The contrast could not be greater. On Monday morning Boris Johnson gave a speech to CBI members in Tyneside which has been ridiculed from Lands End to John O’ Groats. He stumbled over his words, pleaded with the audience to “Forgive Me” as he lost his page, described himself delivering a new green world to the disciples of Sir David Attenborough, and spent considerable time saying how much he loved writing about cars for GQ, proceeding to make the vroom vroom sound of a petrol engine. He quoted from Lenin and the Daily Mail.
His performance has been described by critics, and even the most ardent of fans, as shambolic and embarrassing. It has provoked the usual criticism from unnamed critics calling for Number 10 to get a grip on Johnson or else. Worse perhaps, many are asking whether the PM is suffering from burn-out and exhaustion after a bad bout of cold or indeed, whether he is finally losing his marbles to the Greeks.