Overnight, on Thursday, it was not difficult to ignore these news flashes. A Game 7 is a rare treat regardless of one’s allegiance and the preceding six had given us baseball at its best. I have sympathy for Dave Roberts, who stole one of the most significant bases in Red Sox history, but I am delighted for Houston, a club which has switched leagues and reinvented itself over the last four years. In Altuve, they have a brilliant player for whom I voted as AL MVP. In Verlander, they have a pitcher who deserves the Cy Young. And in Houston, they have a fan base which has stuck with them throughout the rebuilding process and deserves gloating rights over the Sox and the Yankees, both of whom they beat on the way to the ALCS.
The following morning, however, our focus was on the activities of the dishonourable members and the shambles which is our Parliament and our government.
Given the recent stories about similar activity in the creative and corporate worlds, one might think that this is Parliament reflecting its constituencies and the electorate at large. But it isn’t.
It is about power, and the abuse of power. It is about a very particular culture which casts a shadow over our political and economic institutions. It is about the bubble in which they operate.
It manifests itself in different ways. Sir Fred Goodwin, for example, treated RBS as a plaything, with corporate jets flying him across the world for Formula 1 events and the pursuit of vanity projects. His victims were employees, shareholders and the global financial system.
In the case of Weinstein, Fallon and their ilk, the victims are women.
An excuse has been ventured by some. The BBC’s Nick Robinson tweeted that: “Admirer of Fallon says alcohol is a power drug which turns some into a Jekyll & Hyde”. I guess he – or the ‘admirer of Fallon’ - means Hyde, because even in Dr Jekyll mode, Fallon was a deeply unpleasant politician. But as someone who is not averse to a glass of red myself, I know that alcohol invariably provokes an exaggerated version of the original, minimising the inhibitions of normal social behaviour, and creating a personal dissonance. There is some sense to the maxim of in vino veritas. And if it’s not there in the first place, it can’t be spewed out after a large glass of Shiraz.
I am not singling out Fallon because he is a Tory. It would appear that Labour has its own problems in this regard. And he is joining an ignominious list of those corrupted by power: Trump, Nixon, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Berlusconi, Gaddafi, Kim Jong-Il to name merely a few which spring immediately to mind.
Years ago, we used to joke that anyone who wanted the highest office should be barred on psychological grounds; that the desire for power was a symptom of a malaise which makes them unfit to exercise it.
Maybe it’s not a joke after all. It’s certainly not funny.
Today from the everysmith vaults: 30 Days of Dead from Deadnet. A new track for each day during November, a series now in its seventh year. Currently I'm on 2014.