IN the past week I have heard Boris Johnson (PM!) refer to the Leader of the Opposition as a “great big girl’s blouse” and as a “chlorinated chicken”, and have read a report of of him referring to David Cameron and his brother Jo as “girly swots”.

This latter “insult” was made apparently as a result of Messrs Cameron and Jo Johnson having had the temerity to attain first-class honours degrees at university. Our PM fell short of this level of academic achievement, and I suppose he thought he could cover this up with an attempt at humour.

These are not merely immature levels of insult – they are positively childish; I’d estimate Primary 1-2 (five-six years old). On Saturday my five-year old granddaughter said to me “grandpa’s a silly daftie poo-poo”. My former primary teacher wife explained to me that she was doing what you might expect of most developing children. She was testing her language skills with an adult whom she knew to be on her side. Who would laugh if her attempt at humour worked, and who, at the very worst, would gently advise her if she had inadvertently moved away from humour and had said something that bordered on inappropriate or even hurtful.

My granddaughter and our PM were on about the same humour level here, but my granddaughter is five years old. What is Mr Johnson’s excuse!

Alex Leggatt