What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

January 21, 2006

Mark Oaten's hellish week

What a hellish end to a hellish week for Mark Oaten.

The rent-boy allegations in tomorrow's News of the World will be immensely painful to him, and those who know him; and it's right that he should have stepped down immediately so that he can get his life back in some order.

The Liberal Democrats are a proudly tolerant party, and an individual's private life - however messy - is strictly their own concern.

But 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.

7 comments:

Chris Black said...

Yes, I can't see how he could he put himself forward - it's not as if there was a huge swathe of MPs behind him almost forcing him to stand.

Angus J Huck said...

The 11th Commandment says "Thou shalt not get caught."

There are plenty of politicians who have done much, much worse than this, but because their boyfriends/girlfriends don't sell their stories to the NOS, nothing happens.

The press had bags of dirt on David Cameron, but sat on it. Because Murdoch and what Webster Tarpley calls the "invisible government" wanted Cameron to win.

The fact that they have zapped a senior Liberal Democrat suggests that our party poses a deadly threat to their interests (we did oppose their war for oil).

The message to all Lib Dem MPs is "watch your back".

Anonymous said...

The message to all Lib Dem MPs is "watch your back".

Could have been phrased better...

Mark said...

Interesting to note the News of the World says "Mr Oaten had a lengthy relationship with a rent boy then aged 23." Makes me ask how long ago was this?

Greg said...

Really Angus? And why did the Mirror hold off?

Greg said...

1 year, Mark

Gordon said...

I wonder if he felt he had backed himself into a corner - failing to standwould presumably have lead people to question why he wasn't doing so.

Mind you, he was the first challenger to MC, so a contest wasn't a surety at that point.