What the Suez Canal ship captain missed: Boris Johnson’s sexploits

Welcome to Declassified, a weekly column looking at the lighter side of politics.

Some people are just lucky. The captain of that ship that got stuck in Suez Canal, for example, might not at first glance seem to have had the best time of it during the past week but he will at least have been too busy hiding in shame to have read about Boris Johnson’s sex life.

In what was a surprise to absolutely no one, tech entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri admitted a four-year affair with the British prime minister and serial philanderer, whom she nicknamed Alexander the Great, either because the PM’s real first name is Alexander or because neither man could be sure how many children he had fathered. (Johnson, as far as I can recall, has never named a city after his horse but there’s plenty of time and he does have a large parliamentary majority).

Johnson apparently said one raunchy picture of Arcuri was “enough to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.”

Speaking of, er, frustration, European citizens are becoming increasingly restless as governments continue with their plan to vaccinate one person per country a month (rumors that the aforementioned Suez Canal ship captain is being brought in to oversee the EU’s vaccination rollout were unconfirmed at the time of going to press).

In Brussels, police were spooked by social media posts for a massive party called “La Boum” in the Bois de la Cambre, the city’s biggest park. The party turned out to be fake — good news for the police and local residents and bad news for those whose twin passions are electronic dance music and killing their elderly relatives.

At least when the Swiss vent their frustrations at being locked down, they don’t make much noise. The small northern town of Liestal was the scene of a gathering against anti-COVID measures that attracted several thousand people and was dubbed a “Silent Protest.” Constrained by their own title, the protesters were unable to shout about their frustrations and instead held up signs such as the straight-from-a-greetings-card-but-not-a-doctor “Let love guide you, not fear” and “Vaccines kill.” Ironically, the protest would have been much smaller if the anti-vaxxers had their way and we all ignored scientific advances and simply took our chances against smallpox and polio.


“Right, no hot drinks on the desk and you get an hour for lunch. Follow those rules and I’m sure you’ll have a great internship, Emmanuel.”

Can you do better? Email [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque

Last week we gave you this photo:

Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best from our postbag (there’s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze).

“Great news, I will be the new AstraZeneca gender and climate compliance chief officer and vaccine diversity manager,” by Albrecht Rothacher

Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor.

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