it would be quite possible (indeed it seems obligatory) to mention the DPM’s embarrassments without it being in any sense necessary to fish for more revelations. If it isn’t, then the gloves are off for everybody. Humphrys himself, as a public (and publicly funded) figure who has raised the question of the sex lives of others, is now fair game to have exactly the same question asked of him.
Has he had affairs, as rumoured? Has Michael Grade? Jonathan Ross? Ceri Thomas? Me? You? Or is it only Mr Prescott who is fair game for this kind of intrusion — until fashion suggests another candidate for the treatment?
Here's the thing, New Labour has long regarded other people's private lives as fair game, even members of the public, this is the party that leaked 94 year old Rose Addis's medical records to the press to try and humiliate her when her family complained about her mistreatment. Where was New Labour's respect for privacy then? Hell Aaronivitch was joining in the smear campaign! His scruples over privacy deserted him when it was not a convenient way of defending New Labour. 2Jags sex pest exploits and his affair with Rosie Winterton are off limits but a 94 year old's medical records are there to be dissected by tame Blairite scribes whenever they feel like it.
Via Blognor Regis.
PS. I had forgotten just how disgusting Blair's behaviour over the Rose Addis case was, here is an extract from the BBC's report at the time which is worth remembering when you hear Blair defending his minister's right to a private life:
After a heated clash in the House of Commons, Downing Street went to unprecedented lengths to rebut the story of Rose Addis and two other patients whose relatives complained about their treatment at the same North London hospital.
To reporters' astonishment, the prime minister's official spokesman gave intimate details of the patients' medical histories, including that of a 13-year-old boy, outlining treatments and conditions.
The spokesman admitted he did not have permission of the patients or their families to disclose the details, some of which were revealed, he said, in letters from the hospital to the newspaper.