Face Neil


The narrowing of the polls was likely to happen once Jo Swinson was seen through. A politician whose hinterland amounted to PR spokesperson for Hull’s Viking FM never stood much chance as prospective Prime Minister – whoever chose the drastic “Revoke” option for the Liberal Democrats must have been caught up in the FBPE Continuity Remain nonsense which only ever gathered any kind of momentum on Twitter. Twitter is still, fortunately, not the real world – where likes and retweets are irrelevant and Jonathan King is still a sick and lonely paedophile not welcome in pubs. Those who couldn’t vote Lib Dem would, begrudgingly, choose Labour despite Corbyn.

In the streets Boris has already won this election. However, he’s not quite there yet. Yes, Corbyn is all-round detested and his lieutenants of doom like Richard Burgon and John McDonnell are looked at with disdain for their loyalties and past comments. Yes, the Liberal Democrats are awful. Yes, the Brexit Party has frazzled. Yes, Andrew Neil put holes in the hull of Sturgeon and her anti-British tugboat.

In the streets Boris still needs to face down Andrew Neil. That’s the long and short of it.

There are plenty of Ancient Greek versions of the challenge that awaits Boris Johnson but to the man in the street, Boris has reached Bully’s Star Prize Gamble and has a chance of winning the speedboat. He’s successfully scored enough points in the polls to have sailed through the Category Board and Pounds for Points. It’s not true that all that is on offer should facing Andrew Neil finish him off is a “BFH” – bus fare home – but the option of allowing just Corbyn and others to face Neil does risk an otherwise certain majority.

This is a General Election that the Conservative Party need to win. A majority is vital. A hung parliament and coalition means game over. As Jim Bowen used to say,  “Keep out of the black and in the red, nothing in this game for two in a bed.”

The way that those outside of London tend to see Boris is as Our Man – as a winner who will deliver Brexit. If Boris were to fail to appear before Neil – that is far worse than getting annihilated in front of him. Boris could suffer the worst interview ever with Neil – mumbling and wetting his pants – and still come out on top.

Boris is no coward. He used to play rugby. He hung from a zip wire and waved Union Jacks. He swam around that rock in Biarritz. So why can’t he face down Andrew Neil?

If the Prime Minister’s performance up against that try-hard interrupter, Andrew Marr, is anything to go by, he will fly through. Short “yes” and “no” answers break Neil’s press. Keeping one’s cool and remaining polite and likeable are vital. Corbyn has been through the Andrew Neil super over and he only scored one off the edge. Boris just needs to block Neil’s googlies, nab one boundary through a predictable quip opportunity and he’ll sail through.

Ask those in the street and in the village pubs. The solution is obvious. Face Neil.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”  William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure