The other day, a journalist working for Associated Newspapers approached the Heresiarch enquiring if I had any privileged information I'd like to share about the Chelsea Five. He'd been nosing around my by-now notorious dungeon, just as a colleague of his had done some weeks previously. Sadly, but perhaps appropriately, his email got trapped in my spam filter and I didn't discover it until this morning, by which time the moment had passed. In the event, he and his colleague did manage to piece together most of the available information, resulting in a fairly trashy article in this morning's Mail. True to form, the paper concentrated on the most salacious details - often exaggerated - claiming to have discovered a "dark and disturbing subculture" which is "far more prevalent than we might have imagined". Among other travesties, the Mail compared the charming and talented Miss D to prostitute/blogger "Belle de Jour".
I realised something might be up when I noticed, poring obsessively over my stats as is my wont, that several people had found their way to the dungeon by Googling the phrase "her client book is dynamite" - a reference to Mistress A's alleged contacts in high society. The Mail attributed it merely to "one internet blog" - unlike the last time the Heresiarch's efforts got a mention in the national press, when the journo nicking my work had the good grace to give Heresy Corner a plug. Still, I can't take the credit: the phrase is (as I made plain) my translation of an article that appeared in a French magazine. I also described it as "rather gossipy": Son fichier clients, c'est de la dynamite. Il fait trembler les cabinets ministériels et les bureaux les mieux retranchés de Whitehall. I didn't say I believed it, or disbelieved it. I have no idea. Perhaps the journalist who wrote it, François Caviglioli, has better sources than his British counterparts, who seem to rely for their information on snooping around blogs.
The Mail was not the only mainstream media organisation to find its way to the Heresiarch's dungeon last week. I also heard from a nice lady at the BBC, and was pleased to give her such few pointers as were in my (very limited) gift. Having learned rather more about the situation, she described the milieu of Max and his friends as "a world which, unknowingly, I might initially have judged using the same stereotypes." My thoughts exactly.