Boris Johnson, a man with an empty void of droning Latin phrases where his soul should be, wanted to be Prime Minister his entire life.
Then he managed it, the end.
Except that it wasn’t the end. It was only the beginning. Boris entered 10 Downing Street, ascendant, triumphant… and then realised he was still an empty shell of a man and that getting everything he wanted still meant nothing. Worse, he now had a country to run.
You can see it in his eyes, the same way you can see it in Trump’s; he enjoys giving speeches and having people cheer for him, but the whole business of government – especially when he can’t dispense with it by blithely spouting whatever nonsense sounds vaguely plausible – bores him. All these people with their needs and journalists with their awkward, probing questions. Life would be so much simpler for men like Bojo and Trump if they were just left alone to be adored and obeyed and to do whatever they felt like.
If these men can’t please (or at least subjugate) all of the people all of the time, then they can at least ensure that prosperity gives them their due by building something enormous with their name on it.
Trump has his wall. Sure, it blows down pretty easily and even when finished it will be easily scaled by children, but it’s his, dammit. Or will be when it’s completed. Which it won’t be. Winning!
Boris, meanwhile… Boris has a whole long, sad catalogue of enormous projects that failed embarrassingly, to the point where, if there were any justice, “To Boris” would become British slang for “to fail spectacularly in a public forum whilst wildly over budget.”
It would be petty to rake over the coals of Boris’ past failures. And fun, too, so let’s get to it.
The Thames estuary airport:
London has the busiest airspace in the world, so naturally a man of Boris’ vision and imagination decided that “more planes” would be a good idea. Thus the Thames Airport was born.
Deducing, correctly, that nobody was currently landing airplanes on London’s central waterway, Boris, then mayor of London, pushed the idea of a Thames airstrip. This is actually an idea that has been around since the 1940s, but Boris put his own spin on it with an idea for an artificial island to support “Britannia Airport.”
To Johnson’s presumable delight, the papers dubbed it “Boris Island,” before, to his presumable consternation, surveyors decided the project was expensive, unworkable and generally stupid. Of course, they didn’t decide this until they’d spent millions of pounds in taxpayers’ money to establish that the idea was a non-starter, because that’s how project consultants and feasibility studies work. Boris might be in favour of gutting public infrastructure “to save money,” but any thriftyness vanishes the moment there’s a chance at a monument to his ego.
The Bridge to Nowhere:
Undeterred, Mayor Boris then decided to build a new bridge ACROSS the Thames, rather than an airfield further down it. This somewhat ignored the multiple bridges that already cross the Thames and have done for centuries. After another forty million of taxpayer money was wasted looking into whether or not this was a good idea, the answer turned out to be “no.” The project was shelved.
HS2: High Speed Rail
On the 11th Feb 2020, now-Prime-Minister Boris’ government announced that they would be going ahead with HS2, a proposed high speed rail line to take passengers from London to Birmingham a blistering thirty minutes faster than existing trains make the same journey.
To be clear: the journey currently takes an hour and twenty four minutes. Getting it down to fifty minutes isn’t exactly a transport revolution, and ploughing the line through ancient woodlands as proposed would be an environmental catastrophe. Boris has said that so much work has already gone into the planning stages of the project that they might as well “keep digging.”
As a man who never met a rock bottom he couldn’t excavate, this in itself should be the epitaph for Johnson’s entire life. Boris Johnson. “Just keep digging.”
But BoJo is not done with his lust for major construction projects yet. At the same time that his HS2 decision was announced, it emerged that studies had been commissioned on the feasibility of building a bridge between the west of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Bridge to Nowhere 2: Celtic Madness!
This proposition would mean building a bridge between the miserable, windswept and uninhabited west coast of Scotland (national population 5.5 million people) and Ireland (population 7.5 million) just after Johnson championed the plan for the UK to leave a trading block with seven hundred million residents.
If that weren’t enough, a solid link between the British mainland is going to piss off the separatists in the Republic of Ireland – people like the IRA, who know a thing or two about blowing shit up when they get ticked off.
Not that the IRA will need to blow up Boris’ bridge to nowhere, as the proposed route would take it right across Beaufort’s Dyke.
If you’ve never heard of Beaufort’s dyke, there’s a reason – it’s a deep trench in the Irish sea that’s so obscure and un-visited that the British government decided it would be a great place to dump all of the munitions they had left over from World War Two.
Boris’ proposed bridge is an expensive vanity project with no material benefit, likely to upset groups of armed terrorists, built on a foundation of aging explosives and Sarin nerve gas.
Maybe this means Boris will finally get his name on something. The enormous detonation and bridge collapse in the middle of the Irish Sea may go down in history as “The Boris Johnson Disaster.”
Which might get confusing, as that’s what some of us are already calling his government.
Luke Haines is a British writer whose idea of proof reading is checking the label on a whiskey bottle. He sporadically tweets as @lukedoughaines, and can be sent death threats, scorn, nude pictures and offers of employment via email@example.com
He shares a name and temperament with the cult 90s musician, but isn’t him.
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