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Sugar Ape

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Everything posted by Sugar Ape

  1. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    Just realised Steve Nicol is eligible for four decades, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. Anyone else match that except for Matthaus?
  2. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    @Babb'sBurstNad
  3. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade Draft - Rules & Selections Thread

    LEE  Eusebio  Michael Laudrup Graeme Souness Luis Suarez Ruud Gullit Javier Zanetti Marcel Desailly Giacinto Facchetti Rivellino Diana Ross   ALLAN  Diego Maradona (80s) Marco van Basten (90s) Garrincha (60s) Paul Breitner (70s) Francisco Gento (60s)  Fabio Cannavaro (00s) Patrick Vieira (00s) Paul McGrath (90s) Danny McGrain (80s) Bob Ross   NO2  Lionel Messi Xavi Alan Hansen Gerd Muller Gerrard  Puskas Cafu Claude Makelele Ruud Krol Ross Barkley  STIG  Franz Beckenbauer Kenny Dalglish Zinedine Zidane Ian Rush Socrates Daniel Passarella Kevin De Bruyne Gianluigi Buffon Ronald Koeman Ross Kemp   JOHN  Pele Lev Yashin Baresi Van Dijk Lahm Iniesta Figo Barnes Tresor Tom Ross  COL George Best Ronaldo Michel Platini Mo Salah Alessandro Nesta Frank Rijkaard Gordon Banks  Roy Keane Sergio Ramos Ross Geller   RAPEY  Johan Cruyff Bobby Moore Romario Neville Southall Steve Nicol Matthias Sammer Lilian Thuram  Andreas Brehme Xabi Alonso   BABBS Lothar Matthäus Paolo Maldini  C. Ronaldo Peter Schmeichel Bobby Charlton  Alfredo di Stefano Hristo Stoichkov Luka Modric Jonathan Ross  
  4. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    The Guadeloupean Mamadou Sakho they used to call him.
  5. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marius_Trésor?wprov=sfti1
  6. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    He’s been picked as well!
  7. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    He’s already been picked. Yours is more controversial anyway as Platini only played in an unofficial friendly so you can take the fume.
  8. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    Happy with how it's shaping so far. If anyone takes my pick for the other striker I'll burn the place to the ground. Or impotently rage at you. One of the two.
  9. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    Fuck it then, I'm going to go for it. Liven things up a little. @lifetime fan
  10. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade Draft - Rules & Selections Thread

    LEE  Eusebio  Michael Laudrup Graeme Souness Luis Suarez Ruud Gullit Javier Zanetti Marcel Desailly  ALLAN  Diego Maradona Marco van Basten Garrincha Paul Breitner Francisco Gento  Fabio Cannavaro Patrick Vieira    NO2  Lionel Messi Xavi Alan Hansen Gerd Muller Gerrard  Puskas Cafu   STIG  Franz Beckenbauer Kenny Dalglish Zinedine Zidane Ian Rush Socrates Daniel Passarella De Bruyne Tony Hibbert     JOHN  Pele Lev Yashin Baresi Van Dijk Lahm Iniesta Figo   COL George Best Ronaldo Michel Platini Mo Salah Alessandro Nesta Frank Rijkaard Gordon Banks      RAPEY  Johan Cruyff Bobby Moore Romario Neville Southall Steve Nicol Matthias Sammer Lilian Thuram Andreas Brehme   BABBS Lothar Matthäus Paolo Maldini  C. Ronaldo Peter Schmeichel Bobby Charlton  Alfredo di Stefano Hristo Stoichkov Luka Modric   
  11. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    What's the score then with people playing for multiple countries? I'm thinking of putting Sammer down as East Germany and picking a West German but if everyone else is playing it straight then I'll leave it. I don't want to do the honourable thing, however, and then someone else *coughs Col* does something like try and put Platini down as Kuwait.
  12. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    @Babb'sBurstNad
  13. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade Draft - Rules & Selections Thread

