PARLIAMENT& POLITICS: Boris Johnson and Leighton Buzzard Save Us from All Our Fears of War ; THE SKETCH

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THE WORLD is about to change irrevocably, so Parliament dealt at length with Scottish post offices. The rights of Sunday shop workers were pretty robustly defended, too (how about the right not to be flash-fried by flying First World gunships?). There were no statements, there were no urgent questions.

I could think of a few urgent questions, not least: Why is Helen Liddell employing Rosa Klebb's hairstylist? Here's another one: What has Boris Johnson been offered? Has he been taken aside by the whips and told: Get into the chamber more, Boz, and we'll make you a junior shadow something or other? He's turning up. At one point, early in Scottish questions, he constituted a significant proportion of the Conservative parliamentary attendance (25 per cent by number and 28 per cent by volume). He then tried to get in on three questions about the court systems, demonstrating the second great political talent - standing up. He did this in various ways: slowly, quickly, purposefully, humbly, forgetfully and submissively. His range of standing-up techniques is wide but insufficient. The gnarled old Speaker refused to call him until the question changed to one about consultants.

Then the Speaker called him immediately and Boris asked his court question anyway. People laughed and cheered (a very bad augury for a parliamentary career).

I heard last year that Michael Portillo solicited Boris Johnson's vote in the Tories' leadership election. En passant, he advised his young colleague on the need to decide between being a politician and a comedian. …