The Prime Minister’s supporters will hope that this detail in Peter Oborne’s column today is not true:
A fresh embarrassment concerns Rebekah Brooks, who providentially retained the text messages she received from the Prime Minister, which I’m told could exceed a dozen a day. These may now be published, a horrible thought.
Now "I’m told" and "could" allow for some doubt. But the quantity of texts zipping between Ms Brooks and Mr Cameron is not the only problem, so too is their frequency. I cannot think the Prime Minister’s reputation will be enhanced by the disclosure that he was in contact with Ms Brooks almost every day. Indeed, if what Peter suggests could be true actually is true then we will be left with the impression that Mr Cameron spent more time wooing Ms Brooks than he did his own wife. That won’t end well either.
Until now I’ve thought the Murdochpalooza embarrassing but something the Conservatives can survive. But the possibility there could be a trove of DC to RB texts begins to make one wonder if matters could yet take a turn for the worse. If nothing else it all makes the Prime Minister seem weak, weak, weak. The public may be a hypocritical bunch of sods at the best of times but they still, at least occasionally, want to see their Prime Minister behaving in a vaguely dignified fashion. They don’t, I think, want him texting tabloid newspaper editors a dozen times a day. It is the sort of thing that can ruin a chap’s reputation.
Peter’s column overstates, I think, the extent to which Murdochpalooza grips Britain or can really be considered "the defining story of our age". But that is Peter’s style. This government is Cock o’ the North one week and Cock-a-leekie the next. Even so, these can’t be comfortable times in Downing Street and there is an awkward sense that, what with this and the economy and everything else, the waters are slowly rising…