    LEE  Eusebio  Michael Laudrup Graeme Souness Luis Suarez Ruud Gullit Javier Zanetti Marcel Desailly  ALLAN  Diego Maradona Marco van Basten Garrincha Paul Breitner Francisco Gento  Fabio Cannavaro Patrick Vieira    NO2  Lionel Messi Xavi Alan Hansen Gerd Muller Gerrard  Puskas Cafu   STIG  Franz Beckenbauer Kenny Dalglish Zinedine Zidane Ian Rush Socrates Daniel Passarella De Bruyne     JOHN  Pele Lev Yashin Baresi Van Dijk Lahm Iniesta Figo   COL George Best Ronaldo Michel Platini Mo Salah Alessandro Nesta Frank Rijkaard Gordon Banks      RAPEY  Johan Cruyff Bobby Moore Romario Neville Southall Steve Nicol Matthias Sammer Lilian Thuram    BABBS Lothar Matthäus Paolo Maldini  C. Ronaldo Peter Schmeichel Bobby Charlton  Alfredo di Stefano    
  14. Sugar Ape

    Keir Starmer

    Is this a picture of Stringy? @Bjornebye
  15. Sugar Ape

    Keir Starmer

    Absolutely nothing. Say it again, y'all. Great. Have that stuck in my head all day now.
  16. Sugar Ape

    Keir Starmer

    I know the Tories will (probably unless they appoint someone like Patel) get a new leader bounce but this is pretty dreadful for them. Labour 2019 territory.
  17. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    You are wrong but I’m always happy to blame Stig tbh.
  18. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    Since he wasn’t Colombian and didn’t play in any fifa recognised games for Colombia then I wouldn’t say so
  19. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    Not unless he played for them after 1960 you’re not. But I could put Sammer down as East Germany and pick someone from West/unified Germany, right? Right?
  20. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    I’ve swapped them around now. I’ve taken my next two picks as Babs can’t pick another German. @Babb'sBurstNad
  21. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade Draft - Rules & Selections Thread

    LEE Eusebio  Michael Laudrup Graeme Souness Luis Suarez Ruud Gullit     ALLAN  Diego Maradona Marco van Basten Garrincha Paul Breitner Francisco Gento      NO2  Lionel Messi Xavi Alan Hansen Gerd Muller Gerrard    STIG  Franz Beckenbauer Kenny Dalglish Zinedine Zidane Ian Rush Socrates      JOHN  Pele Lev Yashin Baresi Van Dijk Lahm    COL George Best Ronaldo Michel Platini Salah Nesta   RAPEY  Johan Cruyff Bobby Moore Romario Neville Southall Steve Nicol Matthias Sammer   BABBS Lothar Matthäus Paolo Maldini C. Ronaldo Peter Schmeichel    
  22. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

    Never forget when someone - might have been Lee - included Socrates in a draft of people who’d played in England because he played one game for Garforth Town in 2004. Caused murder.
  23. Sugar Ape

