Jacob, Boris and the so-called coup what really happened at Chequers? | Hannah Jane Parkinson

I thought if anything would finally see off Theresa May it would be a blizzard of white men in expensive cars. Apparently not, says Guardian columnist Hannah Jane Parkinson

On Sunday, in a sit-down meal probably a shade more horrific but less cerebral than that scene in Hannibal when a corrupt official is served a slice of his own brain to eat, Theresa May invited some of her cabinet to Chequers for Sunday lunch.


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The guest list, Im sorry, was just a roll call of those now familiar basic white-boy names: David Davis, David Lidington, Damian Green, Dominic Raab, Steve Baker, Steve Barclay. Michael Gove, Alistair Burt and Boris Johnson were also invited, as were those excess-syllabic numpties Jacob Rees-Mogg and Iain Duncan Smith: so awful they named them both three times. I am not sure if there was a specific dress code, but you were not allowed to come if you were not an older white man (collectively known as a blizzard).

In total there were 13 guests around the dining table. This happens to be the same number of people who attended the last supper, which, as you can recall, turned out extremely well and was not at all a prelude to treachery and betrayal and zero people got nailed to a cross.

Before the first bottle of wine had even been poured, however, there was great competition to see which particular snowflake of the mostly arch-Brexiter group could arrive in the most embarrassing manner.

Duncan Smith rolled up dressed as a two-thirds-life crisis. Driving a classic Morgan sports car with the top down he wore a baseball cap; what appeared to be a sheepskin gilet on top of a jumper; and some tortoiseshell shades. Everything about this look screamed on the way to tee-off at a Trump links golf course, and yes I will sign the petition to not admit women.

Iain Duncan Smith arrives at Chequers. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/LNP

It was also a bit:

Noddy. Photograph: Pete Cronin/BBC


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Now, I am not saying the car wasnt nice. It was. But I am saying IDS is a dude who said he could easily live off 53-a-week benefits, but then spent 39 of public money on a single breakfast. And Ive just checked and the cheapest of those classic Morgans costs around 40,000. A sum which, a year or so into the so-called managed no-deal Brexit Smith advocates for, will be equivalent to roughly half the British economy. I still have no idea what a managed no-deal Brexit is, incidentally, because you cant shit yourself in a managed way.

On the plus side, at least IDS didnt arrive in the Galloway-esque fedora and cravat he has taken to wearing of late, looking like a struck-off psychiatrist who now works weekends in the Sherlock Holmes museum:

Iain Duncan Smith cosplaying. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Also arriving in a manner as awful as possible was Jacob Rees-Mogg, a man who thinks hes a genius just because theres a photo of him as a boy holding a copy of the FT floating around the internet. I dont really get Jacob Rees-Mogg as a vibe. A few years ago, like others, I was suckered into his sheen of politeness, but that was before he started turning up to events held by white nationalists and calling food banks uplifting. Which I guess they are, in terms of the buzz you get at having zero blood-sugar if you cant afford to eat. Its hard to take a man seriously who thinks that abortion and same-sex marriage are immoral but not, apparently, double-breasted suits.

Anyway, Rees-Mogg turned up with one of his 18,000 kids in tow. Its the one he styles to look exactly the same as him, which I suppose he thinks comes across as cute but is in fact extremely weird. I feel sorry for this boy, who presumably ended up sitting in an antechamber eating potato smileys and beans while the grownups sorted out Brexit.

Jacob Rees Mogg and son Peter arrive. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/LNP

Next: Steve Baker. Weird that Baker turned up in the pink shirt and navy tie uniform of an office worker, given that he resigned as Brexit minister. Weird that Baker turned up at all, given he apparently was not on the list of invitees. Baker was wearing photochromic lenses, ie those glasses that become sunglasses in well, in the sun. (If you are struggling to visualise them, just think about what every dad wears at sports day). At this point, can we all remember that in a matter of months we are on our third Brexit secretary (Steve Barclay), having lost David Davis and Dominic Raab. (To lose one Brexit secretary may be regarded as a misfortune, but to lose two looks like a total and utter shitshow.)

Please dont worry about not knowing who Steve Barclay is, by the way. If Steve Barclay committed a crime that disgusted the nation, he still wouldnt have to go into witness protection.

The rest of the clan arrived less ostentatiously, although Boris Johnson was still sporting the new, shorter haircut that he thinks lends him gravitas, except it doesnt, because nothing is ever lent to Boris Johnson on the basis that hed be certain to either lose it, break it, insult it or try and have sex with it. Under no circumstances must he be lent the role of prime minister.

We dont know much about the lunch itself. Except perhaps that the food was awful. The last time such a lunch was held at Chequers, May served chicken lasagne and boiled potatoes (not a joke) which, come to think of it, might be why most of her colleagues seem to hate her. That and the fact she held a live television press conference to slag them all off a few days ago.


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I am presuming, too, that the manspreading was off the scale and that everybody kept their knees away from Damian Green. But in terms of what next for Brexit or for the future of the country? In terms of whether May will attempt to bring her deal back for a third vote? Nothing leaked. It did appear a coup that had been in the works for, ooh, around seven hours had collapsed. But I dont think thats actually the case I think its just easier to backstab someone when youre not in their house drinking their booze and eating their chicken lasagne and boiled potatoes. Better wait until after. If theres one thing we know about this government, its that it is turgid with cowards.

And so May survives another day, limping on like a wounded gazelle, but in her case the wound is more akin to being put through an actual meat-grinder. The Daily Telegraph a paper that has lost the plot so much it might as well be watching a Darren Aronofsky film treated us all this morning to Johnsons latest column, in which he urged the PM to channel the spirit of Moses in Exodus (once again, not a joke).

Both Lidington and Gove have denied wanting to take over as prime minister at this time, which means they almost certainly would be up for it. But it may depend on whether Gove is at his stubborn best. It may also transpire that the entire Chequers lunch was a mass-poisoning affair (Philip as the cook), because there is no way Theresa May wants to step down. Itll be 2030 and shell be dancing to Abba on the graves of every single person who tried to challenge her, coughing maniacally and forcing every high-street retailer to sell strong n stable tees. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Cotswolds, Cameron adds extra sandbags outside his shed.

Hannah Jane Parkinson is a Guardian columnist

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

This post was curated & Posted using : RealSpecific

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