Nepotism again.

There’s a special item

Whether it’s a Ring of Immense Power or a book that holds the secrets to eternal life, there’s always something the villain’s after and must under no circumstances get his hands on. Trouble is, its location is a mystery, so everyone and his nan is trying to find it. But we all know it’ll be bloody Chosen Boy.

There’s a dark side and a light side

There are no shades of grey in the fantasy world, just baddies and goodies. Helpfully divided into the Obsidian Nightshaggers and the Heavenly Lightbringers, the protagonist will toy with the first before inevitably and boringly plumping for righteousness.

There’s something that’s a bit like what we know, but different

You can’t have a knight in a fantasy world, otherwise people might get confused and think this is real life. You’ve got to call them a ‘Naiyart’ or a ‘Knick’ or some bollocks to make it clear that you’ve not just lifted from every other fantasy book going, which you have.

Their names are a bit like what we have, but different

Likewise, you can’t just call a character ‘Jennifer’ or ‘Colin’, because that’s not fantasy enough. Who’d want to read about an epic quest undertaken by two dickheads who sound like they run a pop-up coffee stall? Change a few letters to Vennifaer and Kolan and you’re away.

They swear just like we do, but different

You can’t say ‘bollocks’ in the High Land of Shifting Magick. You have to say ‘By Torak’s beard!’ or ‘rusting earthfires!’ or some shit like that, to fully transport the reader to an epic realm where one word is substituted for another.

There’s a big war

No fantasy novel would be complete without its fair share of huge, monotonous battle sequences that you skim to get to the bit with the protagonist again. Millions of stupid orcs versus hundreds of thousands of nameless dwarves in the Battle of Chuffer’s Gap? F**k off. We all know it’s a sideshow while the chosen one gets the special item anyway.