Get your priorities right you big girls’ blouses

What sort of world are we living in where the words “big girl’s blouse” and “girly swot” are: a) politically incorrect and b) in any way news?

We all know Boris Johnson has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth, but lately the poor bloke can’t take a breath without fingers pointing at him and the torches and pitchfork brigade shouting “heretic!”

On Friday, Downing Street released some handwritten notes to journalists from the middle of August, aimed at showing the PM’s thinking on the prorogation of Parliament this month.

However, rather than accepting the evidence before their eyes, attention was drawn to four redacted words in the first paragraph following “introduced by…”.

Once those redacted words were revealed to be “that girly swot Cameron” the news ceased to be about whether Parliamentary procedure was being exploited (by either side) and instead it became an excuse to once again misdirect people from the real problem at hand.

Of course, there is a place in news coverage for this sort of thing, but not to moralise and feign mock outrage. Those notes were never intended for the public domain, but they are the only funny thing about any of this disgraceful affair.

The air of what can and what can no longer be said really has reached ridiculous proportions.

Boris has said far worse than that (some of it far more deserving of outrage) and the history of rancour with David Cameron goes back to their schooldays, I was told of one hysterical set-to in Downing Street between them a few years ago which I won’t repeat because it would read like a Rik Mayall/Ade Edmondson routine from the 80s.

Meanwhile, to this day, Corbyn – the man who pretends to be a Europhile when all the evidence of the past 20 years says otherwise – still denies calling Theresa May a “stupid woman” in the House of Commons, even though it’s as easy to read his lips on the front bench as it was Boris’ this past week.

Yet Boris is supposed to be the liar.

They are all liars. Isn’t that the point?

One Tory and two Labour MPs have defected this week to the Lib Dems – a party hell bent on stopping Brexit altogether. They don’t even pretend to honour the referendum result of 2016.

Then, on Saturday, Amber Rudd resigned from the cabinet in protest at the removal of the whip from 21 Tory MPs, even though it had been made crystal clear to all of them that Boris’ aim was to get us out of the EU deal or no deal by October 31. One has to wonder why she accepted the job in the first place.

So instead of getting into a lather about language let’s concentrate on how we get ourselves out of this mess. It’s their actions we need to be worrying about, not their words.

Now for Mogg’s sake let’s have an election and then give me something else to write about.

As Oliver Cromwell said in 1653 (which is just past ten to five): “Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.”

Edward Case

Columnist