Sunday, May 30, 2010


More Thoughts On Departure of David Laws

So it came to pass. The tenner I won from my brother who bet he wouldn't have to resign is the first, and quite possibly will be the only benefit I'll receive from this hybriid government. His departure has left a rather big hole in the joint team. The Lib Dems clearly felt they wanted to keep Laws' high profile post to emphasise how important they are to the new set up; lets hope they don't regret this once the opprobium for massive cuts gets to be handed around.

Barbara Ellen is a columnist who often devotes her weekly space to amusing frivolities, but today she nails Laws for claiming:

"My motivation throughout has not been to maximise profit but to simply protect our privacy and my wish not to reveal my sexuality."

She challenges this claim given the options available to him:

Look at his options: he could have declined to claim for rooms, period, or he could have rented from someone else, and in both instances kept his gayness completely secret. Surely Laws would have preferred to take these options if, as he claims, privacy and secrecy were his prime concerns. There seems no single good reason to take the risk of linking himself in this way with(James) Lundie.

This thought had rather occurred to me too. Laws suggests there was some kind of obligation incumbent on him to tell all about his sexuality if he told the Fees Office he was paying rent to someone it might be proved he was having a relationship with. It just doesn't add up. Moreover, Laws' admitted brilliance in his former job had made him a multi- millionaire: why risk the job for which his life was intended for a lousy few thousand quid? Ellen suggests he was just plain greedy and maybe he was; I suspect he was plain stupid, neglecting to check if the 2006 rule change had a nearing on his situation.

Political careers have been lost over less- as fellow gay person Peter Mandelson will attest. But here's my theory about both mens' attitudes towards their own sexuality. Both had grown up in a world where homophobia was dominant and discretion essential. Such public attitudes can implant feelings of guilt and shame and it becomes a natural defence mechanism to be secretive, a habit which is hard to change even though attitudes have liberalised almost to the point of indifference.

He also claimed as part of his wanting 'privacy' argument that he kept his finances separate from those of his gay lover.

But in organising the payments scam, he had done just the opposite - made them directly connected.
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