WITH the clock running down to Brexit at 11pm, Boris Johnson has travelled to Sunderland to hold a symbolic Cabinet meeting, because it was the first place to declare for Leave in the 2016 referendum.
‘Right, everyone, we’re here,’ he tells his aides as his car arrives in the city centre. ‘Let’s get this gimmick – er, I mean this historic event – over with and get back to London.’
The PM steps out and looks around for the civic reception party, but spots only a solitary figure. ‘Ah,’ he says. ‘That’ll be the Mayor of Sunderland. Hmm, he doesn’t look much like a Mayor – he looks more like a white rabbit wearing a waistcoat and looking anxiously at his pocket watch. Still, it takes all sorts. Er, good afternoon, we’re so happy to be in Sunderland.’
‘Oh, no – you’re mistaken,’ the white rabbit tells him. ‘This isn’t Sunderland, this is Wonderland.’
‘Oh,’ says Boris. ‘We must have taken a wrong turn near Gateshead.’
‘No time for talking – we’re late!’ says the white rabbit. ‘Forget about your Cabinet meeting, Mr Johnson. Follow me down this hole!’
Once they are deep inside the hole, the white rabbit tells Boris: ‘We’re off to the centre of Wonderland. But I’m afraid it’s the last stronghold of Remainerdom, so watch your step.’
Next minute, they come upon a long, green, wobbly creature sitting on a mushroom and smoking a cheroot. ‘Oh, no, it’s the Ken Clarkerpillar,’ whispers the white rabbit.
The Clarkepillar looks at Boris. ‘So, you’ve finally got your Brexit,’ it tells him. ‘Well, I’d like to give you a good kicking, but it’ll take ages to get my Hush Puppies on all my 16 feet.’
The PM and white rabbit hurry along and come upon a chubby, grinning cat chillaxing on the roof of a shepherd’s hut.
‘You look familiar,’ says Boris.
‘Yes, I’m the Cheshire Cameron,’ the cat replies. ‘You may remember I called the referendum, but as soon as I saw the result, I quit and left everyone else to clear up the mess. As you can see, I haven’t stopped smiling since.’ The Cameron slowly fades away, leaving only a floating grin.
A short while later, they see Humpty Jeremy, who has arrived from Labour Looking Glass Land and is sitting on a fence (as usual). ‘Don’t look so smug about the election, Johnson,’ he yells. ‘We won!’
‘But you lost,’ says Boris.
‘When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – so we won,’ says Humpty.
Also visiting Wonderland from through the Looking Glass are Humpty Jeremy’s deputies, Tweedlediane and Tweedledonnell. Tweedlediane is berating Tweedledonnell for rewriting her latest incomprehensible speech. ‘You spoiled my nice new prattle!’ she shouts.
Boris and the white rabbit next meet the Mad Hater, who is holding a tea party and wearing a topper with a label saying: In This Style, 10 Euros. She is using the sleeping Bercow Boremouse as a cushion.
‘Ah, Theresa,’ says Boris, ‘a cup of tea would be nice – I’m rather parched.’
‘There’s no tea for you,’ shouts the Hater. ‘I’m mad at you – mad as a Hatter. You’d be mad too if you’d been ousted as Prime Minister and had your soft Brexit plan wrecked.’
The noise wakes up Boremouse. ‘Order, order,’ he mumbles drowsily. ‘I wouldn’t mind the Order of the Garter.’
‘Oh, do be quiet,’ says the Hater, pinching him.
‘Let’s go,’ the white rabbit tells Boris. ‘I’ve just heard that the Queen of the Heart of Europe, the EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen, is putting the Knave of Departs, Nigel Farage, on trial for stealing Remain. She wants him executed!’
As they arrive at court, they hear that Dominic Cummings has also been arrested, but refuses to recant his Leave beliefs, despite being tortured by having his feet tickled with a flamingo feather.
Then comes the bombshell news that the Knave of Departs has turned Queen’s evidence, accusing Boris of conspiracy to commit Brexit.
Other witnesses are lined up against the PM. A whiting and a lobster are due to testify how he won’t let EU fishermen catch them in British waters. There’s even a Sturgeon waiting to give damning evidence.
‘I demand a fair trial!’ yells Boris.
‘No trial – off with his head!’ shouts the Queen, as her soldiers move in to arrest the PM.
‘Run, Boris!’ cries the white rabbit.
‘I can’t run!’ shouts the PM. ‘The Cheshire Cameron’s got its claws into the seat of my pants . . .’
All is confusion until Boris feels Michael Gove shaking him. ‘Wake up, Prime Minister,’ he says. ‘You fell asleep. We’ve arrived in Sunderland.’
‘Oh, er, I . . . well, thank goodness, it was all a bad dream,’ mumbles Boris. ‘Okay, Michael, I’m ready to go. But do me a favour. Before I step out there, check if there’s a white rabbit hanging around.’