by Les MayA YEAR or so before Cyril Smith started spanking bottoms at Cambridge House hostel the debut album of the 1960s group, Peter, Paul and Mary, was released carrying the song 'Where have all the flowers gone?' Even the unmusical amongst us could just about remember the refrain which ends each of the verses 'Oh, when will they ever learn?'
This little trip down memory lane was prompted by yesterday's headline in the Sun 'Sleazy MP Simon Danczuk, 49, had spanking sessions and sex with woman, 22, on desk in his office'.
Well that just about says it all!
Now I don't mind Simon's apparent inability to keep it in his trousers. It's not my business what he gets up to and who with. His paramour was over the age of consent so no law was broken. I'm not even too troubled that he used his constituency office desk even if I'm paying for it through my taxes, though the office cleaner might feel she ought to be getting a pay rise. (Notice to the PC brigade, it's bound to be a woman.)
What I object to is that the man behaves so stupidly.
Last December, he was suspended by the Labour party for sending lewd text messages to a 17 years old asking if she wanted to be 'spanked'. It turned out that she had a nice line as a financial dominatrix and sold used knickers and toe nail clippings. Surprise, surprise! this story ended up in the Sun, Mail and Mirror. No it wasn't a 'set up', it's just that MPs are very newsworthy when they stray from the straight and narrow, and boring when they just do the job we pay them for.
Once bitten you might think. But no, not Simon. He hooks up with another young woman via Twitter, they exchange phone numbers and he bombards her with lewd text messages. Simon gets to try his hand at 'spanking'. Surprise, surprise, the story ends up in the Sun, Mail and the Mirror. No it wasn't a 'setup'. It was just a coincidence that there was a photographer on hand to snap a pic of Simon making Jeremy Corbyn look like a picture of sartorial elegance.
With apologies to Peter, Paul and Mary, 'Oh, when will he ever learn?'
I find it difficult to condemn Sophena or 'Alice' if they have made a few quid out of the story as Simon is reputed to have trousered £5,000 for his contribution to Ben Griffiths' story of his antics in the Sun on 3 January this year. Adding insult to injury he then had the cheek to claim £500 expenses for 'crisis management' after the story broke.
Simon may be good copy. Laughing at his antics gives us a feeling of moral superiority. But he's ceased to be an actor on the political stage. The Labour party would be a laughing stock if it reinstated him and allowed him to be a candidate at the next election.
But you've got to ask yourself, 'What is this man thinking? He's an MP. He's got kids. What must they think of him?'
And for a man who made his name by regaling us with tales of Cyril's penchant for spanking, he seems to have something of an enthusiasm for it himself.