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September 7, 2010

Right. Politics-in-relation-to-media issues are on my mind again (they are a lot, get used to it).  The Hague business to be exact. Thought I would provide a run down of what’s fueling my irritation:

Firstly, what business is it of ours who he shares a room with? I am a strong believer in the concept that how a politician conducts their private life is of no concern to the general public. I do not think it reflects on their ability to do their job, at least not any more so than any other persons life away from work effects theirs. Now, that is a sweeping statement and I do admit there are exceptions. Alcoholism and drug addiction are the main ones. However those are conditions that would effect any job performance. Having an affair does not. (Not that I believe he did. Nor do I care. And ‘no smoke without fire’ is a bloody stupid phrase)

Next, I’m rather Machiavellian in my attitude towards politicians and their morality. I don’t believe a politician has to be ‘good’, I think politics has to be a somewhat amoral business.  Politicians are people and people make mistakes. I think that expectations of politicians, at least in Britain, are far too high. They should not be regarded as superior beings or expected to be as such. They are simply people who have put themselves forward to represent others so that governing the country can be done by those who actually have an interest. Some people argue that they should act as role models, much as footballers apparently should. I’m fairly certain that children do not look to politicians for life guidance, that would frankly be a little weird. That leaves adults, who I don’t think should really have role models. Once you’ve reached maturity I don’t think blaming someone else for your actions is acceptable. Having an affair because a politician did isn’t the best defence and personally I wouldn’t except it as an excuse.  This is a long winded way of saying that the role models argument is bollocks.

Another problem I have with the story is that it all smacks of homophobia. I’m not sure that if the same thing had occurred with a female MP and her female aide there would be quite the same reaction. Two men sharing a room, well that’s a bit gay isn’t it?  They couldn’t just be reducing costs by sharing a room, or aiming to working more efficiently by actually being in the same place. Much has been made about the fact that Chris Myer’s had been hired despite not having much foreign policy. However he also worked with Hague in his shadow cabinet role so perhaps Hague just wanted someone who was familiar with the way he works. Still seems a bit gay?  Better tell the world then.  Homosexuality maybe be accepted by and large but stories like these hint at underlying prejudices that haven’t quite been shaken.

Finally, as someone in the Guardian pointed out, if it was an affair or something of that ilk then it was clumsily conducted. Surely someone having an affair would book two rooms and then only use one? Bit easier than pushing the beds together in a twin…Give the man some credit. Although he does still wear baseball caps. My only other gripe with the story is that when I saw the rumour floated in the Telegraph the week before, my money was on Osbourne. I do hate to be wrong.

So that’s my two cents. Here are some other people’s:

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