‘Boris Johnson has finally managed to unify everyone – in disliking him’ – Keir Mudie


From darts fans at Alexandra Palace to the 1922 Committee we can all finally agree that the Prime Minister needs to go

I know it’s supposed to be quiz week but it will have to be deferred in lieu of recent developments. Next week, I swear.

Meantime, Merry Christmas! I hope it went well in whatever fashion you celebrated. By now, with the hangover firmly in place, you’ll be wondering what to do with the rest of the turkey.

Curry is the only way to inject flavour into a day-old bird. Make it from scratch if you can but if the Baileys haze is too much get someone to take the lid off a jar of Patak’s for you. Job done.

At the time of writing, the spectre of increased restrictions is hanging over us. It used to be that you could gauge the time of year by what was on the TV when you came back from school.

The cricket in the summer, then the snooker, then – I think – some indoor bowls, then the darts.

Great stuff. All eminently watchable in that sort of soporific daze you get into after you’ve had your tea.

It illustrated how the human mind works. Even though they were sports of marginal interest – it was Leeds and football was king – you could quickly develop bizarre affection and antipathy for certain players.

In snooker, Jimmy White was cool, Nigel Bond was not. Same with Peter Ebdon and Stephen Hendry. Even bowls – Ian Schuback, I liked, Andy Thomson I could not warm to. Don’t know why. Seems like a nice bloke.

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But darts, I didn’t understand or care about, until later in life when I understood the beauty of the parabolic curve, the sheer precision needed, and that fact that you could have eight pints before you started.

I love it, and I love it even more this week after the spontaneous outbreak at Ally Pally where the crowd chanted: “Stand up if you hate Boris.”

This is an important moment, ­marking the transition of the Prime Minister from a “lovable rogue” (he was never this) and “a bloke you would have a pint with” (ditto) to a figure of fun. Hopeless.

Mr Johnson’s horrible year is complete. The one thing that he’d been able to cling on to was his personal approval rating, now that’s gone.

The latest figures from YouGov show everyone disapproves of him as a Prime Minister.

And I mean everyone. Left, right, remain, leave, old, young. Everyone. Even Tories. He has managed to unify the darts audience at Ally Pally and the members of the 1922 Committee.

We’ll see what happens in the next few days. My mate offered me 4/1 that he will be gone by the end of the year.

Normally I would take something like that, but that is much too optimistic even for me. I reckon it’s a matter of weeks, spring at the outside.

But we’ll see. Gambling at this time of year is always fraught. Much better to relax with the darts, which mercifully starts again tomorrow.

Meantime, I’ve been getting my fix with Bullseye repeats. Jim Bowen said: “Once I accidentally read out the
question and the answer. ‘Where was President Kennedy assassinated, in Dallas?’ and the contestant still ­answered ‘Chicago’.”

Magnificent. You could almost see Mr Johnson on here, “look at what you could have won”. What a shame. Give him his BFH.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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