The fawning sycophancy offered to London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson by the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph is touching, but utterly delusional: they may pay Bozza £270k a year for a weekly column of dubious quality and yet more dubious veracity, but the people with the real leverage on the Tory leadership front runner are the Murdoch mafiosi.
And that is why, when they want him to dash off an article matching their particular requirements, Bozza appears in the Sun. Because Rebekah Brooks and Creepy Uncle Rupe have got the SOB by the short hairs. One day we will discover what dirt they have on him, but in the meantime there is the spectacle of Telegraph hacks wasting their time to laugh at. And full value in that category is provided by Allison Pearson.
After Beth Rigby of Sky News put Bozza on the spot at his campaign launch, which was summarised by the broadcaster “'People who have worked with you do not think you are fit to be prime minister’ … @BethRigby challenges @BorisJohnson on his previous controversial comments. He apologises for any offence caused but says he'll ‘continue to speak as direct as I can’”, Ms Pearson went into full condescending mode.
“Beth Rigby’s diction is very unclear. She upbraided Boris about his ‘character’. Boris: ‘My parrot?’” That had sweet Fanny Adams to do with diction, and rather more to do with Bozza trying to deflect (as usual). But a very Stateside right-wing tactic: “you didn’t speak clearly enough, so your point is automatically invalid”. Ba-lo-nee.
Ms Rigby’s colleague Lewis Goodall was unimpressed. “Absolute nonsense. @BethRigby was putting the words of his own fellow party members and ministers back to him. It was a legitimate and vital question and one of the few he’s taken. If Mr Johnson wants a more conversational approach he should agree to do some proper interviews”. Quite.
So Ms Pearson decided to dig herself deeper. “Absolute nonsense back. Boris’s comments on the burka are quite a moderate version of most Britons’ views. His original column was actually a rather nuanced articulation of why it shouldn’t be banned”. Only she can speak for “most Britons”. Most bigots, more like.
But her words had fallen on very stony ground indeed, not least with Kay Burley. “Allison, if you keep having a pop at our highly respected political editor and my wonderful buddy @BethRigby you and I are going to fall out, sister … Pack it in now”. Ouch!
And, just to show that the pushback is coming not just from others at Sky News, Susie Boniface aka Fleet Street Fox has also weighed in with “When you've produced an objective column about Boris Johnson that doesn't wang on about how he makes you feel, please let us know”. Ouch again! Perhaps Ms Pearson is now getting the message.
All that grovelling to Bozza. All the money, yes, spaffed up the wall by the Tel. And they don’t even have first dibs on his loyalty. He wouldn’t give the deeply unpleasant Ms Pearson the time of day. And soon, vey few of her fellow journalists will, either.
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