The Wallpapergate scandal goes free range; welcome to Nannygate

I hope you don’t mind a quick dip into political sleaze, because I do enjoy a good scandal and here in Britain we have one that’s going free range. Just before an election. Yes, friends, Wallpapergate is turning into Nannygate which is turning into Personal Trainergate.

I’ll stop gloating for a paragraph or two and translate for myself: Boris Johnson is being investigated for asking Conservative Party donors to pay for his and his partner’s £200,000 refurbishment of the prime ministerial residence, but that’s a few-days-old scandal. Now it’s now come out that he also approached donors to pay for his and his partner’s nanny and his personal trainer

I did use the phrase “the couple’s nanny,” but no, the nanny doesn’t take care of the couple, although if she (and I’m making assumptions there, I know) did she might’ve saved them from their wallpaper. But no such luck. She’s there to take care of their kid, who’s a year old. 

I won’t get into the whole nanny thing. Really. I won’t. I’m putting on mittens to limit my typing. 

Irrelevant photo: speedwell–a wildflower

It all makes me wonder, though, if Johnson also tried raising funds to pay for a food taster and a herald to blow the trumpet when he’s coming into a room. If he has, it hasn’t hit the headlines yet, but I’m ruling nothing out. 

The latest of Wallpapergate is that Conservative Party staff members have been told to hand over all communications that relate to it. They’ve been threatened with criminal charges if they don’t, which has a certain irony since their boss isn’t being threatened with criminal charges, although the email they were sent did say, “You are put on notice that this is a criminal investigation.”

Johnson is said to have taken out a personal loan to pay back whatever money was borrowed to cover  the renovations of his flat, although he’s dodged questions about when he did that. The loan he received hasn’t been declared, and neither has whatever he borrowed or solicited and then repaid. That signals trouble, although I have no idea how deep.

Prime ministers are given £30,000 to wipe away all visible traces of their predecessors, so that leaves only £170,000 to repay. 

To put that in perspective: If you worked a 40 hour week at the London minimum wage, which is higher than the national one, you’d take home something in the neighborhood of £17,000 a year, so if you didn’t frivvel that away on groceries and rent or anything else, it would take ten years to save that up. 

At the London real Living Wage of £10.85, you’d take home something like £22,000. 

Johnson, on the other hand, makes £150,000 a year as prime minister. That means he’s licking the underside of the top 1% of British earners, but he’s apparently told friends that he needs to make twice that just to keep his head above water. Rumor says he’s broke, although you might want to wait until the music stops and the numbers have all tried to grab the chairs that are left before you decide what to believe on the subject.


But I mentioned elections, so let’s talk about them: All across the country we’ve got local elections coming up on Thursday, and they’re being taken as a test of the impact all this is having on the electorate. Whether it’s a fair test is arguable. I’m not sure how much national politics translate to local elections. 

Some pundits speculate that the mythical man in the pub (and I’m reasonably sure they do mean the man) doesn’t care about Wallpapergate. What I’ve noticed, though, is that most of the Conservative newspapers seem to have turned against Johnson on this. I haven’t a clue how it’ll go or what it’ll mean. 

In Scotland, though, the elections will decide whether there’ll be another referendum on leaving the United Kingdom and joining the European Union. That referendum, if it’s held, will either be sanctioned by the British government or it won’t be. And if it isn’t, it’ll either be held anyway or it won’t be. I think that covers all the possibilities.

It’s going to be interesting here for a while.

44 thoughts on “The Wallpapergate scandal goes free range; welcome to Nannygate

  1. Well, I’m not in the best shape these days, but I think I’m a little ahead of BoJo. So, if I feel the need to hire a personal trainer, it’ll be someone who can do a better job than this fellow seems to have done

    Liked by 2 people

    • If I was his personal trainer, it would only be on condition that he never make my name public, because the trainer can only work with the material at hand, which isn’t promising. And I’m not talking about his physical state.

      I once knew someone who insisted on such a strange haircut that her hair stylist–or whatever you call the people who cut women’s hair–swore her to secrecy about who he was.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. As for heraldgate, one of his disgraced former advisors used a blog post to ask that only geniuses with PhDs in computer science from elite universities apply to be the equivalent of “food taster and herald”. Had he still been employed, that blog post would have been heraldgate. Anyone who is that up themselves belongs in a straitjacket.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That wallpaper is hideous! Also he’s feeling the pinch maybe because he has (rumoured) 7 children to fork out for and put through private schooling. I hadn’t heard about the nanny and personal trainer though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just an outsider’s observations here, but it isn’t the House of Windsor that is giving “royalty” a bad name.
    Your reports on the upcoming elections will be interesting to say the least. As a person of Scots descent I shall be interested in THAT outcome as well,

    As we learned over here during the last few years, you can’t make this stuff up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not without hallucinogens, anyway.

      The Scottish independence drive will be interesting. I’m sympathetic to it, especially given Brexit and the way they’ve been generally screwed over by the central government, but whether they have a strong enough economy to survive separation I don’t know. And as Brexit has shown us, breaking up integrated economies is a messy business.


  5. I had just hit send when a newsbreak came on that that school in Florida is now interfering with kids’ PARENTS being vaccinated. I cannot find a link (yet) but will update as I can…

    Liked by 1 person

    • This has the whiff–to me–of something that could easily turn into more, so stick around. It should be fun, even if it doesn’t keep expanding. But the fun probably won’t touch the real scandal, which is the way contracts have been handed out to governmental buddies. That’s been in the papers and on the news and the nation as a whole says a decisive ho hum. It’s all very odd, but then humans are, as a rule.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: The Wallpapergate scandal goes free range; welcome to Nannygate – jalalsawal

  7. Thanks for reminding me the elections were on Thursday (I half thought they were today) I now need to dig out my polling cards. I like these elections where fewer people are likely to vote, I like to think my vote carries more weight!! lol!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Quebec does that same sort of thing (referendum to leave the country) every decade or so. I’m under the impression that if they ever really did get enough votes in the ‘let’s go’ category, the rest of Canada would say, ‘bugger off and don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out’. Successive governments have done all sorts of nasty deals with nice perks to keep the real dissenters happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In the last referendum, David Cameron promised a kind of maximum devolution of powers to Scotland. If anything changed after independence lost to vote, I managed not to catch sight of it. Don’t believe anything that isn’t on paper and notarized.


    • Y’know, that’s entirely possible. I’ve never bought gold wallpaper, so I’ll admit to ignorance on the subject, but I do know that we live in a world that gives free gifts to those who need them least.

      Liked by 1 person

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