As a progressivist of long standing, I welcome Boris Johnson into the fold. Finally, and not before time, he has had his Damascene experience.
As Boris was riding his bicycle to the BBC studios the other day, he saw a flash of lightning and heard a clap of thunder. He screamed and lost consciousness. Or is it conscience? One can get terribly confused with all those cognates.
Anyway, when Boris came to he had a vision of Barroso standing by his side. “Boris why do you persecute me so?’ asked José Manuel. “You’re a berry-berry bad boy. Don’t you know what progress means? It means Brussels, among other things.”
“Thank you, Lord!” screamed Boris. “I’ve seen the light!”
He then pushed the bike aside, jumped on the nearby progressivist horse and rode it to the studio, where he carried José Manuel’s revelations to the world.
“Before I had my visionary experience,” spake Boris, “I drank! I caroused! I dallied with loose women!! Just a week ago – one week! – I was one of the few Tory lost sheep supporting an in-out referendum. But then José Manuel came to me and he showed me the way and the truth. It’s not an in-out referendum we need for our salvation. Only a referendum menu will save us from our own wickedness! A menu of all EU laws! We look at it, say yes to those we like and no to those we don’t like! Long live José Manuel! Long live progress! Alleluia!’
Of course a distinct possibility exists that José Manuel and other EU leaders may have a thing or two to say about Britain’s piecemeal membership, such as ‘Hijo de puta inglès’. But Boris’s party will allay their doubts by finding the right question to ask in the referendum, when it comes.
They’ll let José Manuel guide their hand as they inscribe “Do you think it might be a good idea under some undefined future circumstances to ask Brussels to give us back some of our sovereignty?” Yes, that’s it. Vote yes or vote no, it wouldn’t matter one way or the other. Happiness all around, salvation guaranteed. We’ll all go home singing the Progressive Hymn: “You put your left boot in, you put your right boot out! In out, in out, spinning all around! In out, in out, that’s what Boris is about.”
Seeing the spiritual light always rewards the man intellectually. True enough, his conversion enabled Boris to add the kind of subtlety to his thinking that’s beyond the reach of his erstwhile friends, infidels one and all. “With great respect to the in-outers, I don’t think it does boil down to such a simple question,” he said.
And then Boris let those simpletons have the benefit of his newly acquired nuanced thinking. If we left the EU, he explained, “We wouldn’t have any vote at all. Now I don’t think that’s actually a prospect that’s likely to appeal.”
I’d go even further and say that this prospect is likely to appal. But note the irrefutable truth in every revelation vouchsafed by Boris. If we’re no longer a member of the EU, we won’t have a vote in it. Who could argue with this? Now that Boris has said this, it sounds simple, like all eternal truths. But without him we would have stayed in the dark.
Now listen to this, you lost sheep of Brussels: “I think it would be a good thing at the right moment to settle the matter and ask people, ‘are you basically in favour of being in or out?’” That’s Boris speaking last week, before he fell off his bike. Just goes to show how a religious experience can change a man.
The march of progress rolls on, and Boris is now in step. He’ll be Tory leader one day, inheriting the throne of St Dave. But in order to get there, he ought to realise that, though the road to salvation ultimately leads to Brussels, there are many pit stops along the way, each housing a progressive issue of its own, and none can be skipped.
As a current example, consider the related issues of female episcopate and ‘gay’ (as opposed to morose) marriage. These are both virtuous, solid ideas, but the way they’ve been put forth isn’t progressive enough.
Perhaps Boris should next capitalise on his American heritage and propose a British answer to the notion of affirmative action, which has proved to be so productive in the States. It’s not enough to have women bishops consecrated, and homosexual couples married, in church – there’s nothing affirmative about it.
Boris proclaimed aim should be redressing the evil of tradition haunting our society since time immemorial. The truly progressive, and therefore unstoppable, measures would be to have only female bishops and only homosexual marriages. After all, both groups have suffered two millennia of discrimination, and they now deserve compensation.
Wouldn’t you like to see a woman bishop declaring a happy couple ‘man and man’? José Manuel and the rest of our progressive world would.
Oh yes, and of course even the natural, not just adoptive, children of UKIP members must be taken away and raised as wards of our progressive state. What a fitting punishment for apostasy that would be, and not a moment too soon.
Keep at it, Boris, carry the word to the heathen Brits. That’s how you’ll become a truly righteous man. And what is more, you’ll be a Prime Minister, my son.