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Tuesday 12 February 2013

Steerpike And The Fleet Street Fox

So the supposedly anonymous Fleet Street Fox has now been proudly revealed, by the Spectator’s Steerpike column, to be Susie Boniface. That would be just over nine months after this blog: Zelo Street pitched that name back in May last year, and at least two others named her even earlier than that. But, as I’ll show, the author of this column has a track record of being behind the news.

Ms Boniface claims to have come clean because she has a book out: this, too, is about her no longer anonymous alter ego. And she is moving upmarket, to the Murdoch Times no less, probably a step up from the Mirror, which joined in the pretence that her identity was a secret. But at least she is coming clean of her own accord. If only others could learn the lesson.

After all, the same hurdle was faced by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, in the days when he mistakenly believed that he could hide behind his alias of Guido Fawkes (the Fawkes blog, laughably, was talked of by Susie Boniface in the manner of a trusted brand, when it garnered a lousy 4% positive trust rating in a recent poll). Staines’ anonymity did not survive his encounter on Newsnight.

And, as the Guardian’s Michael White did the deed and named him, Staines, instead of realising that he had been caught fair and square, and that it was pointless presenting himself to the media and hoping to remain anonymous, went on a long and as yet unfinished campaign of vindictiveness against White and his paper. Perhaps he believes there is a cloaking device in it for him.

I write a brilliant column, cos I'm on telly!

Now it seems that Staines’ experience is having to be learned over again: over at the Speccy, the wobbles in the grammar of the Steerpike column demonstrate that a pretentious attempt to mask his own style – or lack of it – is not going to make a proper columnist out of the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, tame gofer to The Great Guido.

That Master Cole has fetched up at the Speccy should surprise no-one: this is, after all, the rag that the most rabid Tory spin-doctors know will publish anything and everything they leak (pace Dominic Cummings, as I noted yesterday), its editor has been first with a post-Leveson mardy strop, and the whole thing underscores the selling out of the Guido Fawkes blog to the MSM.

And, as I’ve shown recently (see HERE, HERE and HERE), the Fawkes blog is developing a habit of being late with the news or cadging others’ material. So it’s no surprise to see one if its authors bringing the ability to be behind the news cycle to the Speccy.

All that and a grovelling free pass for Susie Boniface. Another fine mess, once again.

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