    Boris Johnson

    Boris the cat with nine lives has finally been neutered Holed up in his bunker and egged on by ‘lunatics’, this blow-by-blow account of the PM’s downfall shows how his belief in his own invincibility led to the unkindest cut of all A few months ago, when people first started speculating that Boris Johnson might be ousted, the prime minister revealed how he would respond to such a challenge. “The PM told a group of us a story about a relative of his,” a No 10 adviser said. “A great-uncle, I think. For some reason this person was on the run from the authorities and holed up in a town hall, surrounded by police. He also had a flame-thrower. I’m not sure how the incident ended but that was the metaphor the PM used when talking about the leadership. He said it would take a flame-thrower to get him out of there.” As Johnson’s rollercoaster career came to a shuddering halt last week, I remembered the words of someone else who used to work closely with him, who once told me: “Forget the cat with nine lives — Boris seems to have 99 lives.” For years, Johnson defied political gravity. Every time he fell upside down out of a skyscraper, he landed on his paws. Last week he finally plummeted to earth. The shock of the realisation that his mercurial political powers had deserted him left him holed up in No 10, a little like that great-uncle. It was the most drastic reversal of fortune in modern political history. As recently as October, Johnson looked unassailable, a leader with a huge majority whose brand of big-spending economics and robust cultural conservatism had left Labour unsure whether to attack him from right or left. For years Johnson had prospered with a blustering style of near-demented optimism and, when the going got tough, a steadfast refusal to answer uncomfortable questions about his behaviour. Barrelling through, and doubling down was combined with speaking simultaneously out of both sides of his mouth. It was what “got Brexit done” and what enabled him both to win the “red wall” and to swathe southern England in blue. Yet in the past nine months, that belief in his own invincibility and the sense that the rules do not apply to him effectively turned a flame-thrower on his own administration. The skills that helped him rise were the reason for his fall. Having been central to the demise of David Cameron and Theresa May, a former No 10 official wryly observed, as the week ended: “Boris Johnson is the third prime minister to be brought down by Boris Johnson.” It came after months of scandal and sleaze and the sense that his operation had only a passing acquaintance with propriety or the truth, a charge long levelled at the man himself. His decision to try to tear up the anti-sleaze rules to help Owen Paterson, a former cabinet minister, escape censure for lobbying last autumn was the first shot in the foot. Revelations about the funding of a £200,000 renovation of his Downing Street flat were followed by revelations about extensive lockdown-busting parties. On each occasion, the No 10 press operation, in-keeping with Johnson’s career-long strategy, resorted to denial, obfuscation and outright lies, before the truth was dragged from them. A few weeks ago, Johnson’s political aide David Canzini sat in a London coffee shop and said: “There can’t be any more f***-ups.” Yet another was just around the corner. When Chris Pincher, the deputy chief whip, got drunk in the Carlton Club in St James’s and was accused of sexually assaulting two men, Downing Street took more than 24 hours to strip him of the Tory whip. No 10 then denied that Johnson knew of any specific allegations against Pincher when he appointed him. Pincher denies the allegations. That claim was to kill him. At 7.30am on Tuesday, Lord McDonald, the former permanent secretary at the Foreign Office, broke cover and tweeted: “I have written to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards — because No 10 keep changing their story and are still not telling the truth.” He published a letter revealing Johnson was personally briefed on a similar investigation that upheld a similar complaint against Pincher in 2019 while he was a foreign office minister. A few weeks ago, Johnson’s political aide David Canzini sat in a London coffee shop and said: “There can’t be any more f***-ups.” On the face of it, this looked like an attempt to wound by an ex-mandarin who was accused of being a vocal remainer and “retired” from the Foreign Office when Johnson was foreign secretary. In fact, it was yet another pratfall from No 10. McDonald had privately contacted senior civil servants last Sunday to tell them No 10’s “line to take” was a lie. This was communicated to members of the Downing Street communications team — but nothing changed. “It was another totally unforced error,” a senior civil servant said. McDonald’s intervention persuaded Sajid Javid, the health secretary, to jump. He had discussed resignation with his aides last Sunday. Javid was also incensed by a briefing to The Sunday Times last month that a cabinet presentation on the NHS was “a job application for a sacking”. No 10 officials hit back, saying Javid