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JANET STREET-PORTER: Boris Johnson’s baby couldn’t have arrived at a more difficult time

Middle-aged father-of-five (or maybe six) has – yet another – baby: So will Boris Junior be a welcome small dose of ‘good news’ for house-bound Brits?

Boris will no doubt be celebrating in Downing Street tonight with a fine champagne, but what about the rest of us? All babies are sweet and charming, but this little boy couldn’t have arrived at a more difficult time.

Ordinary folk still can’t get a coronavirus test (the government website crashed yet again today – it’s easier to get front row tickets for Elton John or Lady Gaga’s rescheduled tours than secure a test slot near your home) and most of us aren’t allowed back to work yet because we’re not considered ‘essential’.

Meanwhile, old people are dying alone and miserable in care homes. The healthy over-70’s (of which I am one) are condemned to be incarcerated and jobless until we die of boredom, in order not to overburden ‘our’ NHS. Front line staff are still dying because they can’t get protective clothing and Matt Hancock continues to bluster about his 100,000 testing ‘target’..

Mr Johnson and Miss Symonds at the England v Wales rugby match at Twickenham on March 7, just before Mr Johnson contracted coronavirus

Mr Johnson and Miss Symonds at the England v Wales rugby match at Twickenham on March 7, just before Mr Johnson contracted coronavirus

Mr Johnson and Miss Symonds at the England v Wales rugby match at Twickenham on March 7, just before Mr Johnson contracted coronavirus

These are extremely challenging times – so how will the birth of this son impact on the Prime Minister’s huge workload?

He is charged with finding a way out of the mess his minister and band of scientists seem to have got us into, with not even the first baby steps towards an exit strategy.

And he’s already a man who has narrowly cheated death in recent weeks and who seemed weaker and somewhat subdued during his only public appearance since leaving hospital.

After two weeks recuperation at Chequers, Boris returned to Downing Street just this Monday (ordered by doctors to take things gently), only to have to skip his first Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament because of the birth.

Robot Raab was back at the wheel – the man who couldn’t wait for Boris to bounce back, take charge and make some decisions about ending lockdown before the country goes bankrupt.

Now he has to worry about a new baby. Dare I suggest, this situation is far from ideal?

One question bothers me – why oh why, does Boris Johnson keep fathering children? At the age of 55 there are four grown up offspring from his second marriage to Marina Wheeler, and a daughter, Stephanie, the product of an affair in 2009 conducted while he was Mayor of London.

Boris Johnson with his partner Carrie Symonds leave after attending the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London last month

Boris Johnson with his partner Carrie Symonds leave after attending the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London last month

Boris Johnson with his partner Carrie Symonds leave after attending the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London last month

Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives back at 10 Downing Street today from hospital after the birth of his baby son

Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives back at 10 Downing Street today from hospital after the birth of his baby son

Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives back at 10 Downing Street today from hospital after the birth of his baby son

Court documents hint at another child, the identity of which has remained secret. According to another super-breeder, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris has joined the ‘exclusive club whose members are fathers of six”.

Fathering six children by multiple mothers sends out a message, and it’s not one I find particularly attractive or appealling.

Along with making macho talk about war and ‘fighting’ coronavirus, fathering children isn’t difficult. But why keep at it in your mid fifties?

Boris is a Marmite character, you either find him insufferably pompous, priveleged and shallow, or unbelievably charismatic and charming.

Fans say his energy and drive make up for a lack of grasp of detail, and claim he is the only person who can unite the British people with all their disparate cliques and classes. It certainly worked for former Labour voters in the North, seduced by his bullish posturing over Brexit.

Boris fans are prepared to ‘overlook’ his adulterous nature, the fact he cheated on his second wife, the fact he conducted inappropriate relationships while Mayor of London. And I’m not even mentioning the pole dancing tech lady with a handy flat in the East End, which he used to visit for lunchtime ‘briefing’ sessions.

JANET STREET-PORTER: Boris will no doubt be celebrating in Downing Street tonight with a fine champagne, but what about the rest of us? All babies are sweet and charming, but this little boy couldn’t have arrived at a more difficult time

JANET STREET-PORTER: Boris will no doubt be celebrating in Downing Street tonight with a fine champagne, but what about the rest of us? All babies are sweet and charming, but this little boy couldn’t have arrived at a more difficult time

JANET STREET-PORTER: Boris will no doubt be celebrating in Downing Street tonight with a fine champagne, but what about the rest of us? All babies are sweet and charming, but this little boy couldn’t have arrived at a more difficult time

To be blunt, Boris may be fertile, but has he got the focus, not to mention the energy, to come up with a plan to save the UK before ‘dishy’ Rishi depletes the coffers with his well-meaning bail-out schemes?

The congratulations are cascading in from politicians on all sides. Boris is only the third PM in 150 years to have fathered a child while in office. Trump will be on Twitter any moment adding his incoherent good wishes. Kim Jong Un will probably rise from the dead to send greetings from his Royal Train at the Korean seaside. Macron and Merkel will be wishing the couple well. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has been babbling about the ‘incredible relief and joy’ the birth will bring.

All very predictable in the insincere scheming world of politics.

But let’s talk about double standards, can you imagine a female Prime Minister giving birth to her 6th child by three different men (at least) whilst dealing with the worse crisis in half a century?

Obviously Boris didn’t know that Covid was going to happen, but we know he decided to have a child with his fiancee whilst in the middle of tortuous (and still unresolved) Brexit negotiations, not to mention a divorce which dragged on for ages and was only finalised this February, when Carrie was already well advanced in her pregnancy.

Do Prime Ministers need to have kids to prove how ‘normal’ they are? How they understand our humdrum lives and problems?

Maggie Thatcher’s son Mark caused her nothing but embarrassment, but she adored him, far more than she cared for her daughter Carol, who ended up appearing on I’m a Celebrity and weeing by her bunk.

Poor Theresa May was forced to explain why she didn’t have children, which must have been mortifying for this incredibly private woman.

Tony Blair feigned embarrassment when Cherie blurted out that Baby Leo was probably conceived during a weekend at Balmoral when she forgot to pack her contraceptive device. David Cameron was thrilled to welcome another child after the tragic death of his much-loved son Leo.

Having a baby in office can give a male politician a bounce in the popularity polls- there’s nothing like a wee baby in a shawl to make a middle aged Prime Minister look almost normal.

The sub-text is – I’m a macho man who still has sex and can produce spawn.

Sleepless nights lie ahead for Mr Johnson, and you might wonder if his health up to the job? The job of dealing with coronavirus, that is.

Luckily for us, we already know (from his other children) that at least he doesn’t do nappies.

Courtesy DAILY MAIL

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