The government has comprehensively collapsed: the infamous never-resigner Boris Johnson has agreed to stand down. And yet it’s a perfectly normal day at the Daily Mail offices. “What’s happening today? Oh, not much, let’s just slap on another pro-Boris front page.” “Right you are, we have plenty on file.”
As the Prime Minister looked increasingly bizarre by refusing to leave his bunker amid a mass exodus of ministers, the newspaper – never to be cowed – went for a characteristically deluded cover, channelling a Pravda-as-the-Berlin-Wall-falls vibe.
“Boris stares down the mutiny,” declared the splash gravely, alongside the only photo they could find of Johnson looking halfway dignified.
The paper’s editorial is even more desperate: “The self-inflicted wounds are legion. But the truth is Mr Johnson still stands head and shoulders above any of his would-be assassins,” went its headline.
Johnson’s closest-aide-turned-nemesis Dominic Cummings sniped on Twitter this morning (7 July) that the paper’s detachment from reality suggests Paul Dacre, the Daily Mail editor and Johnson’s most reliable propagandist, is after a peerage: “One thing I didn’t understand & screwed up many times when I first got involved with politics was not understanding the power of PEERAGE as an incentive. It’s much much bigger than you think, this fantasy [today’s front page, is] a good example of the phenomenon!”
You have to hand it to the Mail – it has given Johnson a nice new decoration to frame and hang up in his next residence; a chance to cover up what will likely be some very bog-standard wallpaper.
[See also: Who will replace Boris Johnson as Conservative leader?]