was “out of his depth” and also “felt the health job beneath him”. They say he repeatedly lobbied Johnson to make him foreign secretary. Javid’s tweet dropped at 6.02pm on Tuesday. Nine minutes later, Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, followed suit. Both sides say the resignations were not co-ordinated, though Sunak moved quicker than he had planned. Javid warned Johnson before he quit. The chancellor tried to call him “but he didn’t answer” and pressed the button on his own announcement. When they had dined together on the Sunday, the chancellor had made clear to Johnson that the running sore of the Pincher affair needed to be dealt with. “This is not tenable. We need to deal with it fast,” he told him. But Johnson’s behaviour in cabinet on Tuesday, when there was a discussion of the economic strategy due to be unveiled with the chancellor in a joint speech, convinced him the prime minister was not serious about a responsible fiscal stance. Johnson, who once famously declared that his “policy on cake is pro having it and pro eating it”, launched into a “boosterish” speech about “how everything’s going to be brilliant”. Sunak and Michael Gove both said the government would need to be honest with the public that soaring inflation would mean the next year or two would be painful. “Boris’s response was to say something like: ‘Yeah, yeah, we’ll do all that as well,’ ” a cabinet source said. “But it was perfectly obvious he is not prepared to make difficult choices.” The two were at loggerheads over when the government could afford to cut tax. Sunak was also in despair about Johnson’s governance more generally. One close ally said: “The thing that gets his goat most, and what he said most, is that the government was not delivering on the things it said it would. Take the Covid backlogs: we gave the NHS lots of money and took the political pain for the tax rise — but there was no grip. Why weren’t we having a weekly meeting about the backlogs? Why wasn’t there a data dashboard making this a priority? Where are the 40 hospitals and the thousands of new nurses? That’s the thing that’s truly unforgivable.” Another minister contrasted this record with the Downing Street parties: “Boris couldn’t run a piss-up in a brewery, but he did run a piss-up in Downing Street.” Sunak was also clear that he would not go out and defend Downing Street disinformation on Pincher — a view widely shared by cabinet ministers. A cabinet source said: “The Tory party has finally come to the realisation that it’s in an abusive relationship with the prime minister.” Another minister said: “The problem with Boris is his personal pronouns, which are me, me and me.” When I interviewed Johnson in 2016, during the referendum campaign, he said two things that have always stayed with me. He admitted he has few friends and that he has always believed he can extract himself from crises of his own creation. His way with words, he said, “has got me into a lot of trouble and also got me out of it again”. This last week, the gift betrayed him. Making a rare foray into the Commons tearoom on Tuesday evening, Johnson appeared to blame the seven MPs who were also present at the Carlton Club at the same time as Pincher for not sending him home. This provoked a stand-up row with Gary Sambrook, the MP for Birmingham Northfield, who won a round of applause in the Commons the following day when he called on Johnson to resign during prime minister’s questions. He was far from the first to observe that Johnson “always tries to blame other people for mistakes”. Gove had got wind that Sunak and Javid were contemplating resignation on Tuesday evening, before bumping into Theresa May at the opera. He returned home and called other cabinet ministers, and it was clear Johnson was facing a slew of resignations. As early as Monday he had pondered telling Johnson to resign but felt constrained by the psychodrama that unfolded after the 2016 EU referendum, when he declared Johnson unfit to be prime minister, ending his first bid for No 10. He was due in No 10 to help Johnson prepare for PMQs on Wednesday morning. Now he called and asked No 10 for five minutes with the PM. In a one-to-one meeting, Gove told Johnson: “I’m terribly sorry about this prime minister, but I think you have to go.” He told the PM he was not going to resign but made it clear that Johnson was facing an onslaught and “will not be able to fill a government”. In a surreal twist, Gove then attended PMQ prep. Another source in the meeting said it was “completely mad” and that the team was openly “game-planning” what to do if cabinet ministers resigned in the chamber or MPs defected to Labour while Johnson was on his feet. The prime minister was defiant: “We fight on whatever,” he said. “I have a mandate from 14 million people. If people quit, we can replace them.” In the chamber, Sir Keir Starmer dismissed Sunak and Javid as “the first case of sinking ships leaving the rat” and wavering ministers as “the charge of the lightweight brigade”. Johnson’s lines died on his lips. From 3pm, he endured a surreal session answering the Commons liaison committee’s questions about