Dark days for the ConDemNation today as Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws wakes up to the galling realisation that he has been outed. The mainstream media (even the SUN!) seems to be playing the ball and not the man on this one…apart from the Sun referring to a ‘homosexual relationship’, which, if we were being pernickety, we might suggest sounds a little aspidistra and loafers for 2010.
(Note that the Daily Mail is the predictable exception on this one with ‘Treasury's new axeman David Laws funnelled £40,000 of taxpayers' money to secret gay lover’…still not over Peter Wildeblood are we Daily Fail?)
So, while the vultures circle and Laws gets whatever punishment is coming to him for, let’s face it, a pretty despicable bit of selfishness, Scriptonite whiffs a breath of fresh air….because the story here is not that David Laws is gay, but that he is a hypocrite.
If we look at most of the outings we see in the media they general follow a similar theme: family man actually a big fat gayer…to surmise.
In New South Wales, Australia, Transport Minister David Campbell resigned yesterday having used his ministerial car to drive to Kens at Kensington….a gay sauna. Problem was he is married with children. His wife also has cancer. He also issues Christmas cards of him and his family and campaigned on the tired old platform of being a ‘good family man’.
In the UK in recent years Mark Oaten, Liberal Democrat leadership hopeful saw himself consigned to the political long grass after it was revealed he had indulged in the naughties with various rent boys over the years while…you guessed it…being married with children and presenting himself as a ‘good family man’. Simon Hughes, also Liberal Democrat , also during a leadership race, also packed off to the fringes following his outing…the kicker being his particularly homophobic campaign in the Bermondsey by election of 1983 (where he won his first seat) against gay Labour candidate Peter Tatchell…his leaflets stating that voted had a ‘straight choice’.
In the US in March this year anti-gay rights uber-Republican senator Roy Ashburn (and divorced father of four) came out following a drink driving conviction and allegations he frequented a gay club during his joyride. He had recently opposed a bill for a day of recognition for murdered gay rights activist Harvey Milk, voted against expanding anti-discrimination laws and also opposed recognition of out of state gay marriages.
The point is, the story in this case is NOT within this paradigm. We are in a time when the line from government is - we all need to accept the cuts-are-a-coming. There is also an astonishing conservative line of getting rid of all these so called ‘non jobs’ in the public sector (see: nurses, doctors, counsellors, outreach programme workers). In this context, the fiddling of expenses in this most audacious of fashions by an ex investment banker who is rumoured to be independently wealthy IS the story of the day. Should he lose his position? Depends…. I’d be interested to see him pay the money back in order to pay for his crimes and then be a contribution rather than a pilferer of national resources. Although I’m at pains to see how a man who has so clearly caught feathering his own nest is going to garner faith and trust while stripping the feathers from ours…