Mark Steel eviscerates the Tory ‘intelligentsia “

“This election is proving we have the finest democracy in the world. How reassuring that Boris Johnson isn’t turning up. The prime minister doesn’t have time to discuss marginal issues relating to the environment, such as how we continue to have an environment.

It’s the same as if every scientist agreed all the country’s planes, cars, buses, boats and seaside donkeys were on fire. You wouldn’t expect the transport secretary to interrupt his busy schedule to worry about that.

The Conservatives have paid similar attention to detail in other areas, such as their promise to provide 50,000 extra nurses. Nicky Morgan then proudly insisted 19,000 of these extra nurses will be nurses who are already nurses, spending ten minutes on Good Morning Britain, explaining “these 19,000 nurses will still be nurses, so they’ll be extra nurses”.

It’s the same as if I promised to get an extra heart and two extra legs, and tomorrow announced I’d managed it, as long as you included the heart and legs I had to start with, that hadn’t left.

This is how the Conservatives will make us all better off. They’ll introduce a scheme whereby if you have £300 in the bank, tomorrow you will have an extra £300, as long as you include the £300 you started with. Do that every day for a year and you’ll be a millionaire, but Labour don’t want that, because they hate people trying to better themselves.

Then Matt Hancock assured us there are no plans to include the NHS in a trade deal with Donald Trump, because in the document about the trade deal the NHS is only mentioned four times.

So there’s no need to worry, because we all mention things four times in a trade deal when we’ve no intention of including them in a trade deal. If you tell someone “I’m popping up the shops to buy some biscuits, I’ll buy biscuits up the shop, they’ve got biscuits up the shop and I’m buying some, I fancy buying some biscuits”, only an idiot would think that meant you were popping up the shop for some biscuits.

One by one, after each interview, these characters are withdrawn from public view. There will be an announcement that “Jacob Rees-Mogg is out for another two weeks with a groin strain, Nicky Morgan will miss the rest of the season, and 250 other candidates have stress-related issues and are recovering in a secret location until 13 December.”

Johnson is determined to be seen as little as possible, and may even back out of the interview with Andrew Neil that every other leader had to endure.

But to make it fair, there was an item on the news in which Johnson was filmed buttering a scone, during which he was asked whether he put the jam or the cream on first. So all the leaders have been put under the same intense pressure.

This has worked out fairly, because Corbyn is quite reasonably and repeatedly asked to apologise for racism that comes from any Labour member, even if it’s a comment on Twitter from a parish councillor in Bodmin Moor on heavy medication. But it would be outrageous to ask Boris Johnson to apologise for racism expressed by far more marginal Conservative members, such as Boris Johnson.

To add to his list of jolly quips, a column of his has emerged in which he describes the children of single mothers as “ill-raised, aggressive, ignorant and illegitimate”. Some might quibble with the language, but at least it means he plans to be diligent in rooting out these feckless fathers who have children with such abandon they can’t even say how many they have. These bastards will be in trouble if Johnson wins the election.

And when he does speak in public, he always makes an impact. At a press conference he was asked about the fake “Factcheck” account set up by the Conservatives, and his answer, his actual real answer, was, “Um, well I’m afraid that the er the er the um the um the er but what I can say is I’m informed that I haven’t that I um that that that (long pause) that Labour have some sort of operation (long pause) uuuuuuuum um look I haven’t followed this I will I will I will I will I will but when it comes as I say when it comes to trust in politics, and er and er the facts there is one giant fact we continue to to to chase down, there is one like the hunting the snark or or or or or the quest the answer to Fermat’s last theorem or the rhythm of the Sphinx or the Bermuda Triangle er er er er the one the feel we feel the er the er the one fact that we wish to discover the one crouton in the minestrone of the Labour Party.”

What a shame Corbyn can’t be clear and concise like that. This is why we can trust Johnson on Europe: he’s simple to understand. He supported remaining in the EU, then wrote two columns, one in favour of remaining and one for leaving, voted to leave but opposed the deal to leave before supporting the same deal and then telling the DUP his own deal would include no border in Ireland which was true except for the bit about the border in Ireland. Short, simple and snappy – if only Corbyn could manage such clarity.

The problem is Johnson’s so articulate, this may make it difficult to actually Get Brexit Done. Because the negotiations will start with him saying, “with regard to beef quotas, in as of the wardrobe er wardrobe er wardrobe carpe diem as it were Spartans invaded Persia like like er like Pythagoras SMASHING the triangle Jeremy Corbyn more like a hexagon of referenda utter chaos excellent fly-half GET CATTLE DONE”.