He has the vaccine rollout to his credit but how much longer can Boris Johnson carry on leading the country trading on just his bonhomie? /Dave Thomas

I used to love Hancock’s Half Hour.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 3:45 pm
This week columnist Dave Thomas has his sights set on Boris Johnson and his cabinet ministers

That wonderful sit com starring Tony Hancock and Sid James in which the comedian, with the face of a Basset Hound, railed against the world and bemoaned his predicaments.

Then I saw the other Hancock, caught on camera in a clinch with one of his assistants. Twitter and FB went into meltdown with brilliant captions to the various pictures that were on show. My own was just that it was all a fuss about nothing; she was an aide giving him first aid, and this was presumably part of her job description.

A chum said he was just worried about her catching covid and was merely giving her a saliva test.

Conspiracy theories abounded. Was it MI5, MI6, Security Services or Putin? Who released it to the press? Why?

Was it backbenchers tired of lockdown and Hancock’s gloominess? Was it Bojo himself with a Blackadder cunning plan, desperate to be rid of the guy and get the more upbeat Sajid Javid in thesaddle? The minute he got the job Javid was announcing he wanted to get things back to normal.

Within days, restrictions were lifted. 'Reckless,' said Starmer.

But what a merry-go-round it all is. Javid himself was booted out some while back as Chancellor, and now given this job. It’s like football management, the same few top names go round and round all the top clubs, sacked at one, and move on to the next.

Our government hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory recently with the arch-plotter Cummings blabbing all over social media about all the behind-the-scenes stuff. But don’t forget he was the one who drove all the way up to the North East during lockdown when we weren’t even supposed to leave our back gardens.

Boris got all tangled up when at first, he said he would not be dismissing Hancock, and then a couple of days later said it was he that gave him the push. It leaves us asking just when is Boris bluster absolute downright Boris bunkum? And just how does he get away with it time and time again?

Somehow, he just keeps muddling and trundling along, keeping his tousled head above water, trading on his bonhomie, with the one thing to his credit being the vaccine rollout.

Not that I would have any idea what is the alternative. At the time of the election, it was Corbyn and Abbott. It is currently Starmer and he seems to be living on borrowed time as Labour factions plot amongst themselves behind the scenes. Andy Burnham seems to be coming up strongly on the outside.

To its great credit however, the government does seem to have temporarily won the sausage wars.

But that will rear its ugly head again in another three months’ time. It is a reminder of another great British sit-com, 'Yes Minister,' in which the fictional Prime Minister Jim Hacker fought off attempts by Brussels to rename the British sausage.

It was to be renamed the ’emulsified, high-fat offal tube.’

This is very naughty of me perhaps, but I can think of a couple of politicians that I would rename ‘emulsified, high fat, offal tubes.’

Or even waffle tubes. Sausages eh…food for thought, food of the Gods.