So at last Number 10 has made up its mind and decided that they need White House televised press conferences to replace the behind closed doors lobby system. In theory it’s a very good idea to have a CJ Creeg figure wise cracking with the reptiles bringing transparency and the disinfectant of sunlight on the inner workings of government. Yesterday, that well known Johnson Fanzine, the Daily Telegraph, broke the news that for £100k a year you can be the face of Boris Johnson. A word of advice for those wannabe spokespersons. Don’t do it. It will destroy you.
And the reason is simple. You wont be a spokesperson you will be a lightening rod, a blood sacrifice, and the embodiment of blame in the full glare of the world’s press. And when you have been humiliated, hung out to dry and have completed a few weeks of counselling at the Priory, no media outlet will touch you when you beg for your old presenting job back as you will be tainted. And any chance of staving off penury by writing an expose on how Downing Street lied to you by setting you up as a patsy will be forbidden by the Official Secrets Act coupled with flotillas of NDAs. All for £100k a year. Anyone applying for this job should have a lengthy consultation with a psychiatrist first. Then taken into a place of safety.
What the poor fools who are getting their managements to float their names across the media don’t seem to understand is that it is not a read the autocue presenter job. You stand there naked trying to explain the inner workings of whatever bloody fool, fag packet jotting of ill thought out insanity that has emanated from Johnson or Cummings. To explain why a minister is shagging his butler in Ibiza during lockdown and stays in post. To give an instant response to some mind curdling act of political vandalism from Priti Patel. And put a spin upon Liz Truss’s celebration of an Anglo Sino trade deal in Tiananmen square, feasting on bat soup followed by fifteen courses of endangered species served by political prisoners from Hong Kong. Worse, you will have to be a confidente of Johnson. Be present at every policy discussion. And be inside his mind. Now doesn’t that send a shiver down your spine?
It is all a political con trick to kick the weekly humiliation of Johnson by Starmer into an irrelevant side show. Are people really that stupid? Sadly, they are.
The only person who has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting it right is Guto Hari. He ran PR for the News Corporation during the hacking scandal. He is former BBC. But most important of all he was Johnston’s director of communications at City Hall. And a bloody good job he did too. This man knows how to polish a turd and make it smell like Julian Clary. He is one of the few people who can get inside the Johnson head. He issued press releases that his boss was totally unaware of but was pathetically grateful for. He has a genius for making this shambling old fraud look good.
If I was Johnson I would beg Guto to do this job. I would offer him his weight in diamonds, a Royal Palace and a Dukedom. But he is a thoroughly good guy with a sound reputation which he doesn’t want trashed.
The press is licking its collective lips to see who is stupid and vain enough to be the first Downing Street wickerman.