his policies while a delegation of ministers gathered in No 10 to call for him to go. When he returned to Downing Street, Johnson huddled in his office with uberloyalists Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary, Ben Elliot, the Tory chairman, and Alister Jack, the Scottish secretary. Dorries told him: “You send them packing.” Johnson then received the rebels one at a time. Kit Malthouse, the policing minister, was “hostile” and called for him to resign. In the white room upstairs, Nadhim Zahawi, who had been made chancellor only the day before, paced up and down muttering to himself: “He’s got to go, he’s got to go.” In his meeting with Johnson, Zahawi seemed hesitant. “He was reluctant to wield the knife,” a source said. The two found common cause when Zahawi told Johnson that, in his first hours in the Treasury, he had learnt that Sunak had been blocking viable policies for helping combat the cost-of-living crisis. Zahawi then emerged from Johnson’s study and ran into another cabinet minister, telling them he was “tremendously excited” about the economic plan he and the PM were going to announce. It was the first of two U-turns. The second came the following morning when he issued a letter publicly calling for Johnson to quit. By then, Sunak’s allies were already aghast that Zahawi, in his first broadcast interview as chancellor, had advocated a fiscal loosening of almost £40 billion by abandoning a rise in corporation tax, bringing forward an income-tax cut planned for 2024, and accepting pay rises for public sector workers recommended by pay-review bodies. Michelle Donelan, appointed education secretary to replace Zahawi, handed in her resignation after 35 hours in the job. Simon Hart, the Welsh secretary, arrived with a resignation letter in his pocket and said he would make it public the next morning if Johnson didn’t quit. By now Johnson’s position was in freefall. Grant Shapps, who kept the spreadsheet of supporters during the 2019 leadership election and helped shore up the PM earlier this year, had grave news. “Grant told him he could only guarantee him 28 votes if there was a new vote of non-confidence,” a minister said. “He and the whips said the ceiling was 60 votes.” Shapps also called for him to go. But Johnson remained defiant. In that 2016 interview he told me: “I think I am built for combat.” There were some now who thought he wanted to die in battle. “He wants to be a martyr and go out like Mussolini or Ceausescu,” said a minister who saw him that day. In the No 10 bunker, both Guto Harri, Johnson’s director of communications, and other close aides, including Declan Lyons, the political director, chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris and party bigwig Ross Kempsell, made clear that they would stand with him if he wanted to fight, but few privately thought it a good idea. Johnson was being egged on by Nigel Adams, a cabinet office minister, and Andrew Griffith, the policy director, who is wildly unpopular with fellow MPs. “The most toxic members of the cabal had blinkers on,” said one insider. Several senior ministers are understood to have contacted Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, asking how Johnson could be removed. “They thought he had gone mad,” said one ministerial aide. Among their concerns were rumours that Johnson might ask the Queen to dissolve parliament and call an election. Those in the room say the prime minister never supported this idea or actively floated it. Griffith had, though. “Andrew is a creative thinker,” one said. Case was in touch with Buckingham Palace, where there was concern the Queen might be dragged into a constitutional controversy. He took it upon himself to tour No 10, pointing out to Johnson’s political aides that under the so-called Lascelles principles, which dictate when the monarch can refuse a dissolution, there could not be an election. A dissolution is banned if parliament is still viable, an election would be detrimental to the economy and if an alternative prime minister could command a Commons majority. Case pointed out that all three criteria were met. Insiders say the Palace did not stage an intervention to force Johnson’s hand, but were relieved when Case did. Priti Patel, the home secretary, and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the trade secretary, both visited Johnson and told him he should go, but made clear: “If you want to fight, we will stand with you.” Johnson seemed strangely upbeat. “The PM was in a unbearable mood and was quite perky. He knew the situation was untenable by then but he hadn’t completely decided what to do,” a minister said. Throughout the day, Carrie Johnson had been supportive, urging Johnson to consider his position carefully. “She was his rock,” one minister said. “She was a supportive spouse and was prepared to do whatever he wanted.” Another source in the building said: “She certainly wasn’t urging him to stay, but she wasn’t telling him to go either.” She kept her own angst from her husband, telling a friend the collapse of his government had “ruined our lives”. For years, Johnson had been the most resilient member of