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If Bake-Off Hollywood's Over What About Boris?

22/05/2013 14:55 BST | Updated 22/07/2013 10:12 BST

Shock! Horror! Daily Mail columnist talks sense! Well, Sandra Parsons has increasingly become the intelligent, empathetic, sensible heart of a paper which has a habit of attacking with all the subtlety, ferocity and, yes, brutal success, of an out-of-control Gatling gun.

She rightly admonishes Bake Off hunk Paul Hollywood for allegedly abandoning his beautiful wife and running off with a clearly smitten but doomed-to-fail younger lover, calling it 'stupendously stupid', not just for potentially destroying his happy family but his career too.

He was loveable because he was a doting, broody family man who looked more interested in buns than, well, buns. Cheeky, charming, a little bit stern but, as the famous cake advert almost went, nice not naughty.

Now he's just another bad egg, reportedly betraying his loyal wife for a hedonistic pursuit of carnal delights. His astonishingly large legion of female fans are unlikely to forgive, Sandra claims. He was, after all, unattainable. That's what made him an object for lust. Now we know that he's as fallible and untrustworthy as all men, whose love of tarts isn't as innocent as once seemed. Well, you can't have your cake AND eat it.

Or can you?

Boris Johnson seems to have cornered the market in having and eating. A renowned lothario with a lovechild, he's still probably the most admired, or perhaps recognised, politician in the country. Why that should be so is difficult to answer - he's not quite the buffoon we all fell for years ago but he still retains that shambolic, witty insouciance that sets him apart from the grey dullards wrapped up in Machiavellian shenanigans at the House of Commons.

But however much we like to laugh at Boris he's still the only Tory politician, aside from David Cameron, who the entire country can recognise from a photo. In fact he may well be the only other politician of any colour (blue, red or yellow) that the disenchanted electorate can name. And that's a powerful weapon in one's armoury.

Most people know he's a bit of a joke, many also know he's betrayed his wife and has a lust for power that outstrips even his lust for women. Yet they like him. And would, in all probability, prefer him as Prime Minister than all the other non-blondes.

So why does a philandering chef ruin his career but his political partner in crime become a national icon?

Is it because we assume that Boris and his ilk already have twisted morals since politics is a pretty ruthless business, that the concept of Parliament is sadly so corrupt that we expect them to behave badly, that we have always imagined the ruling class habitually do to each other what they end up doing to the rest of the country - despite best intentions?

Or is it something more deep-rooted in our arcane class structure? There has always been one rule for us (the proles) and one for them (the foppish, ruling intelligentsia). We like to think our humble roots shape and protect our moral code, whilst the aristos and their faux hangers-on have no need for such a code. They're above all that.

Morals are what keep our feet on the ground, make us better than them in spite of our lack of wealth, power and in-breeding. The code is our safety harness, protecting us from society's murky heights.

So Boris can have a child out of wedlock because, well, that's quite normal for that lot isn't it? Whilst Paul will never be forgiven for throwing off his apron - and everything else - for a Swiss roll in the hay.

They say power corrupts. Perhaps fame does too.