Matthew Norman on Monday: Come on, Boris. It wouldn't take long to tell us about your tax

 

Strike me pink, but with the London mayoral race too close to call, Boris Johnson only turned up on time for a BBC1 interview yesterday with Superinjunctor "Andy" Marr! He isn't always so punctual, and in the updated edition of her warmly recommended Just Boris (Aurum Press, £8.99), Sonia Purnell recalls how, having dithered in returning from holiday during last summer's riots, he pitched up half an hour late for a Cobra meeting at No 10.

From this subtle power play, we may assume that Boris has contempt for David Cameron (to whom he has publicly referred, Purnell reveals, by the "c" word), believing he would make the better PM.

Mr Marr did not challenge Boris's claim that "I very much doubt I will do a big political job" after the mayoralty with so much as a Paxovian raised eyebrow. Nor, when Boris expressed his wish to close all tax avoidance loopholes – a dream targeted at Ken Livingstone Inc, you suspect, and not at Rupert Murdoch – did that lethal interviewer ask the obvious.

Curiously, we have yet to hear from Boris's elfin lips that he pays income tax on all his colossal earnings, and always has. Here, as with self-promotional TV appointments, if not Cobra meetings, promptness is of the essence. One short sentence will suffice.

 

Michael Gove's disappearing emails

A more categorical denier of leadership ambition is Michael Gove, though perhaps he needn't have bothered.

The Education Secretary is in potentially career-ending strife over his advisors' use of private email accounts in execution of public duties, and the deletion of many emails before they could be examined.

When Alastair Campbell, of all Whitehall traditionalists, blogs a rebuke for bypassing Civil Service procedure, things begin to look bleak.

Still, great to see former Times executive Govey importing News International email etiquette to government. You can take the boy out of Wapping...

 

So where do the Met's old panda cars go?

Would anyone interested in starting a mini-cab firm on the cheap care to ask the Met for the loan of some clapped-out old panda cars? I'd love to hear how you get on.

 

Battling the demon drink – Part One

If there's one thing this industry needs, it's more showbiz hacks promoted to red top editorships.

So let me put in a word for Gordon Smart, overlord of The Sun's Bizarre column, who raided a Times interview to report that self-styled "alcoholic" Paul Weller "said he faces a daily battle against the booze".

What Weller, six months on the wagon, actually said, when asked if he found it a struggle to give up, was: "Not really." A daily battle indeed, heroically waged.

 

Battling the demon drink – Part Two

This business of laying outlandish claim to alcoholism is quite the vogue.

Anne Atkins, such a delight when dispensing moralistic wisdom on Thought For The Day, tells Daily Mail readers she's a proper dipso on the basis of a little nightly wine and the struggle to get through Lent without a drop.

"When we were at university... Shaun [her vicar husband]... told me that you can be an alcoholic on just one drink a week."

Did he, love? Is that what Sean told you? And you believe it?

Ah well, we forgive Anne for she knows not of what she speaks. But until she's woken up in the graveyard covered in stomach acid-flavoured regurgitated booze, perhaps she could spare us the self-dramatising drivel, and look for a serious addiction to confront. How about the sound of her own voice?

 

Davy Jones and Liz, his precocious namesake

An even more startling Mail confession comes from Liz Jones. The queen-empress of solipsistic sanity relates how, at the age of eight, she experienced literal, physical lust for that newly deceased Monkee, Davy Jones.

"My oldest sister says I'd described watching Davy as 'like standing on the beach at Frinton, the tide tugging at my toes'," she writes, appending a "Whoosh" to hint at underage orgasm.

Really, Lizlita, for heaven's sake.

 

Keep smiling through, the way you always do

Does the BBC know what it's done by making Englebert Humperdinck its Eurovision envoy?

If outgoing director-general Mark Thompson hasn't issued the ritual sexist-ageist apology to Vera Lynn by Wednesday, I'll eat his arm.

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