Once again, our free and fearless press finds itself under scrutiny, not just for what it does publish, but for what it does not. And when the subject of what it does not publish concerns London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, the man who would be Prime Minister, it matters to all of us.
After the well-documented Domestic between Bozza and his partner Carrie Symonds was read, inwardly digested and thoroughly analysed last week, rumours began to circulate that the row as published was only the tail end of a rather longer exchange of views between the less than totally happy couple. And the subject of the opening salvoes from Ms Symonds are believed to concern Bozza’s lack of fidelity towards her.
Perhaps it did not occur to her at the time, but the very fact that she began a relationship with The Great Man when he was supposed to be married to second wife Marina Wheeler should have told Ms Symonds that her new man had a tendency to be distracted by women other than his current partner. But as she is well connected in the media world, it was never going to take long for her to get up to speed on the subject.
So it was no surprise when Nick Tolhurst told “2 UK newspapers have info on an additional Boris Johnson affair which was the source of argument with Carrie Symonds but have yet to publish”. The press knows, and indeed, anyone who subscribes to Popbitch knows. Heck, just spending a few minutes searching on the browser of your choice and at least one illicit Bozza liaison will be revealed. Maybe more than one.
Worse, as it is more than likely that Ms Symonds confronted Bozza with evidence of his wanderings at the start of that Domestic, there are now worries among The Great Man’s cheerleaders not only that she named names, but also that she named them loudly enough for the recording of the argument to contain them.
That concern has clearly got to Bozza’s pals at the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, and there is no more desperate hack there than Christopher “No” Hope, who has tried to discredit any audio evidence by offering “Carrie Symonds' flat builder breaks silence as he claims walls are so thick neighbours could not hear motorbike revving”. The outside walls, maybe. But not the internal ones. Nice try, but still no hope.
Hope has no hope of keeping l’affaire Bozza (or maybe that should read les affaires Bozzas) out of the news. The names being circulated are well-enough known that no amount of that legendary press Omertà will hold back the news. One bip on the social media throttle and it’ll be out there. And once one paper summons the courage to run the story, it will be like the Domestic - the herd instinct will take over.
The Bozza story the Murdoch Sunday Times has offered up today - something from 30 years ago that can be brushed off as another of those Mere Youthful Indiscretions - is just a smokescreen. It’s mere damage limitation, a distraction to con the public into thinking that the press really is on The Great Man’s case. Don’t fall for it.
Those who said Bozza was a potential security risk were right. You can’t have a Prime Minister wandering off because he can’t keep his trousers zipped up. More to come.
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