As I tap these keys, I am for the umpteenth time listening to Boris Johnson squirming and blustering his way around his interview with Eddie Mair on the Marr Show yesterday morning. Car crash telly or not, it certainly bears several listens. The depths of Boris’s depravity emerges from the car crash bit by bit. There is so much of the ooze that you can’t mop it all up in one go.
Boris Johnson told Eddie Mair that he most certainly does dispute the facts as presented to him, on all three of the substantive allegations. However, Boris falls back on time constraints to refuse to challenge any one of these allegation, at least not to my satisfaction.
One of these allegations is considerably more serious than the other two. Boris tries to pass it off as a joke. Lying about consensual sex with an adult, even to your party leader is no great crime in my book. The quote thing may or may not be particularly serious. I am not going to judge on that. However, what about his role the planning of a violent assault?
Does the fact that Boris Johnson’s friend didn’t actually carry through his threat to break the bones of a journalist prove that this was always a joke? Certainly not. All the evidence is that today’s Mayor of London believed he was party to a threat to do serious bodily harm to an innocent party, then refused to do anything to put a stop to it.
On the face of it Boris did appear to want to play a part in bringing about this assault. Even if he now claims he only said what he said to get his friend off the phone, to humour him, hoping the problem would disappear, like the falling tree in the wood that made no sound. However, what did Boris Johnson do to stop this crime? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Why did he not try to talk sense into his friend? Why did he do a Pontius Pilate? By refusing to challenge his friend’s moment of madness (if that is what it turned out to be), he could, at the very least, be responsible by an act of omission, thereby playing a role in a serious crime? Why did he not care that his indifference to the planning of such a crime could lead to his friend serving a lengthy prison term? Why did he not tell his friend that he would, if necessary, go to the police to see that he could not get away with this?
Boris Johnson not only used time constraints to refuse to challenge the facts as presented to him by Eddie Mair; he said he had no intention of watching Michael Cockerell’s programme. That begs the question as to why he does not care that these allegations are going to be aired against him in a major documentary, with massive pre-publicity that will guarantee a very substantial audience.
Does Boris Johnson hope that by pretending he never watched the programme, he can continue to refuse to give his side of this story, his justification for the part he played in the planning of a violent assault?