Byline: GEOFFREY LEVY
LIKE so many old aphorisms, the one that proclaims Cheats Never Prosper is based more on wishful thinking than on reality. No one proves how credulous and gullible we have become more than Jeffrey Archer.
All his life he has lied and cheated to better himself. Usually his fabrications have been accepted without question, and when questioned he has been given the benefit of the doubt.
Long after he was first exposed as a serial liar with major question marks against his character he was still being treated like one of the great and good. He was appointed deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, elevated to the House of Lords and, currently, was the popular choice to represent the Tories in the race to be the first Mayor of London overseeing a budget of billions.
He had also made an estimated [pounds sterling]60million largely from writing novels. Not bad for a man with no A-levels and who failed English O-level, personal details that were, as we shall see, denied his early employers.
Not even Jeffrey would have dared invent a fictional figure so outrageous, so untruthful, as himself.
So completely has he created confusion about his life that the only safe way to separate fantasy from reality is to go back to his beginnings, about which the noble Lord has talked in detail and at length.
For example, Jeffrey Archer has always said he was born in Somerset. In fact he was born on April 15 1940 in the City Road area of inner London and taken off to Somerset by his mother, as were thousands of other children, to avoid the Blitz.
His late father, William Archer, described himself as a journalist on Jeffrey's birth certificate.
At various times when Jeffrey Archer was a young politician of growing celebrity, he would talk …