Well, the cruder types do in their comments on the seedier sites (Guido, the Mail …).
For the generality, though, in this enlightened day and age, nobody gives a hoot what consenting adults do behind closed doors.
With certain exceptions.
- You don’t make a song-and-dance out of your knickers (witness Nadine Dorries).
- You don’t claim your porn on parliamentary expenses (witness Jaqui Smith).
- You don’t take money and then double-claim it on your cheat sheet (witness David Laws).
- You don’t aggressively strut your stuff unless you are prepared for the snidery (witness Peter Mandelson).
- And you don’t get into a leg-over position, as well as having a knees-under-desk one in the military-intelligence nexus, unless you are prepared for MI5 to take an interest in your comings and goings (that’s the legacy of Profumo-Keeler-Ivanov).
The last of those is particularly relevant here.
We can reasonably be sure that Liam Fox was checked over long before he was enstooled as Grand Panjandrum at the MoD. Probably early in 2005, when he succeeded, as the shadow minister, Michael Ancram, the 13th Marquess of Lothian and therefore, most definitively, one of us — though, hardly coincidentally, another Bullingdon clubber.
Any doubts or difficulties, then or subsequently, would have passed across the desk of Jonathan Evans, DG of the Security Service, and from him to GOD himself (the almighty Gus O’Donnell).
In the current disposition, such wrinkles might then be vouchsafed to GOD’s representative on earth, David Cameron.
If Mr Werrity didn’t crop up in all that, it would be incompetent rather than remarkable.
Malcolm therefore posits that little of the froth of recent days will come as “news” in Downing Street.
Malcolm further suggests that the next Act has already been scripted.