One of the few times I appreciate and enjoy politicians is when they are caught with their trousers round their ankles. It is a charming and droll experience to discover them acting like pond-life. It does me good. Clears out the cackling tubes.
I’m always astounded how politicians believe they can get away with all kind of strange behaviour. How do their egos get so huge? Don’t they remember they were elected not because of any special quality of their own, but because of the efforts of stacks of members of their local party? Don’t they know they are public servants, not feudal barons?
And how on earth do they not realise that the price of the public life they chose involves them being observed? Is there not a hint in the title, notably the word ‘public’? So can’t they work out that – regardless of any idea of decency – if they have affairs, divert funds, peek at porn, grasp buttocks, take swings, fiddle exes, fall over or watch badgers, someone’s likely to find out?
Comfortingly average though most politicians are, they convince themselves that they are hugely gifted, even going so far as to trouble themselves about their ‘legacy’. They don’t seem to realise that the only reason they will not be forgotten is that they were never remembered.
Let me give you an example. I asked a few people recently if they remembered some mate of Theresa May getting pinched with a stack of porn on his laptop at the end of last year. Yes, they did. And his name? Cue head-scratching. No. No one could remember. ’Thingie.’
His was an embarrassing affair which I enjoyed enormously. In fact I emailed Downing Street urging the PM to keep Damien Green as her deputy. But no, she wasn’t playing and the former Police Minister was undone. In several ways.
I especially enjoyed reports that he had ‘made misleading comments’ about allegations of porn on his computer. Misleading? Like, someone says, ‘Have you got porn on your laptop?’ It’s a straight yes/no, isn’t it? You can’t ‘mislead’ in such cases. You can only tell the truth or lie through your teeth.
Damien also avowed that he was ‘not aware’ of indecent material found during a police raid. He hadn’t noticed the Old Bill showing up unannounced in his office; going through his files: asking all manner of questions about smut; muddying the carpet; and making off with various items of his property. Brilliant! ‘I never saw them, your honour.’ Even Billy Bunter did better than this!
It’s like the families minister Nadhim Zahawi, who managed to spend an hour and a half at the Presidents Club’s grope-fest in January without noticing … well, anything. He saw none of the ‘horrific’ events and ‘left early’. Which leads to the question that, if he didn’t see anything untoward, why did he leave early? It sounds like he missed a really classy do. In addition to grub and smut, there was an auction conducted by the distinguished celebrity Jonny Gould, a former Channel 5 baseball show presenter. A man at the top of his dung-hill.
But to be scrupulously fair – a feature of this column – it is possible that Damien, like Nadhim, may have been an innocent victim. Their decline into shameful knee-deep naughtiness could have been through no fault of their own. It almost happened to me.
My In Box recently included an invitation to peruse a video of ‘Russian and Ukrainian Women’. My first reaction was one of delight. I was heartened to see representatives of these countries resuming cooperation after recent hostilities. But – and this is where it gets sticky – neither Damien nor I were advised about the type of film on offer. Was its genre thriller? Slapstick? Comedy? To Damien’s probing mind, the only way to find out was to open the file. And to his surprise, he discovered it to be a rude film.
Who could have guessed?
Of course even innocents like Damien and I would be more suspicious of other messages. For example, the title bar over Ms StefHottie’s email read, ‘I wanna pounce on u!’ This is self-evidently from a women deprived of grammar and depraved of morals. Besides, the notion of being ‘pounced upon’, especially after a hearty lunch, is utterly distasteful. A person is feeling bad enough without Ms Hottie’s pounces.
Another merely said, ‘Congratulations! Open-immediately.’ Any national political leader could have assumed this to be an urgent missive from a constituent, and unthinkingly opened the file. Or his flies.
In conclusion, I would like to make it clear that I am not definitely asserting either Damien or Nadhim is unquestionably innocent. As you would expect in a well-balanced column like my own, I merely present the relevant facts; and allow the reader to come to their own ‘guilty as hell’ conclusion.