I have to admit to a rather childish habit. I say childish but perhaps I really mean ‘of childhood’ because it relates to a rule that I learned whilst still a boy. It concerns my two grandmothers both of whom were staunch Christians and consequently women of strong moral fibre and conservative opinion. The one was born in 1896 and the other in 1905. They were very influential in my formative years and as I grew in awareness and became challenged by the need to make decisions I would find myself going to one or other for advice. It was invariable wise advice, born of experience and therefore a sound base upon which to lean. To summarise; although approaching 60 I still find myself asking, “What would Nan think, or what would Nana do?”
I have asked myself that question in relation to the erstwhile Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee and in case anybody has failed to notice a man (I use the term simply to indicate gender) whose activities have raised concern, to the point that his fitness for public office has been questioned. Of course, living in amoral times when it is said that if something is not illegal than it should not be seen as a disqualification, or that if nobody is hurt (although I imagine that anal sex is somewhat intrusive and potentially quite painful) then why should we be concerned? What would Nana think?
The past was a better place in many respects. There was a time I believe when, having morals of their own the public felt it important that those who held office should bear the extra responsibility of setting an example, of showing through their conduct and bearing that honesty, integrity and a capacity to choose the right course in any situation was something that can and should be attained. They were and are after all, more than employees; they hold within their power the destiny and wellbeing of a nation. This is no small matter.
I remember my Nan receiving from a family member a little gift. It was a plastic figure of a monk in a brown habit. When you pressed the head of the monk down into his shoulders a penis popped up lifting the front of his habit. It was intended to give a hilarious surprise to the person lucky enough to receive it. To my Nan it was the most disgusting thing she had ever had the misfortune to hold in her hand. I can see the rage in her eyes as she banged it down on the table. “Please take it back to where you got it and do not ever, ever, ever think that I would stoop so low as to find something like this even faintly amusing.”
It probably sounds ridiculous given that we have become so used to the sexual and the sordid. Television and advertising have possibly worked their magic on the brains of most of us. We look and we do not feel; we see and we do not judge; we tacitly accept that a teenage girl gyrating on stage in clothing that forty years ago would see her classed as a prostitute is just a kid enjoying herself. We no longer criticise; we do not classify; we do not condemn because the MSM has performed a moral lobotomy and the patient is responding satisfactorily to the mind numbing medication.
What would Nan think? Well, I think I know. However, I am a grown man now and I have grandchildren of my own. I believe it is important that they should likewise be able to look to their elders for guidance and if asked about this matter that we might called Vaz-Gate I shall have no hesitation in telling them that I believe that through his actions this man has placed himself outside of the circle of those who can rightfully consider themselves fit to stand as guardians of the nation.
It is said by some that politicians and public figures are entitled to a private life. I do not disagree but a politician who is one thing in public and something completely different in private is to my ancient mode of thinking a man or woman who should not be trusted. Opacity and dishonesty are two very different things. Privacy and perversion are similarly unrelated.
If I were Vaz I would be asking myself the question, “To whom can I turn for advice?” I know what would be said if I turned to either of those great ladies of my past: “You failed. You let us down. The time has come to gather your things and seek a job where honesty, transparency, consistency and the ability to lead by example are not required.” I hope they instilled enough sense and self-respect in me to make the decision a foregone conclusion and one that I would not have to think about for more than a fleeting moment.
This though is a conservative trait, to bring the standards and values that you inherited to bear upon the present; and Vaz is not a conservative man.
“Mene, mene tekel upharsin – You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.”