Boris Johnson has been using the same French joke since 1994

Boris Johnson has been using the same French joke since 1994

Boris Johnson is a father, so we can forgive him for making a few Dad jokes.

Recently he has referenced the zeitgeisty (not) Muppets and it failed to raise a titter, and he recently delivered a failure of a set to a group of toddlers. Tough crowd.

But he really needs to stop making the same French joke.

Allow us to explain. On Wednesday, when asked about French anger about Australia pulling out of a major contract with Paris for submarines, the Prime Minister showed that he had at least a GCSE in French and said, while smirking at reporters:

“What I want to say about that is I just think it’s time for some of our dearest friends around the world to prenez un grip [get a grip] about all this and donnez-moi un break [give me a break].

Australia’s actions came about due to a new security pact between the UK, US and Australia.

But it is not the first time Johnson has told people to ‘donnez him un’ break and it seems, sadly, that it will not be the last time. In fact, as Telegraph journalist Michael Deacon pointed out today, he has been using the joke since 1994 making it over a quarter of a century old.

Zut alors.

In 1994, he trialled the joke while writing about house prices increasing, Deacon claims.

For the next 18 years he kept in his locker, until 2012 when he used it when referring to the European Commission desiring a bigger budget.

Spurred on, perhaps, by a few chortles around the dinner table, he then used it in 2013 while Mayor of London, after he was criticised over the number of buildings in the capital being foreign-owned.

Then in 2016, in peak Brexit season, he used it twice: once to mock a politician in favour of joining the euro currency, and again to rebuff concerns about post-Brexit border controls.

Look, Boris Johnson really wants everyone to give him a break, OK?

We’re not done.

In 2019 when Johnson suspended parliament and was criticised he once again pleaded in French for people to give him a break. He was criticised again, and he said it again And this brings us to the present day and the French submarine row.

Johnson, it is you who needs to give us a break, please.

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