The sudden demise and subsequent arrest of Owen Jones’s recently recruited colleague at the Independent, Luke Bozier, can’t pass without mention. Not, of course, because of the Indy’s poor judgement — their gullibility had already been revealed in reporting his defection last January under the absurdly exaggerated headline “Senior Labour adviser defects to the Tories,” which caused Mark Ferguson at LabourList to admit his embarrassment “that a paper I have admired could honestly find this newsworthy,” and prompted Political Scrapbook to reveal the more mundane reality of Luke’s job history.
I had decided against it on Friday. It appeared that Bozier’s tendency to exaggeration may have featured not only on his CV but also in advertisements soliciting for sex on Craigslist. The story appears at “tech, media and politics” magazine The Kernel, but be warned that , if you follow this link, you are only one further click away from pictures alleged to be of Mr Bozier that are “NSFW” (Ed: “Not Safe For Work” – internet content at best inappropriate for viewing at work, and which could get you fired).
Most seriously, that link appears to provide evidence that Bozier has membership of a site on which photographs of underage girls are regularly posted by members, and the immediate reaction of Louise Mensch, his business partner, was to inform the police and terminate their business relationship.
Not, I thought, a suitable subject for Guido’s usual mockery under the tag “Totty Watch“. He didn’t even mention the child porn angle, although he did report that Louise Mench had reported the matter to the police. Bozier has not yet been charged, and, even if he is, he remains entitled to a fair trial.
But since Bozier has been arrested on suspicion of “viewing or possessing indecent images of children“, we can perhaps be permitted to breathe a sigh of relief that he did defect. That Cameron welcomed him, too, even quoting him at Prime Minister’s Questions. Not everyone regretted his departure: Dan Hodges, for example, always reliable on such occasions, though he thought Luke was wrong nevertheless said:
I’m sorry Luke Bozier has left Labour. And I hope he comes back. Because he’s a much better man than several of those he’s left behind.”
Or perhaps not! As no doubt even Dan thinks now, with the benefit of hindsight. Peter Watt, under the headline “My good friend Luke Bozier” wrote an impassioned piece: “if we can’t attract people like Luke into our ranks of members, supporters and voters then in my view we have a problem,” he said. A bit embarrassing especially now that he’s the Director of Child Protection Advice and Awareness at the NSPCC. He wasn’t to know, of course. None of us could have predicted what accusations would be made against Luke. Most Tories are not paedophiles, after all.
What we did know was that he had some opinions that had nothing to do with Labour values, he was frequently wrong, self-serving and plain daft. He first featured on this website for his views on the odds stacked against Blairites who want to get on in politics in Ed Miliband’s Labour Party. The odds have just got rather worse for Luke Bozier, whichever party (if any) has him as a member.