Monday, November 15, 2004

Morality -- pheh!

England is closely following the saga of Boris Johnson, the editor of the British Spectator (recently dubbed the 'Sextator'), a member of the Shadow Cabinet and recent visitor to Israel. Some of you may recall that he was recently forced to apologise to the people of Liverpool when his magazine published an article criticising the Brits in general, and Liverpudlians (yes, I swear that's the word) in particular, for becoming a "society hooked on grief" and one that "likes to wallow in a sense of vicarious victimhood."
In any case, he was fired this week as a shadow minister when it emerged that Johnson, a married man with 4 young children, was having an affair with one of his columnists, and 'misled' the Conservative leader Michael Howard over it. What really gets me is the claim which is being repeated ad nauseum that Johnson was fired for the lying -- and not for 'morality.' (The lying, apparently, is being treated purely as a stratetgic weakness and not as a moral vice).
Now, I actually am not sure whether people should be fired for having affairs or not. But I really object to the way 'morality' is being treated here as a dirty word. Affairs are actually something British ministers used to resign over (Cecil Parkinson, Jeffrey Archer, David Mellor etc). That the Conservative leader, who should stand for 'family values,' is in such a rush to dismiss even the possibility that 'morality' could have been a consideration for him shows just how continental, and how relativist Britain is becoming.

No comments: