Friday, 21 May 2010

The bounds of culpability

The very sad affair of the NSW Transport Minister, David Campbell, resigning before he was pushed after being outed by Channel 7 who showed damning footage of him coming out of a Sydney gay sauna, begs all sorts of questions....(now let the grammarians parse that poorly constructed sentence!!).
The debate seems to have been about whether or not the much vaunted status quo reporting ...or rather non-reporting...of the private lives of politicians is now breached for ever. While there is no doubt an argument that Mr Campbell's frolics at kens of kensington probably did not affect his ministerial capabilities, I am not so convinced.
There is an arbitrary distinction that is all too self-serving that is often drawn between public and private behaviour. Is it not reasonable to expect that our elected leaders are manifestly people of integrity. Not men or women who lie to and cheat their own families.
It is about character, and I suspect the average adult would not think that this sort of behaviour displays the sort of character that we would prefer our political leaders to display.
If we were to reflect on William Jefferson Clinton for a moment, would it have made any difference if he had said "I did have sexual relations with that woman!". I suspect not. Most of us would still have thought that was inappropriate. He compounded it by apparently lying about it.
In Mr Campbell's case there is the added confusion that this is a gay-related issue. Would it have been OK if he had been going to a heterosexual sex-club? I think not. Premier Keneally makes the point that there is about this a sadness that people have to be closeted...and that living with such secrets takes enormous toll...on individuals and families!
It's grubby sort of stuff isn't it?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe this http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/21/the-minister-the-gay-sauna-and-a-reporter-with-scores-to-settle/
is required reading in regards to the Mr Campbell story

stephen clark said...

yes very nasty stuff indeed