Tom Bower, serial author of unauthorised biographies and husband of Bozza favourite Veronica Wadley, became briefly famous in 2009 when Richard “Dirty” Desmond launched a libel action against him over a reference in a biography of disgraced former Telegraph owner Conrad Black. Desmond lost the action, and infamously then retold the story, as did the Express and Daily Star, as if he had actually won.
Bower may now by in his 70s, but we all have to bring the dosh in somehow, and whatever the nature of his targets, one cannot object to free dissenting speech, or, indeed the taint of opportunism surrounding his latest venture Dangerous Hero. This is yet another unauthorised biography, this time of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. It has been snapped up for serialisation by the Mail on Sunday - starting today.
Hence the thundering front page headline “Dangerous. Incompetent. Chaotic with money. A devastating book reveals why Corbyn is totally … UNFIT FOR OFFICE”. It would have been unexpected had the headline come out any other way.
So what does Glen Owen’s article teasing the serialisation tell us? “JEREMY CORBYN was last night condemned as ‘not fit to govern’ following a devastating new exposé by one of Britain’s leading investigative authors”. Like Jezza gets slagged off every day by the Tories and their pals in the press establishment. Film at 11.
The online sub-headings don’t improve matters, either: “Bombshell new book set to add to political pressures mounting on Labour leader … Author spent 18 months on A Dangerous Hero: Corbyn’s Ruthless Plot for Power … Devastating expose reveals truth behind end of relationship with Jane Chapman … Chapman told author she left Corbyn in 1979 because life with him was so arid”. Yes, well. There’s a teensy problem here.
Corbyn did not have a “plot for power”, ruthless or otherwise, and only stood in the 2015 Labour leadership election because it was his turn to be the “token leftie”. He did not expect to win - well, not at the time he put his name forward. So what else is there?
Well, apart from Ms Chapman’s recollection of her life with Jezza, there is “Soon after the break-up of the marriage, Corbyn embarked on a year-long affair with Diane Abbott, who is now his Shadow Home Secretary … The closeness between Corbyn and Abbott has led to claims that she is ‘bombproof’ in the party, despite a series of political gaffes”.
Political gaffes like what? Ms Abbott forgot her figures during a radio interview. Or are we supposed to consider being ambushed by mercenary hack Isabel Oakeshott on Question Time a gaffe on her part? But enough: this pudding is being over-egged to a ridiculous degree. Bower has nothing to reveal that is not already known.
But with Corbyn’s Brexit compromise garnering serious attention and approving comment in Brussels, it is inevitable that the right-wing press is going to pile in. In the case of the MoS, that has run to 20 pages of knocking copy today.
It didn’t work at the last General Election. It won’t work now. That is all.
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