Events, dear boy, etc. There comes a moment in every Prime Minister’s tenure when the real world rises up and bites them on the backside.

Life doesn’t always read the script. It’s not always easy to make the best plans.

Tony Blair’s state visit to Japan in 2003 was turned upside down when he got off the plane in Tokyo to learn that Dr David Kelly, Britain’s Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction inspector, had been found dead with his wrists slashed in an Oxfordshire forest.

At his subsequent set-piece press conference with the Japanese PM, the Boys In The Bubble weren’t the slightest bit interested in discussing Anglo-Nippon relations. The Boys In the Bubble wanted to know if Blair had any blood on his hands.

During the 2010 election campaign, Gordon Brown turned up on Jeremy Vine’s excellent Radio 2 lunchtime show to talk about how he’d saved the world from financial meltdown, only to be ambushed with a recording of his ‘bigoted woman’ remarks directed at Rochdale pensioner Gillian Duffy, who had confronted him over immigration.

Events, dear boy, etc. There comes a moment in every Prime Minister’s tenure when the real world rises up and bites them on the backside. Life doesn’t always read the script

Events, dear boy, etc. There comes a moment in every Prime Minister’s tenure when the real world rises up and bites them on the backside. Life doesn’t always read the script

Boris Johnson also returned to Glasgow with the same intention this week, delivering a powerful bulletin regarding the achievements made at Cop26 against global warming.

But the hacks were not satisfied with their ideas. Geoffrey Cox is the ex-Tory Attorney General, who earned more than five millions working as an attorney while being elected to Parliament.

Was Cox in British Virgin Islands doing during the Covid lockdown when it was all over?

Er, sorry chaps, I’ve got a train to catch, said Boris. All are back in that buffet car.

Boris decided to take the rattler this time, instead of chartering a private airplane. However, he was not very professional in his evasion of scrutiny. Nor did it do him any favours lingering furtively on the concourse at King’s Cross station earlier in the week to avoid having to face the Commons over the Owen Paterson scandal.

Being there for your friends is admirable. The indefensible cannot be defended.

Paterson is perfectly right and should have had to take the walk sooner. We need to start with Cox. Since 2009, he’s spent an astonishing 10,700 hours moonlighting from the House.

As for Cox, where do we start? Since 2009, he’s spent an astonishing 10,700 hours moonlighting from the House

Where do we begin with Cox? Since 2009, he’s spent an astonishing 10,700 hours moonlighting from the House

Covid saw him living his Death In Paradise fantasy, while he was working as a consultant on a Caribbean corruption investigation. It’s one thing topping up your Parliamentary salary with the odd speech or newspaper column, provided it doesn’t interfere with the day job. It’s quite another filling your boots with lucrative refreshers in a Cayman Islands courtroom.

Hilariously, Cox is reported to have grumbled that the 18 months or so he spent as Attorney General under Mother Theresa actually cost him money, despite pocketing a salary of around £150,000 a year.

That might be chicken-feed in the legal world, but it’s a king’s ransom to most voters in the Red/Blue Wall who put the Tories into office with a thumping 80-seat majority.

So, too, is the £500,000 Owen Paterson banked working as a consultant on top of his MP’s wages.

Cox may want to try to be Rumpole to the Caymans. But he can’t do it while drawing a parliamentary salary at the same time.

Here’s where things get really weird. It transpires that Cox is also renting out his London home while claiming £1,900 a month from taxpayers for a second property. He even claimed £3,800 while he was in the West Indies.

He is so stupid for an apparently bright barrister. He’s been around Westminster long enough to know that perception is all.

The expenses scandal of 2009 is straight ahead. Claiming one property while renting another. We’re talking Jackboots Jacqui Smith here, the former Labour home secretary and MP for Redditch who tried to pretend that her sister’s spare bedroom in South London was her ‘main residence’.

Some ‘honourable members’ went to prison after their various scams were exposed. They should all have known that.

It’s not long until we find out that Cox was claiming the duck house and moat cleansing.

Boris is, of course, no stranger himself to creative accounting — what we used to call in Fleet Street ‘Old Spanish Customs’. He seems to always be one shilling away from balancing books, no matter what he makes. Simon Walters has revealed that the Carrie Cave is being renovated in Downing Street.

Owen Paterson’s persecutor, standards gauleiter Kathryn Stone, is currently sticking her nose into Boris’s holiday at Zac Goldsmith’s drum in Marbella.

Frankly, most of us couldn’t give a monkey’s if Boris stays with an old friend. It’s not like Tony and Cherie Blair turning up on Cliff Richard’s doorstep or freeloading off Silvio Berlusconi or one of the Bee Gees.

What does cut through, however, is the stench of what we have learned to call ‘Tory sleaze’, the idea that the rules don’t apply to them.

Cox is entitled to ask questions. Cox has legitimate questions to answer. In which case there’s hope for us all. Boris must now step aside.

BoJo has been supported by many of us since his run for London mayor. He also saved us from Red Ken terror. After some fashion, he victimized Corbyn and got Brexit Done.

He enjoys the goodwill of others, even when Northerners are becoming restless.

Uncanny abilities to put himself into corners and get out of the way are his trademark. However, there’s a feeling that he might be at the point when even his staunchest backers will stop supporting him.

It’s instructive that his fiercest critics lately have been proper Conservatives, whose patience he has exhausted.

There’s mutiny in the ranks, too, as evidenced yesterday when his Chancellor, the ultra-ambitious Rishi Sunak, put the boot in on the wireless.

When the lower ranks are not afraid to rebel, prime ministers find themselves in serious trouble. It’s blood-letting time, Bojo. Starting with Cox and maybe even Sunak, pour encourager les autres.

You need to stop the fake-socialist tax-hiking big statism, and the greenwashing. Remember why you got into politics, as a libertarian free-booting citizen.

Boris dances in the darkness at the moment. It’s time he took charge of, rather than cowering in the face of, events, dear boy, events. Right now, it’s his backside on the line.

Gary will find a smorgasbord of scary-crawly things to explore today.

At Cop26 they’ve been banging on about cutting down on meat because of the methane created by cows.

Turns out they’re well wide of the mark. It’s caterpillars, not cattle, pumping out the poisonous gases. Cambridge University scientists believe that the forest tent caterpillar moths, gypsy and forest moth moths create more nitrogen-rich CO2 emissions per year than do cows.

I like the sound of forest tent caterpillars — right up there with our old faves the depressed river mussel and the oak processionary moths.

Apparently, they munch through so many leaves that they produce vast amounts of excrement, causing ‘defoliator outbreaks’ to be released from lakes. We’re talking ‘dissolved carbon’ here. As Eric Morecambe used to say: There’s no answer to that!

And I haven’t even mentioned the spurdog and starry-smooth-hound sharks which have just turned up in the River Thames.

Gary, get your feet on the ground!

Lookalike Lass 

Amanda Staveley has found her man. Ex-Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has agreed to take the poisoned chalice at whatever St James’s Park calls itself these days.

Mail reader Dave Smith writes from Marske-by-the-Sea, Redcar, to say: ‘I wondered who Amanda Staveley reminds me of . . . and then I realised!’

She’s the spitting image of the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard Of Oz.

You can’t go wrong with the boys!