his own teams. When he was London mayor and one of his affairs had been emblazoned across the front pages, he walked into his City Hall office and found staff trying to hide the newspapers. Johnson said: “Don’t worry, I know what they say. The show, and it is a show, will go on.” But as the evening wore on, a prime minister who is working on a biography of Shakespeare was beginning to realise the final curtain was about to fall. All that was holding him back was the memory of 2016 and his belief that he dropped out of the leadership contest too soon. “He regrets pulling out in 2016 when Gove chopped his legs off,” a close ally said. “He will wonder for the rest of his life what would have happened if he had had a go.” Johnson’s anger at Gove “festered all day” and found voice in one last theatrical flourish. The idea was floated that he should sack the levelling-up secretary. “If you’re going to survive, you need to look strong,” one aide said. Another added: “You must know that everyone in this room is in favour.” The prime minister called Gove on his mobile at 8.59pm. Gove asked: “Are you resigning?” Johnson replied: “No, Mikey, mate, I’m afraid you are. I’m going to have to ask you to take a step back.” Gove, undeterred, sent the ball back: “Prime minister, if anyone should be stepping back, it is you.” None of this surprises me. A week after Gove knifed him in 2016, I spent an hour with Johnson, piecing together what had happened. That night he used one four-letter epithet about Gove, but he was more shellshocked than angry. The phrase he kept repeating was: “I just don’t understand why he did it.” It is the rawest emotion I have ever seen from him. With the boot on the other foot, Gove understands all too clearly why it happened. A No 10 official said it was “revenge, pure and simple”. Harri briefed the press that Gove was “a snake”. Privately he said: “This man subjected us to three miserable years of Theresa May.” By 10.30pm on Wednesday, close aides say Johnson had decided he had to resign. At 11.30pm he went upstairs to talk to Carrie, his mind effectively made up. Johnson began drafting his resignation speech at 6am on Thursday and presented it to aides at 7.30am. It combined scorn for the MPs who had made the “eccentric” decision to get rid of him, claiming he had been trampled underfoot by a “herd” of panicking colleagues and concluded: “Them’s the breaks.” But as a prominent Westminster figure observed: “He was right. The Tory party has finally developed herd immunity to Boris Johnson.” There was no discussion of including an acknowledgement that Johnson was the architect of his own demise. One aide said: “That’s just not who he is.” However, Johnson’s “much punchier” first draft was toned down. One section that was cut highlighted his belief that he had been brought down by MPs wavering in the face of media introspection. “There is still part of me that thinks that if we could have turned off Twitter and sent the MPs off to the beach, we could have sorted this out and gone on to thrash Labour at the next election,” he would have said. A source who is very close to Johnson said: “He hates the Tory party. He absolutely hates them. He sees them as thwarting him. He’s convinced the British public is still behind him. He sees everything still through the prism of Brexit. It’s the centrepiece of his legacy.” However, it is also true that in quieter moments, Johnson has privately admitted fault. “He’s not deluded. He dates it from Paterson,” a friend said. “He has great regrets about Paterson and the handling of partygate.” By now No 10 was a bear pit of internecine warfare. Canzini, who was not in the room with Johnson on Wednesday, was accused by others in the inner circle of urging ministers to tell Johnson to quit. Some think he had been working with his former business associate Mark Fullbrook, who is now running Nadhim Zahawi’s campaign. “When Canzini walked into the study on Thursday morning, he got told unceremoniously to leave,” a source said. Harri was attacked by others for presiding over the inaccurate briefings. The speech made, Johnson chaired a cabinet meeting and showed that he still had his sense of humour. Jack praised Johnson’s loyalty and Trevelyan his optimism. Johnson sheepishly confessed that his desire to stay in No 10 was perhaps evidence that he had been too optimistic the night before. He compared his determination to cling to office to that of the Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda, who hid in the jungle for years and refused to accept Japan’s surrender after the Second World War. Johnson then misquoted the surrender declaration of Japan’s Emperor Hirohito at the end of the war. “Matters have evolved, as Emperor Hirohito may have said.” Hirohito actually said: “The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage.” Johnson concluded cabinet by giving his successor advice: “Think about the voters. Think about the people. We win when we talk about them, not about us.” He spent the rest of the day filling cabinet posts. The No 10 whiteboard, ordinarily brought out for reshuffles, detailed the risk of scandal prospective ministers might