The news that David Laws, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, was ripping off the tax-payer by paying tens of thousands of pounds of rent to his partner, Jamie Lundie, takes political hypocrisy to a whole new level.
On the one hand Laws was apparently living a lie – deliberately covering up his sexuality.
On the other, he chose to lecture us and Whitehall on the need for fiscal prudence when he was lining his own nest with tax-payers’ money.
However, the whole issue raises the question as to whether he was covering up his sexuality simply in order to cover-up the fact that there was rather more to the relationship with his landlord than he would have liked the fees office to have known.
There is a sub-text within this coalition government that is all about populist “progressive” posturing – but, deep down, there is no substance or ideological decency about it.
There is next to no social stigma associated with homosexuality any longer – especially in metrosexual Westminster. The fact that Laws chose to cover-up an important part of who he is as a person (possibly for the dubious reasons outlined above) highlights very clearly the populist/personality disconnect in modern politics. Decency and ethics are suppressed for the benefit of public perception – or to cover up inconvenient truths.
Our political culture is now defined by people who should simply not be defining it. This 40-something, well-heeled, Metropolitan clique is suppressing all that is good about adversarial politics.
David Laws should resign – and quickly.