Monday, 4 July 2011


There are two aspects to the DSK saga that strike me.

The first is why the great and the good seem time after time to get way with inappropriate or sometimes possibly criminal behaviour. Zuma, Clinton, the Kennedy’s and now the man that was born to be the President of France, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

The recent swing from how a previous recipient of his unwelcome attentions described him, “rutting chimpanzee”, to wronged rouĂ© is pretty amazing. The high profile arrest, the comic spectacle of the French in the dock, the self-righteous commentaries and the immediate presumption of guilt was always liable to prove troublesome for any prosecution but the speed with which their case is unravelling is bizarre. It argues for all of us to be a lot more circumspect until we have all the facts. As Sean Meehan, Professor of Marketing at IMD said:-“in God we trust …all others need data”.

The truth is, as the editor of the Lady, Boris’ sister Rachel Johnson noted, DSK is sort of fanciable and (I loved this one) seemed to like women a lot. Years ago I was at the Hay-on-Wye Book Festival when Bill Clinton was there. Sponsored by the Guardian it was full of feminists who strongly disapproved of his presence. Until they met him at which point “phwoar!” set in and they pretty well all confessed to melting beneath his ardent you-are-the-only-one gaze. Others, like the Kennedy’s had a kind of droit de seigneur about them that meant they got away with murder. Incidentally this sexual entitlement for the boss was known to apply in several British advertising agencies at one time.

None of this justifies rape. None of this justifies lousy behaviour or the sexual equivalent of ram- raiding.

Simply that there’s more to a scandal than meets the immediate salacious media eye. As Rod Liddle notes “sex sells papers” and he was desperate to scoop the Prime Minister being found in bed with the Archbishop of Canterbury and several goats.

The second question is why on earth talented people behave so badly, recklessly and stupidly.

Stephen Ambrose, the late US historian and biographer had the answer:

“God created man with a penis and a brain, but only gave him enough blood to run one at a time”.

So the worst charge would be diminished responsibility. Hmmm!

1 comment:

Ian Wilson said...

Hum, I wonder....

Never one to stand in the way of a good conspiracy theory, wasn't this a great way to discredit a French Presidential candidate? Even the allegation would have appeared to be enough, although with the benefit of a couple of weeks' hindsight mnore damage could have been done if the DPSD has taken a little more care over the selection of the assassin.