pose. A number of names had the initials “PET” next to them because they were likely to come under scrutiny by the priority and ethics team. “The situation was so grave that even known sex pests were being considered for roles despite the Pincher scandal,” said a cabinet minister who saw the board. The appointment of Shailesh Vara as Northern Ireland secretary (replacing Brandon Lewis, who quit on Wednesday night) was greeted with bewilderment in the province, where he previously spent five months as a junior minister and was notorious for asking an official “whether he needed a passport to go to Derry”. Egged on by what one insider called the “lunatics”, Johnson also began to voice the view that Sunak had been engaged in a plot lasting months to destabilise him, in cahoots with Dominic Cummings, his former aide, and Gove. “He observed that there was a lot to come out about that,” a witness said. “Someone has filled his head with it. He won’t say who he wants to succeed him, but Rishi is the one he doesn’t want to succeed him.” It was also claimed, without any evidence, that Oliver Dowden, who resigned as party chairman last month and is now running Sunak’s campaign, had passed party data to the Sunak campaign months ago. A source close to Dowden said it was “categorically untrue” and accused No 10 of “smearing” him, since such an action would be illegal. An ally of Cummings also declared claims that he was working with Sunak “bollocks”, while Gove’s response to this accusation last week was to describe it as “absolute f***ing bollocks”. Aides expect Johnson to remain as an MP until at least the next election. Before that, he has the opportunity to reward his allies with a resignation honours list, something that is already causing grave concern in the royal household. The Palace is very anxious about the number of gongs, particularly the number of peerages” — sources suggest Johnson wants to hand out 20 or more. David Cameron ennobled eight in his resignation honours, Theresa May created 13 peers. “They are extremely concerned it is going to be Uncle Tom Cobley and all. There seem to be lots of unsuitable people. The list is going to be pages and pages,” said a source close to the royal household. A political official in No 10 last week contacted a veteran Tory and asked whether it was possible that Stanley Johnson, the PM’s father, could be given a knighthood on the basis that he was “once an MEP”. The senior Conservative advised against it. Nigel Adams, whom enemies accuse of persuading Johnson to employ Pincher, a drinking partner of his, has been telling friends he will get a peerage. Nadine Dorries is also expected to go to the Lords and revert to writing novels. Allegra Stratton, who resigned as Johnson’s spokeswoman over partygate, is also tipped for a peerage. A separate list of political peers, due before the summer recess, will include Michael Hintze, the billionaire Tory donor, and Paul Dacre, the former editor of the Daily Mail. “This is an area where a prime minister’s power is basically unfettered,” the source said. David Davis, the former cabinet minister, said: “A resignation honours list should be very, very carefully scrutinised. There should be a presumption against handing honours for people who are associated with the problems of the Boris regime — for example, the appointment of Chris Pincher.” Johnson’s political aides said they had not yet drawn up the list. A senior civil servant said nothing had yet been passed to the Palace. The leadership contest will be as much about character as policy, but a senior party source warned that whoever wins will face more sleaze scandals. “There are two dozen unexploded bombs, cases of scandal that are ready to explode that the new leader will inherit,” he said. Johnson was the most compelling political figure I have ever encountered. He was not as good a speaker as David Cameron, let alone Tony Blair or Barack Obama. And as a manager he was borderline hopeless. Yet he was matched only by Bill Clinton in his ability to connect with ordinary voters. However, even he could not defy the consequences of his own personality. To one of the PM’s aides, the last burst of Johnsonian bravado on Wednesday night put him in mind of the opera La bohème, in which the heroine, dying of TB, rouses herself to sing one of the greatest arias before expiring. “You think, ‘If she can sing like that, she can’t possibly die’ — and then she keels over and dies. The end.” Even in political death, though, the legacy Johnson sat contemplating that night, will endure. He is the most consequential prime minister of my adult lifetime. Since 2016 we have been living in a world shaped more by his actions and urges than anything else. This was the Age of Boris and it still will be when he is gone. That isn’t the legacy he wanted. But it will have to do.
  24. Sugar Ape

    Boris Johnson

    The big read in The Times about the last week. I'll post the whole article, but first, some highlights. I wonder who briefed all this stuff on Johnson? Hmmmm. Hard to figure out.
  25. Sugar Ape

    By The Decade - Draft

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