As alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson continues to make appointments to his team, with varying reactions - Labour’s Jon Trickett has already called for Chloe Westley to go, following revelations about her endorsement of Anne Marie Waters - one voice from the Pundit Establishment has been dropping heavy hints.
That voice belongs to the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, at present continuing his pretence of being a real journalist at the Mail on Sunday, where he is alleged to be deputy political editor. Cole has more than a little in common with Johnson: he wants to be liked by his peers, he has cultivated a moderately shambolic personality, and he is a nailed-on Grade A ocean-going shit of no discernible principle.
An absolute Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
As such, like Johnson he instinctively has an eye on the main chance, a desire for advancement, however undeserving he might be. So yesterday morning when he mused “Call me old fashioned but should one’s country ask you to serve it is the height of arrogance to refuse” (the punctuation never improves, does it?), it should have surprised no-one that eyebrows were raised. Even if he was talking about Steve Baker.
Mark di Stefano of BuzzFeed News asked if it might be “Special adviser Harry Cole?” while Jonn Elledge cautioned “Depends what your country is asking you to do”. Entries on a postcard, and all that. Susie Boniface, aka Fleet Street Fox, chose to give Master Cole a prod. "'The country' hasn't asked any of them”. This provoked an interesting reaction.
“Hate to break this to you but…” But what? One former soldier gave him another prod. “If Corbyn asked you to serve, would you agree? Or if a position wasn’t clear cut and right, would you agree? Why step up if you might end up stepping down because you disagree. Better to not stand and let another take the opportunity”. Was he talking generally, or specifically about Johnson and a role in his Government? Or just Baker?
Cole continued with the terse but still heavy hints. "The if asked there is key”. Bloody hell, even Lyndon Johnson was more verbose when he refused his party’s nomination to serve another term as President. There is one thing Cole watchers know of old - he is unable to keep totally schtum when it would serve his purposes best to do so.
Well, if he has been offered something by Johnson, he should take up the offer, because right now he is as clueless as ever. Consider his observation “‘The European Union will treat the new PM with respect.. due to his office’ - Dublin really are quite rattled aren’t they”. No they aren’t. And the Telegraph’s Europe editor has what Cole missed.
“Incoming Johnson administration being warned that 'no deal' means passing legislation to bring 'direct rule' back to Northern Ireland … This will be politically utterly toxic - and put UK and Irish govt on collision path” told Peter Foster.
If Andrew Gilligan is fit to be a transport advisor to Johnson - the post to which he has just been appointed - then Master Cole may be close behind. He should stop hinting and bite Johnson’s hand off. He might actually learn something from the experience.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at