“by their friends you shall know them”

Politicians are supposed to have private lives. They should have friends, relations families and even in some cases lovers and mistresses. Having a private life enables them to understand the people whom they are elected to govern. As such they are entitled to keep their lives private, unless their private life prevents them from doing their job properly. This would be easy for politicians to achieve were it not for democracy, which gets in the way of their privacy.

Politicians should not be hypocritical, but like all of us they are so. The difference between them and us is that our hypocrisy will not usually do more than lose friends or offend acquaintances. With politicians their hypocrisy loses them their jobs and with it their money and status which they have worked so hard to achieve.

It seems to have been a well kept secret that the previous past Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr Blair, formed a social friendship with Rupert Murdoch. Mr Cameron has not managed to do so well; he could only manage to form a social friendship with Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade), one of Mr Murdoch’s henchwomen whose first name I must be careful not to mispell. In fact Mr Blair was on such close terms with Mr Murdoch that Mr Blair became a godfather to one of Mr Murdoch’s children albeit after Mr Blair left or was shoved out of office. No doubt Mr Blair had in mind his duty to impart Christian virtues and morality into the child of a powerful and fabulously wealthy newspaper and media tycoon.

Now I understand why rich and powerful people choose their friends from a circle of rich and powerful people. What concerns me is that why a Prime Minister should think it fitting, even after his term of office had expired, to become a godfather to such a tycoon. Mr Blair did nothing to publicise the baptism and even though the event was pictured in a celebrity pictorial magazine Mr Blair’s presence or role was not alluded to in the magazine, which tends to suggest that even Mr Blair might not have considered this event to be one of his finest moments.

Mr Blair also did nothing to publicise his friendship with Mr Murdoch. It is written that you may recognise wolves in sheep’s clothing “by their fruits ye shall know them”, and perhaps it might be written “by their friends you shall know them” and knowing someone who holds or seeks elected office is more important than their privacy.

One Response

  1. I agree that of course politicians are entitled to their own private lives and social connections, and perhaps I am being cynical, but can Blair and Murdoch’s relationship really be seen as solely a friendly relationship which is aside from political interests?

    The fact that Blair won the support of Murdoch’s media empire made his premiership much easier. With the backing of The Sun over the war in Iraq, for example. Likewise Blair’s decision to allow foreigners to own broadcasting companies in the UK was obviously in Murdoch’s interests.

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