The wages of spin

I don’t want to make a habit of agreeing with Iain Dale, but he is absolutely correct regarding Mark Oaten’s latest bid to rehabilitate himself. Let us not forget that the scandal about him visiting male prostitutes was exacerbated by his breathtaking decision to present himself as the quintassential “family values” leadership candidate. He genuinely seems to think that all it will take is a couple of articles in celeb magazines and ker-ching! we’re back in business.

Notwithstanding one foolish “source close to the leader” quoted in the Indy yesterday, one hopes that the Lib Dem front bench are not so quick to bring him back into the fold. We have enough of a problem with this Michael Brown business without Oaten rearing his ugly head again. What he should be doing right now is going out of his way to reestablish his private life as private property – that means keeping his (and Belinda’s) big mouth shut. This “strategy” screams of exactly the sort of glory chasing that partially lead to his downfall. It certainly doesn’t seem to be either in the party’s or his family’s best interests.


  1. Mark Oaten seems to have one or two problems when it comes to saying the truth about himself. You seem a little bit sore with Mark, I notice you don’t include him when you mention looking after best interests. I have no idea if his wife has big mouth or not, but she is entitled to express her views as she sees fit. I suspect she is going public too soon though, and it will lead to more hurt for her. That’s far more important than whether it affects your party or not.

  2. They’re both entitled to do whatever they like. But one of the things about washing your dirty laundry in public is you can’t then claim to be immune from criticism.

  3. I don’t really care what Mark Oaten does or doesn’t do in bed, but I do have to say that his decision to parade his family in front of the media still grates.

    He is right to continue as an MP, despite the public humiliation, but I question the wisdom of making the same mistake all over again.

    He goes to work and does his job. His family do whatever they do. And the two area separate.

    He needs to put a media exclusion zone round Bramdean and get some publicity for Winchester rather than Belinda and the kids.

    Promoting the tourist industry, perhaps? Conserving salmon stocks in the Itchen?

  4. Let’s not forget the spirit of the recent Easter holidays.

    I read in the Indy that Mark is proposing to be involved in some work on the way professional people (usually men) are driven to do such self-destructive things as he did when they are in highly personally stressful situations.

    John Profumo and Toynbee Hall spring to mind.

    If you want fewer prostitutes around our body politic (and judiciary, the Bar, and City) a few more counsellors and better quality of life wouldn’t go amiss.

  5. Anthony – intent and opportunity come together and create actuallity.

    A long hours absentee culture like that at Westminster is a tinderbox for anyone with the predeliction for extra-marital thrill-seeking.

  6. Is Oaten really fit to be compared favourably with Profumo? Really?

    Like it or not he brought ridicule on the party and himself.

  7. Wallyxab Says:

    Is Oaten really fit to be compared favourably with Profumo? Really?

    Like it or not he brought ridicule on the party and himself.

    Did Profumo not bring ridicule on his party and himself then?

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