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  Opinion   Columnists  21 Jan 2022  Farrukh Dhondy | Truth and lies: A Sobhraj twist as BoJo faces more trouble…

Farrukh Dhondy | Truth and lies: A Sobhraj twist as BoJo faces more trouble…

In his words: "I am just a professional writer, which means I don't do blogs and try and get money for whatever I write."
Published : Jan 22, 2022, 12:42 am IST
Updated : Jan 22, 2022, 12:42 am IST

The defection comes as BoJo’s participation in the decadent culture of the cabal of politicians and civil servants he runs from 10 Downing

Britain’s Prime Minster Boris Johnson. (AFP file photo)
 Britain’s Prime Minster Boris Johnson. (AFP file photo)

“Leaves of grass,
Fragrant petals,
Twigs and branches
No two the same.
We are surrounded by infinities
We take them for granted
--- And yet eternities are scary!
From Om Sweet Om, by Bachchoo

The old adage says troubles come in threes. Not for Britain’s Prime Minster, the hitherto irrepressible BoJo. For him they come in thirteens — or more. The latest kick to his prolific and yet vulnerable crotch comes from a Conservative MP who on Wednesday this week, minutes before BoJo was to appear in Parliament for Prime Minister’s Question Time, announced that he was defecting and crossing the floor to join the Labour Party, the country’s main Opposition.

In his destructively-timed announcement, Bury South MP Christian Wakeford said the country needs a government that “upholds the highest standards of integrity and probity”, but told Boris Johnson: “Both you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves”.

The defection comes as BoJo’s participation in the decadent “culture” of the cabal of politicians and civil servants he runs from 10 Downing Street is under investigation for holding eleven jolly, even drunken parties for themselves when the government had decreed a lockdown which had severely prohibited just such gatherings.

The severest verdict of this investigation — chaired, incidentally, by Sue Gray, a civil servant who reports to her boss who reports directly to BoJo — will be that BoJo lied to Parliament.

That would amount to a breach of the ministerial code and no amount of subterfuge and humbug would save the poor boy from an ignominious resignation.

Very many people, including his former mistresses and Dominic Cummings, the Svengalic adviser he had dismissed from that role and service, call BoJo a chronic liar. Is that a truth about lies?

Gentle reader, I can’t say, but I do have evidence that he doesn’t tell, or perhaps doesn’t remember, in the case of one incident, the truth. Here’s the story:

I have been in my short and happy life acquainted with the convicted serial killer Charles Sobhraj. In the six or so years he lived in Paris after being released from Tihar Jail in New Delhi and then being incarcerated with a life sentence in Kathmandu, he was often in touch with me.

He would ask me sometimes absurd things: did I have any contacts in the CIA? Would I lend my citizenship credentials to help set up a front for laundering money from dodgy arms deals? And “Fa’ook, what is Red Mercury/” — many more. I can confidently say that I did know a writer who had written the history of the CIA and introduced them. I didn’t consent to having anything to do with money laundering and I found out that Sobhraj was trying to sell red mercury — a nuclear trigger — to some Arabs in Bahrain. I asked if they could have been Iraqis. He said they could. This was before the invasion of Iraq by Blair and Bush. If what Sobhraj said was true then, however much I regretted confirming it, Saddam may have been looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction. A huge international story.

I told Sobhraj he should come to London and bring his evidence. I’d introduce him to newspaper people. I was acquainted with a writer on The Spectator, whose editor at the time was one Boris Johnson. I called my writer-contact and he convened a meeting between Boris, myself and Charles Sobhraj.

At the meeting, after Sobhraj said he had evidence on his computer and recorded evidence of the meeting, BoJo said it was too big a story for his weekly and he would call a correspondent from The Telegraph.

In the end, Sobhraj decided that the money they were offering for his sensational scoop was not enough, and so nothing came of it, as he went to Kathmandu soon after and was arrested and jailed there. The entire account of my acquaintance with Charles Sobhraj is the substance of a book called Hawk and Hyena, published in India this month! (Haven’t we told you before not to use this space which we generously give you to advertise your rubbish? — Ed… Sirji, maaf keejeeyay — lekin koochh tho peyt ki pooja hone do — fd)

To continue — last year a series called The Serpent featured the crimes of Sobhraj in Thailand. After it was transmitted, a journalist on a national daily got in touch with Sobhraj who told him to verify some of what he’d told him by speaking to me. The journalist did so, and I told him that we had met with BoJo. Obviously, the journalist thought it a good angle and he asked BoJo, now the PM, for his comments. Did he meet the serial killer Charles Sobhraj with Farrukh Dhondy? BoJo told him that he met with me but never met Charles Sobhraj. A lie, but alas not to Parliament, so I can’t say I had a hand in his downfall!

That’s if truth prevails and he’s forced to resign. And then? The race to the top has already begun.

Foreign secretary Lizard Truss — known for several taxpayer-funded-few-thousand-pound lunches and also for hosting a party under the lockdown. Tch tch! Or Pritti Clueless? Oh no! If some diligent research aide reads these columns, I shall certainly spend time as Her Majesty’s guest. Or Hedgy Sunak? Hurrah! Free ports and tides of drugs…

Tags: boris johnson, 10 downing street
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi