This morning’s Sun front page had a mock up of a picture of a man. It was instantly recognizable because everyone had seen the original picture anyway: both me and Mrs Treasure had been independently shown it on people’s phones yesterday.
Also this morning I had a discussion with fellow dog walkers in the park about the man whose picture could not be shown but which we had all seen. I had the same conversation with Mrs Treasure last night. She had previously had it with her workmates, and they had been having it with each other when she came into the room. It seems to be what people get round to talking about when talking about the man in the picture everyone has seen but which cannot be shown. Last night Sky news insisted on framing the issue as one of ‘intrusion into the lives of the Royal Family’. That, in a highly specific sense, is what the conversation involves.
It's also a conversation only the public can have, which is no bad thing. It’s not exactly a mind changer, or a matter of urgent public interest. Having the red tops and the Mail crawl all over it would inject an atmosphere of malice that you don’t get right now when people have that conversation. It’s just something people enjoy themselves with for a few minutes before they go on to talk about other things. And it’s nice to be able to have such conversations without big media barging in and insisting on setting the agenda. Some secrets are best kept open.