Friday, April 28, 2006


Hypocrisy, the Default Mode for Politicians

Hypocrisy, depressingly, really does seem to be an essential element of politicians' DNA. We have the case of John Prescott, in a wonderfully old fashioned 'pants-down' scandal the like of which we have not seen since David Mellor donned(or rather, we have since been told, didn't) his Chelsea strip. Like everyone else I was astonished that a 67 year-old, visibly overweight Deputy Prime Minister should have been engaged in a steamy and very passionate two year dalliance, especially as he seemed to be so happily married to Pauline (with whom he jived so skilfully at party conferences). 'It just shows that men are all the same' commented my partner, drily, but then surprised me by saying that, even though he was pretty far along the opposite end of the scale from Brad Pitt, Prezza did have much to offer a woman: as she saw it, warmth, strength and, yes, cuddlinesss. It seems the girls will overlook an overhanging beer belly if these qualities are present- which, at least offers solace of a kind to my mates in the pub.

The hypocrisy, of course, comes in with Prezza's broadsides in the run-up to the 1997 election against Tory sleaze and how he claimed they regretted only the fact they got caught. Well, now he's got caught and it seems he had neglected to tell his boss about his little secret- maybe he feared the possible solidarity between Cherie and Pauline? Mind you, is it any surprise he didn't? I'm always amazed this is brought up; can you imagine a Cabinet minister craving a private audience with the PM to say 'I think you ought to know Prime Minister, that I'm regularly giving one to a very sexy secretary in my office.'? Men only engage in such things if they think they can keep it secret, though presumably MI5 might have known about it - most of the rest of Whitehall seemed to(yes, I know, given our security services, this does not necessarily follow).

All this gives rise to another entertaining speculation: could Tony ever, conceivably, also prove to be a philanderer? One's immediate thought is no, no, no, but that was the feeling about monochrome John Major, the 'big man in the blue underpants' as Edwina yearningly confided to her diary. But even allowing for that most unlikely of scenarios, I would eat my keyboard if Tony were ever to be revealed as having been 'at it'; as with God, I'm sure Tony 'doesn't do' adultery.

Just to maintain political balance in my post, I'd like to give a small mention to David Cameron's craven hypocrisy at trumpeting his green credentials by cycling to the Commons, carbon emissions free, but then employing a chauffeur driven Lexus to collect his clean shirt(that essential modern accoutrement of the top politico), paperwork and polished shoes. A small thing, perhaps, but in such small things do politicians reveal the truth about themselves.

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