“Mr Johnson is Foreign Secretary, not a tuck shop prefect… “

Those whom the Gods seek to destroy, they first make mad… With the previous theme in mind, this from Alex Massie, on how the Boris clown act is turning to tragedy, for someone other than Boris, of course…

The Iranian regime is a deplorable one but the least a British citizen can expect from her foreign secretary is that, if she is arrested in Iran, that foreign secretary will not make her predicament worse. Saying, as Johnson did this afternoon that, ‘I am sorry if my words have been taken out of context and misconstrued’ cuts neither mustard nor ice. Mr Johnson is Foreign Secretary, not a tuck shop prefect. 

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State for International Development is revealed to be running a freelance foreign policy wholly without the knowledge of the Foreign Secretary or, of course, the Prime Minister. The stupidity of this is almost as breathtaking as its arrogance. Meetings are one thing; making policy suggestions to the Israeli prime minister quite another. 

Then, naturally, when the truth emerges it must be denied. Because, really, only nit-pickers care about the detail and the rest of us – which means the rest of you – can carry on as though nothing, least of all anything untoward, had happened at all. And so it is that Priti Patel remains a member of the cabinet. There is a certain logic to this. If there’s a shambles everywhere, why should an individual cabinet minister be expected to take one for the team and do the erstwhile decent thing? There is a kind of safety in collective ineptitude and collective shamelessness. 

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty