This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
By the way, this "no one else's business" is not as clear cut as that.
Clinton's sexual activities were a cause for concern because it can be argued that his concern about the reaction of the electorate lead him, perhaps, to some unsafe foreign policy decisions designed to provide some sort of distraction.
Just what were his motives for over-riding the advice that bombing terrorist camps was not the best move? Did it contribute significantly to the subsequent rise of Osma B Laden to prominence?
How about the shenanigans of certain politicians in the Christine Keeler scandal?
Where does one draw the line at acceptable private behaviour and behaviour likely to be contrary to the good of the country?
And of course, what else is happening that we don't know about?
So of course such behaviour will have an impact whether it is thought "right" or "wrong" that it should.
Wecan condemn the man or we can condemn the critics but it isn't going to resolve the problem that there will be a response among the people and a changed perception of the man and even the office.
It is nice to suggest that what people do in private should not be considered relevant but the reality is that often as not it is relevant.
I agree - it's probably highly relevant.
The man's clearly in love with his mistress - so much so that he's leaving his wife of 25 years with scarcely a second thought.
Being in love is far from harmless - your brain is swimming in dopamine (the stuff which is released when you snort cocaine) and other powerful peptides, all of which make you reckless, careless and highly irrational. Even worse than the effects of cocaine, they remain for years, not just a few hours, and little else matters to you except the object of your affections.
Had he been caught snorting cocaine, he would most certainly have been given the boot - and the effects are just the same.
I'm not quite sure what Kevin's objective is with his post, whether he's expressing moral outrage at the whole idea of adultery or he just wants to use the incident to get rid of Chris Huhne.
When the Conservatives were last in office in the 90s they did take a dim view of ministers involved in extra-marital affairs, and as I recall at least two ministers resigned (or were forced to resign) in these sort of circumstances - David Mellor and Tim Yeo. But even if Cameron wanted to get rid of Huhne I think under this coalition arrangement Nick Clegg still has jurisdiction over the Lib Dems.
As I understand it, certain government posts in the coalition are earmarked for the Lib Dems, which presumably includes the Climate Change and Energy post, and if Huhne went he would just be replaced by another Lib Dem (like David Laws was replaced by another Lib Dem, Danny Alexander). The sort of people who would potentially replace Huhne are Green-leaning nutters like Norman Baker, Steve Webb or Simon Hughes, so you wouldn't really notice much difference if Huhne went.
If Clinton's motives in bombing various places was to distract attention from his affairs that was only needed because other people were interested in his affairs. Seemingly his own wife didn't care much, so why should anyone else, except we all love a sex scandal. I suspect most of it is simply jealousy on the part of people who aren't getting enough of it. Still, if the electorate (erectorate?) hadn't given a toss about Clinton's indiscretions no distraction would have been needed.
As for Mrs Clegg's blow job, don't we all know that politicians are on the whole simply sold to the highest bidder? It's politicians screwing the competition of their clients, rather than screwing their secretaries that most bothers me. The solution is simple - less politics means less opportunity for big business to rig the game in their favour.
In committing sexual indiscretions politicians lose the right to lecture other people about having sex - but they shouldn't ever have assumed that right in the first place anyway. Really, why is it any of their business who I go to bed with? As it isn't it's likewise none of my business who they go to bed with.
And that is the irony, Clinton was worried about his status with the nation when the Nation actually didn't give a ****. The point is that he responded to the pressure with some foreign policy adventures that weren't necessary and may in any case have done serious harm.
I think it was Majors "back to basics" campaign that resulted in the sudden exposure of a range of unfortunate Tory MP behaviours yet the one affair that didn't surface was his own affair with Edwina.
"In 1993, the Major government - perhaps fatally - launched the 'Back to Basics' campaign. It was notorious for its high moral tone and sparked intense media interest in MPs' private lives. "
And that would have been exactly the point; hypocritical moralising.
Frankly I'd rather have "upright" politicians but the problem is that their attitudes toward marriage are the least of our worries.
So what was my intention in posting up this thread?
Simple really. It was to point out the obvious hypocrisy in the current coalition government and its leaders. As Tony Blair did before them, The Cleggerons portray a certain clean cut wholesome family image to the electorate and as a consequence certain parts of the electrorate are happy to give them the power to run the government (note I didn't say run the country as they clearly don't).
Huhne's affair by all accounts was well known to Clegg and his fellow LibDems and so no doubt to several journalists yet the whole affair was kept quiet until after the election and until after his appointment as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
Now if this had come out before the election do you think Huhne would have been returned as the MP for Eastleigh. He was returned with a majority of less than 4000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastleigh_(UK_Parliament_constituency)). It's certainly feasible if not likely that had this come out prior to the election then Maria Hardings could well now be the MP for Eastleigh rather than Chris Huhne.
Here is an extract from Wikipedia
"In an election flyer produced by Huhne and distributed throughout his Eastleigh constituency prior to the May 2010 general election, Huhne included photographs of himself with his family members, each image accompanied by a hand-written caption. One image showing Huhne on his wedding day with his wife was captioned "Getting married does not seem like 26 years ago". Another showing him bottle-feeding a baby was captioned "I took becoming a father so seriously I gave up smoking". A third photo showing Huhne with his wife holding a baby had the caption "Family matters to me so much. Where would we be without them?”
Now in the light of what has subsequently happened doesn't that make you puke or at the very least make you totally cynical aboutthe whole electoral process?
I'm in agreement with Richard Littlejohn here
I'm not in the slightest bit interested in an MPs sexual orientations or in what he chooses to do in his own provate life. What I'm very interested in is hypocrites who present one face to the public inorder to be elected and subsequently then show their true inherently dishonest and untrustworthy nature after they have been appointed to an important political office.
He clearly lied to his electrorate prior is re-election so IMO he should resign his seat forthwith so that the people of Eastleigh can elect a new MP. I wonder what Maria Hardings thinks of this affair?
I was born and raised in the Eastleigh constituency and still have family there. The place is effectively a liberal one-party state (all but a handful of councillors are liberals), and it has been considered as safe a parliamentary seat as the liberals have since the highly popular Stephen Milligan, who gave his life for his sexual interests, died. The absolute majority is quite respectable seing as the tories are the only serious opposition and will get shored up by labour tactical votes (although in Eastliegh the libs probably benefit more than tories from labour tactical votes). The expected huge swing to the tories failed to materialise across the country, which is why we ended up with a coalition, which incidentally is likely to do massive damage to the liberals at the next election.
Various attempts at boundary rigging failed to regain the parliamentary seat for the conservatives, so the blue areas drafted in were re-drafted out (to Romsey mostly) to shore up the tory vote there - and to good effect for the tories.
Following KevinUK's logic, anyone in love should be barred from running for parliament. I'd prefer to acknowledge that politicians are human and faillible, and that that is all the more reason to have them doing less, not more.
The only defence of Huhne's cynical approach is that they all do it. It's the media's job to dig up dirt on the politicians, and they can hardly expect any help from their targets in that.
Electorates have also had no hesitation in the past in returning known serial philanderers to parliament. I would guess, if this affair was known to the party bigwigs, the media also probably knew it and were waiting for an opportune moment. I doubt it would have made a lot of difference to the Eastleigh result had it been publicised beforehand.