You’ve really got to love Piers Morgan … Oh ok, you don’t, and I realised even as I was typing the words that ‘you’ve really got to love Piers Morgan’ can take its place among the more idiotic orders that have appeared here.
But back when I was training on the Mirror we were taught to try to grab your reader at the start, and with Piers something of a man of the moment, and one many seem not to like, the concept of asking you to do the opposite seemed quite grabby.
So if you’re still with me I suppose what I meant is that you really have to admire his nerve. To become the new Larry King when you leave behind you dodgy share deals (allegedly), faked photos and an ignominious departure from Fleet St takes some doing. And he has done it. Chapeau, comme on dit.
The brass neck is on display again today when in his Mail on Scumday column he suggests the most noteworthy element of TB’s book is that he is entirely omitted from it. (And no, the paper is not in the house; someone from my publishers sent me a link)
Rather than taking on the chin the clear implication that he was not as important to TB’s book as TB was to his, Piers suggests (amusingly I confess) that this was revenge for the fact that he was ‘right’ over Iraq and TB was ‘wrong’. And then we get to the real point of the column – Leonardo di Caprio recognised him!!! Joy oh joy unconfined. It is almost on a par with that felt by Peter Mandelson when President Sarkozy (allegedly) praised his strategic skills.
Piers texted me several times about Tony’s book. He was by the pool in LA. He always is when he texts me, and even if he isn’t he says he is in the mistaken belief that I will be jealous of his being in LA and by a pool. He said he was loving the book. It reminded him why he liked TB. And he was loving the fact that Peter M was barely in it. Not so much third man as third tier. So what does that make you, Johnny No Mentions?
But I do admire the way he can turn this omission into a serviceable Mail column. I wish he wouldn’t write for the scum though. It’s not as if he likes or respects them. He it was who first suggested to me Paul Dacre was secretly in love with me and so tortured by his homoerotic fantasies that he got his poodles to say terrible things about me.
He no longer needs the money, or the profile, so I suggest he scraps the column. And if he doesn’t can he write one finally explaining how, in his ‘diaries’, he managed to have tea with TB in Downing Street – in 1996!
Another ‘writer’ taking a pop at TB’s book this morning is David Cameron. I will give him the benefit of the doubt – and speculate that as he is still grieving for his father, and catching up on his paternity leave backlog, he didn’t write the piece which appears in The Observer.
Because I reckon he should take a leaf from TB’s book, and not get too snide about his predecessors. As PM, Tony – often to the annoyance of his staff – tended to stay out of whacking them, gently or otherwise, partly because every now and then he could benefit from their experience and insight, but also because he thought it made former PMs look small to be taking snide potshots at the person actually doing the job.
One of the many reasons he always had more respect for Maggie than Major was the way the latter, regular as a very boring clock, popped up annually to have a go, usually over some minor point. Cameron would be better off avoiding the same game. He does not want to be seen as small and petty. Or at least he shouldn’t want to.