Former UK Prime Minister John Major described his affair with Edwina Currie as the most shameful event of his life. [source: BBC News September 2002. TrustBlog commentary: Network Privacy and 2]
And now UK Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott regrets his affair with his assistant private secretary. [source: BBC News April 2006. Profiles: BBC News, TheyWorkForYou, Wikipedia. RacingSnake commmentary Clarke in the Headlights]
[update] Now we know why Prescott needs two Jags.
Men who disrespect their lovers in public don't deserve to have lovers at all. But what then is the purpose of having an affair? If you are ugly or boring, then it may be quite gratifying if everyone discovers your secret, discovers that there is at least one person in the world (apart from your poor wife who no longer has any choice) who finds you attractive. You feel as if you could be the equal of Kennedy (the womanizer, not the drunkard), and that maybe Marlon Brando would be the right actor to represent you on screen.
[Update April 29] Janice makes a similar point in her article in today's Times: Ooh Prezza Would You Drive My Bus?
Office affairs are getting unhappy employees through the day. ... However seedy they seem to outsiders, the lovers concerned do not feel tacky. In fact, they have never felt more glamorous, as if their dreary workaday selves and imperfect bodies have been replaced by hot Hollywood actors. Their secret trysts and hurried couplings are projected in their minds as grainy film noir. The affair is an exciting sub-plot in their monotonous story line.Even the secrecy is inauthentic.
The participants [always] believe no one knows about their relationship even though “I’m at it with X” might as well be franked on their foreheads.Why is it franked on their foreheads? Because deep down they want to be found out, they want to flaunt their sexual power. (Nobody can deny the unconscious!)
POSIWID says that a lot of gossip is designed for effect. Gay celebrities pretending to be straight (or vice versa), dull politicians pretending to be a bit exciting, celebrity couples (Tony and Gordon) pretending to quarrel, a bit of rough, anything for the front pages. The purpose of a system is what it does.
[update] Interesting radio discussion between Edwina Currie and Margaret Cook on the BBC Woman's Hour (Friday April 28th)
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