Cleverly doesn’t begin to describe the Tories’ bonkers Rwanda policy - Vladimir McTavish

​Thank goodness for James Cleverly. People like him really make my job so easy, it’s almost as if he writes this column for me.
Home Secretary James Cleverly during a press conference with Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta after the signing of a new treaty  in KigaliHome Secretary James Cleverly during a press conference with Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta after the signing of a new treaty  in Kigali
Home Secretary James Cleverly during a press conference with Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta after the signing of a new treaty in Kigali

It’s like being back in the good old days of Boris Johnson in Number Ten. Who doesn’t enjoy watching a buffoon being elevated to a position well above their level of competence?

Looking at Call-Me-Cleverly and Rishi Sunak trying to bluff their way through the Rwanda debacle reminds me of the Laurel and Hardy sketch where they try to push a piano up a set of stairs.

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Of course, all of us here in the sane world know that the Rwanda policy is inhumane and eye-wateringly expensive. Plus it is utterly bonkers.

The treaty signed this week will prevent refugees being sent back to the countries they were fleeing. What if they were fleeing from Rwanda?

Amazingly, it seems this immigration policy is not crazy enough for some people. Such as now-former Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick who resigned on Wednesday in disgust at the whole idea becoming a bit too sensible.

He wanted an immigration policy that was full-on turbo-charged Looney Tunes.

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Under Boris, we got used to this grotesque tomfoolery on a daily basis, so it’s good to see the Pig In The Wig returning briefly to the limelight, trying to justify his rumbustious incompetence to the National Covid Enquiry.

Of course, we all know that Johnson lied through his teeth all the way through the pandemic, so it’s a little bit naive to assume he’s going to start telling the truth now.

On Thursday he was claiming that he never wanted to “let the virus rip”, despite the fact that in 2020 he was reported to have ranted that he’d rather “let the bodies pile up” than order a second lockdown.

Mr Johnson told the enquiry he felt devolution didn't work during the pandemic because devolved governments did different things, at different times, from the government at Westminster.

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Or in other words, the governments in Scotland and Wales actually did their jobs properly, unlike him.

It’s not news that Johnson is a clown. But we now learn that not only did he ask a team of medical experts whether Covid could be cured by blowing a hairdryer up your nose but he also ordered the security services to “draw up plans” to launch a military raid on a vaccine plant in the Netherlands.

What is the point of satire when real news is this stupidly surreal?

After Johnson we had Liz Truss, who was a true gift from the gods for comedy writers. It was jaw-dropping watching someone so out of their depth trying to do an important job such as running a country. It was like watching a horse trying to drive a bus.

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Half of me was thinking “this isn’t going to end well”, while the other half couldn’t take my eyes off the unfolding disastrous slapstick. Shame she only lasted forty-six days.

Anyway, back to James I-Can’t-Believe-He’s-Not-Cleverly.

He ploughs on with a scheme that even other ministers accept is nonsense. In fact, a member of Cabinet recently described the idea as “batsh*t”.

That person was James Cleverly, when he was Foreign Secretary. You couldn’t make this nonsense up!