What a way to run a government

It was obvious in the early heady days, before Parliament convened, that Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings were making most of the running on their own. Cabinet members were only sworn in on the understanding that they backed the Boris plan, even if that included no deal. And when Amber Rudd had had enough, and came out of cabinet in support of fellow MPs sacked from the party for not following the party line, she confirmed that within cabinet there was very little opportunity for ministers to have an effect, or contribute to the formulation of policy. So it was a bit of a shock to hear Michael Gove on Peston last week, testifying to Johnson’s “collegiate” style. Really? Boris Johnson? And now we know. After Johnson’s crunch phone call with Angela Merkel, the No. 10 spin machine was busy insisting that her intransigence had kyboshed all hope of any deal ever. And yet when Cabinet met soon after, Johnson gave them no account of this historic encounter. They are window dressing for party conference, puppets to announce incredible spending plans, but so far as active colleagues are concerned - forget it. Yet again, he’s doing his own thing and daring the grown-ups to stop him. do we have any grown-ups in the house?