Something I passed over recently, with all the goings on in Syria and the stupid referendum at home etc., was the Keith Vaz scandal. I had intended to leave it alone after a while. I don't actually give a damn about a person's sexuality and my views on the standards set by UK politicians, most but not all anyway, are well documented.
However I do give a damn about hypocrisy, conflict of interest and dishonesty in public life. I found the thought of Keith Vaz being Chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee interrogating others and pontificating on prostitution and drugs pretty repulsive. I hope it was a joke but someone in the media suggested we needed a person with experience of these things looking into them!
That's as maybe, but we need to know that the person who says Poppers are ok uses them himself and that a person advising government on matters relating to prostitution is a customer! Prostitution has been around a long time, the original business they say. It won't go away and there may be a good case for legalising it and looking after young people who want to be prostitutes, and/or who are driven to it in desperation. Just as there may be a case for taking drugs out of the hands of criminals too.
However there are two things which drove me to blog about Keith Vaz today, some time after the scandal broke. One is that the Parliamentary Commissioner For Standards is investigating the man, which is all to the good in principle. He's no longer on the Home Affairs Committee I believe, certainly he's not Chairman anymore and I would expect his political career to be effectively over; if he's not deselected by Labour, or rejected by the voters then it's time for all decent people to leave the country.
What moved me however was something I read in 'i', the stump of the once great Independent newspaper and still a place with more intelligent writing, more plain facts and a place which is certainly less propagandist than the odious Daily Mail, Express, Sun, Times et al.
The moving article was written by a lady whose husband had 'come out' as gay. She explained how her marriage was no longer a good thing gone bad, but how she now realised it had always been flawed and false, how every memory had to be re-evaluated in the light of this new information. In her case she suffered from the added hurt that her husband will be applauded by many for his bravery in coming out while she is left to her grief and utterly unwarranted humiliation.
Mrs Vaz doesn't have to cope with applause for her husband, but all the other considerations apply, with this new information she will have to re-evaluate all that has gone before. A man who can lie to that extent to the person closest to him is unfit for any public office, end of. I hope the so called Commons Sleaze Watchdog comes to the same conclusion swiftly and without wasting too much taxpayers' money to come to the obvious and inescapable conclusion.
Malcolm Snook Author