Thursday, December 02, 2004

One has got all the goodness, and the other the appearance of it

Brits do scandals better than other people. And the current scandal Britain is embroiled in (isn't there always one?) may not have crossed the Atlantic, but boy is it a juicy story, real soap opera material -- so you'll excuse me if I stray a moment from matters of Jewish interest.
Our Home Secretary, David Blunkett, is a blind man who is known for sitting in parliament with his guide dog by his side. (In caricatures, his guide dog is occasionally shown biting his opponents. She once also apparently threw up in the Chamber during a speech by an opposition member). He worked his way up from a working class background, and until recently was widely admired across the country for his decency, honesty, hard work, ideals and perseverence, even if there were objections to some of his tough legislation. He was divorced in 1990 (with a couple of daughters, I think) but carried on wearing his wedding ring -- to signal that he was not 'casually' available. He once told the Telegraph: "I am not available because I am just getting on with the job."
About a couple of months ago, it was emerged that he had just finished a 3-year secret affair with Kimberly Quinn, the young, pretty, American publisher of the British Spectator (they don't call it the Sextator for nothing). Twist 1: Blunkett is a Laborite, the Speccie quite far right.... Twist 2: Quinn was married, had one child and another on the way when they split up. Twist 3: They embarked on this affair less than three months after Quinn had married and vowed to spend the rest of her life with another man.
Well, that was all bad enough -- but this week it emerged that Quinn's first son is Blunkett's, and that he thinks the child she is currently pregnant with is his as well. He is demanding access and according to some, custody. It has also been revealed that Blunkett, by all accounts a modest man, used his position to rush through a visa for Quinn's nanny, and shower Quinn with various other luxuries that she didn't need (married to a millionaire). Some of these, even spouses of ministers aren't entitled to.
Quinn is currently in hospital, sick with stress. Blunkett says he would rather resign than give up access to his child. Tony Blair is standing by him -- at the moment.

WHAT AMAZES me in all this is the reaction of Quinn's husband, Stephen. He truly is the best husband in the entire country -- for despite being cuckolded a mere 3 months after his marriage, and having this revealed to the entire country in the most embarrasing way, he is standing by his wife. Now, how is this different to thousands of women who stand by their cheating husbands, or why is this particularly remarkable?
A. He has no need to stand by her for financial reasons, or to maintain power, as many of those women do. As the British publisher of Vogue, he is a millionaire and a powerful man in his own right.
B. He is bringing up his wife's lover's child.
C. He seems sincere about it. He is incredibly protective of Kimberly, gently asking the press to stay away from her, defending her character, and telling a reporter he wants to bring up her next child as well -- but is worried the stress will cause her to go into labor early. He recently turned down an offer of £200,000 for his side of the story and freely declared: “I love my wife and I love my children and I want to take care of them. That’s my moral responsibility and it is also my delight and joy. We’ll remain married. I’m focusing on my obligations as a father to William and to our baby who is due in February – they are my children and I am not interested in biological details.”
I hope Kimberly Quinn finally appreciates what she has -- she certainly doesn't deserve him. You don't find many men of such honor and integrity any more.
Case in point: I was amused to see yesterday one of Blunkett's spokespeople saying that all he wants is to "do his family duty" by having access to his own children! He didn't seem to think much about 'family duties' when he seduced another man's wife. What a hypocrite.

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