Monday, May 31, 2010

Matthew Parris on the "Foul Hypocrisy of David Laws' Downfall"

Like Iain Dale yesterday, Matthew Parris has got the Laws issue spot on today in the Times. Here's what he says about why Laws, at 44, may have felt unable to come clean about his sexuality:

You start by declaring nothing — and friends and family assume there’s nothing to declare. You find yourself, by your silence, playing along with a lie you never meant to tell.

Imperceptibly, but in the end fatally, the outer self diverges from the inner. And whenever you grit your teeth and resolve to blurt it out, there’s always a mother who might be heartbroken, a dad who’d be devastated, a boss who’d be contemptuous, mates whose trust you might lose, or a frail grandma for whom this might just prove the final blow. The years go by, the gap widens and calcifies.

He concludes by explaining why so few politicos 20-odd years ago would have wanted to 'come out':

Maureen Colquhoun, then an MP, was pulled apart, and sank, never to resurface. Later, Chris Smith survived. As an ex-MP in 1987 I endured a brief weekend of sniggering in the News of the World, but lived to tell the tale. And what was it we all feared in those not-so-distant days? It was the vengeful hatred of newspapers such as The Daily Telegraph.

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