We should be grateful this morning to Europe’s golfers for a singular reason entirely unrelated
to sport: by snatching a dramatic last-gasp Ryder Cup victory over the Americans,
they have helped to keep sex off the front pages of the newspapers.
If the Americans had won – as they confidently expected
to at the start of the final day – the disappointment would have facilitated
millions more righteously indignant words devoted to the brief, sad little French
adventure of schoolteacher Jeremy Forrest and his pre-nubile pupil Megan, and probably
a few million more about the alleged sexual predations of the late Sir Jimmy
We should be relieved to have been spared even more
details of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s memoir, in which he confesses to having had a
liaison with Amazonian Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen – a terrifying image of
King Kong grappling with Godzilla comes to mind – or of an account of Sir Bruce
Forsyth’s exploding libido as he clambered, back in the 1950s, to the top of
the greasy pole to television stardom. And
our attention might otherwise have been consumed by a report that Dominique
Strauss-Kahn has signed up as a financial advisor to the Greek government. (One can only speculate about what his first
recommendation will be; my guess is a comprehensive plan to revive tourism by removing
income tax on brothels.)
The old Fleet Street adage that sex sells newspapers
retains its relevance – and the more sordid the story, the more the circulation
managers rub their hands.
The Megan story may have run its course, now that the
odd couple has returned to Britain. Or the impending prosecution of Forrest, and the
inevitable debate about whether his crime is a serious offence or a petty
misjudgment, may give it a new lease on life.
For what it is worth, I think his apologists – and there are many -are
addle-headed. The man deserves the stiffest
(sorry!) sentence the law can impose.
Teachers should no more be allowed to shag their pupils – and
particularly those below the age of consent – than doctors are permitted to sexually
assault their patients. How can the
matter plausibly be argued otherwise?
As for the Savile case, since the man has inconveniently
put himself beyond prosecution by dying, one can only hope that the story will quickly
fade from public prurience.
But we may need a new sporting sensation to help send
these tales on their way. John Terry,
where are you when we need you?
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