Yesterday, a story broke regarding two Tory politicians. One of them was Andrea Jenkyns, who some of you may recall as the woman who beat Ed Balls in Morley and Outwood at the general election to provide one of the shock results of the evening. The other is Jack Lopresti, MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke since the 2010 general election.
The story was covered by The Telegraph, The Mirror, The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, and The Sun, just to name a few of the major outlets that featured it. The latter publication ran it with the headline: “Sleaze scandal: Cameron Cutie and ex-beauty queen Andrea Jenkyns is having affair with married Tory MP”.
There are many reasons I never particularly want to be an MP, but this article pretty much nails the heart of it. Here are two people who appear to be in love – okay, one of them is married to someone else at present, but even the articles which wanted to try and emphasise the “sleaze” aspect of it all admitted that the Lopresti’s seem to be in the process of separation and that this was happening pre-this story breaking. Jenkyns and Lopestri appear to be, dare I say it, quite a sweet couple – at least that’s what I got out of seeing the pictures of them that had been slapped all over the media.
Actually, why is this whole affair even newsworthy? It has nothing whatsoever to do with anything remotely related to the work of an MP. I suppose there is the issue of Jenkyns being dishonest to the press when asked a little while back if she and Lopresti were lovers, telling the hacks they are “just friends”, but in matters of their personal life I’m not really fussed if an MP tells the truth to a reporter when hounded about it. If it involves something illegal, okay, but otherwise who cares?
Beyond reminding me of why I don’t want a job which requires me to give everything up to work for free in the hopes of getting a job I very well might not, then once I get it working eighty hour weeks spread across two locations for what is not very much money all things considered, all the while being hounded by the press for every single tiny thing I do, the Jenkyns-Lopresti story made me think of just how repressed and adolescent our culture can be at times. “My word! A man and a woman having intercourse outside the bonds of matrimony! I say!” What is this, 1906? This is what counts for “sleaze” these days, two people in their forties being happy to be with one another?
Anyhow, even if no one else will, I hope everyone involved in the whole thing (including Mrs Lopresti) the very best. I can only hope you can all bear the “sleaze” during this holiday season.