Saturday, January 21, 2006

Oatengate Part 2

The News of the World reports:


Mark Oaten tonight resigned as the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman after he was confronted by the News of the World over an affair with a rent boy.

In a statement the 41-year-old father of two apologised for the “embarrassment” he had caused to his family and party.

News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner said that Mr Oaten’s announcement came after he was confronted with details of the affair with the 23-year-old rent boy by the paper’s reporters.

The two most sensible comments on this that I have read this evening are as follows.

Europhobia writes:

The Liberal Democrats just got a lot more press coverage, but again for all the wrong reasons: BBC - Oaten resigns over rent boy claim.

Yep - that's rent boy. (So much worse than simply "prostitute" don't you think? Got those added layers of objectification and hints of paedophilia - after all, when was the last time you saw a 23-year-old man referred to as a "boy" in any other context?)

And Stephen Tall writes:
I am left scratching my head in utter bewilderment that he could have considered standing for the leadership of the party - to succeed a man who was forced to resign because of personal problems - when this story was lingering in the shadows.

1 comment:

Angus J Huck said...

The whole affair stinks of humbug.

In 2004, the Blairite ultra-loyalist, the Reverend Chris Bryant MP, appeared on the gay dating site, "Gaydar", dressed only in a pair of loose-fitting Y-fronts, with the legend: "I like a good long f**k."

Did Bryant resign in disgrace, or even offer a humble apology? Er, not exactly. He accused the newspaper responsible for the revelation of violating his privacy. He had done nothing wrong, he said, and indeed, he hadn't.

Look what Tom Driberg got away with. Driberg had an encyclopoedic knowledge of the public lavatories of Europe. He had field tested every glory hole in the land. In fact, he succeeded in finding the only working "cottage" in Moscow for his friend, Guy Burgess. His importuning of Labour colleagues was legendary. Indeed, on one occasion, he performed fellatio on Aneurin Bevan in a House of Commons office.

Yet the press covered up for Driberg. Never once was his behaviour exposed to the electorate. Why? Because he was an arch today and buyer of drinks. Even "Private Eye" protected him, because he wrote their crossword.

"News of the Screws" reporters are all paragons of virtue as we know. They speak from the very pinnacle of the moral high ground.

You bet this story wouldn't have appeared without Murdoch's personal say-so. And doubtless the stories about Cameron which were ready to run got pulled on Murdoch's personal say-so. What does this tell us about the media's agenda?