On that bombshell
Yesterday I said I had been told the story about John Prescott's affair "was a bombshell to Prescott's colleagues and family". A few of you raised eyebrows to that word "bombshell".
Reader George Mason said:
How can you say you Prescott's escapades are a bombshell when the majority of lobby journalists and even research assistants in Parliament have declared this to have been a long-term open secret?
And blogger Guido Fawkes wrote: "It was hardly a bombshell to the lobby or his colleagues."
I should have been more precise. This relationship revealed at this time was a bombshell. The phrase 'long-term open secret' is journalistic code for 'everyone's heard the gossip but no-one's proved it because if they had they would have printed it'.