29 Mar 2016 at 14:33
I have been trying to work out the politics of the Petsy Wyatt deification of Bozo in the Mail on Sunday. I imagine that Dacre exploded in rage at Matt Parris’s splendid, if a little late, hatchet job and demanded that the group puff the old phoney up. Geordi Greig, who is at daggers drawn with his editor in chief, commissioned a remarkable piece from Petsy. But far from boost the blond booby it has made it almost impossible for Cameron to give him any job, let alone a big one, post 23 June.
She admits that Bozo lies, but only to get out of difficult situations. She admits that his journalistic utterings are not always accurate. She admits he breaks promises. And that Conrad Black thought it was hilarious. That old jail bird is perhaps not someone who would be on the A list of character witnesses. But I bet that Andrew Neil, his immediate boss at the Speccy, was not heaving with laughter when Bozo swore that he would never stand for election while editor. I would be amazed if he had the courage to be interviewed by his old boss.
But the most damning admission of them all is that the reason he wants to be Prime Minister is because he wants to be loved. This must have caused hysterical laughter from Messrs Major, Brown and Blair. And poor old Cameron must have nearly died of a seizure. As PM everyone hates you, the press, your colleagues and particularly your cabinet who are all plotting to trample over your lifeless political body in order to stagger over the threshold of Number 10. But the idea of asking a former mistress (whom the MOS helpfully reminded us had had a termination by him) is not going to endear him to the blue rinse brigade. Nor that he thinks that it is unreasonable for a man to have to be faithful to one woman. On reflection, I suspect that the Petsy piece was far more damaging than the Parris one.
Then there appeared to be a Dacre retaliation the next day. Former Speccie and Sunday Telegraph editor, Dominic Lawson was deployed. He wrote that he had been betrayed by Bozo too, but it was preferable to be betrayed by him than other politicians. Not quite a ringing endorsement. But hang on. Weren’t there squeals for Lawson’s resignation in 1990 over his interview with Thatcherite cabinet minister Nicholas Ridley? After a refreshing lunch the Lawson tape recorder was left on and Nick was very disobliging about the Germans and Delors. Worse, he said that Thatcher agreed with him. He had to resign within hours.
So at last the scales are falling from blood shot Fleet Street eyes. And the sentient right, in the form of Tim Montgommerie have begun to realise that to have him as their champion, let alone leader, would be as toxic as a hooker’s jock strap.
The eyes of the right have now fallen upon another favoured son, Michael Gove. I have no doubt that because, to date, he has been honourable and refuses to attack his friend Cameron, he will keep his job. And rightly so. Silly children at Number 10 put it about that he is for the chop. This is totally off piste. But to make him deputy Prime Minister is daft too. It will be slap in the face to Osborne and would lead to unnecessary tensions between him and Cameron.Despite unforced errors, he has been a success as Chancellor. Unless there is an economic catastrophe, those with marginal seats know that he has saved their bacon in 2020. And talks of moving him to the Foreign Office would be a nudge and a wink that his long term economic plan has failed. It hasn’t. So there is life in the old dog yet. I expect two names on the ballot paper; Osborne and Gove. At the end of the day the default position of the Tory Party is picking a winner. And the closest to a winner that Bozo comes to is Michael. And he died a couple of years ago.
And now the frenzied talk of there being a challenger to Cameron should we vote to REMAIN. Wishful thinking. He won the election. He has a mandate. It is the wettest of wet dreams. But just that. Backbenchers may be mad, but they are not all insane