Poor old Nigel Griffiths, the MP for Edinburgh South with the majority of 405, is taking a fair bit of flak for having the audacity to have sex with 'person unknown' in his Parliamentary office.
Let's put aside the adultery, a matter between Mr Griffiths and his wife in the first instance and then maybe, just maybe something for voters in his constituency to consider if they are that way inclined. Let's even overlook the sex - it is his office, after all, and both parties were consenting adults. There is, is there not, a long and noble tradition of people having sex in their offices after Christmas parties and the like.
No, what will really hurt is his attempts to explain away what happened. The denial was standard, as you might not realise that there is evidence when you are initially approached. However, claiming that you had no recollection of the incident sends out one of two subliminal messages, either:
- this is a regular occurence and you simply couldn't remember this incident amongst so many others, or;
- you were incapable of memory, indicating that you were too drunk/stoned/whatever to remember what you were doing
I'm not suggesting that either of these is the case, and wouldn't want to unnecessarily traduce Nigel Griffiths here, but those were the first two things that came to mind when his comments became public. The photographs don't help, as they appear to imply that he took them himself, unless there was an accomplice.
Ironically, the sex is rather an irrelevancy, but of more concern is the fact that he has little recollection of an incident, whereby he signed someone in, allowed them into a restricted area, and then allowed photographs to be taken which them fell into the hands of someone willing to sell them to the News of the World. Is that a breach of security? I think so.
Once upon a time, the likes of the KGB would have had a field day with an opportunity like that, with a significant likelihood of blackmail and espionage. Nowadays, the primary risk is to have your life, and that of your family, ruined by the redtops. It doesn't change the fact that he has potentially jeopardised the security of other Parliamentarians, and should be held accountable for that.
There is an alternative, i.e. it was someone who already has access to Parliament. If so, given the pictures, it shouldn't take long to work out who the 'mystery brunette' is, and perhaps that exclusive is being held back for next week. An anxious nation waits for news... at least the political classes and readers of the News of the World, that is...