Politicians, though, don't offer demonstrable, testable skills. Instead, they are like tele-evangelists. They sell us hope and illusion - the hope that things will get better if they were in office, the illusion that things have gotten better when they are in office.
Like tele-evangelists, this trick requires not so much technical skills as particular character traits - plausibility and credibility. As Richard Sennett pointed out in his great The Fall of Public Man, character therefore necessarily enters politics.
Quite so. Personally, whilst I am sorry for his family (and most are assuming, of course, that his wife didn't know), but I am afraid that Master Oaten should bloody well have considered that before he decided to carry on this "long-term affair" (or should that be long-term rolling-over contract?) with his pet gigolo. So, whilst I do feel for his wife and children, I have less than zero sympathy for him; amongst other things, given the constant "invasive" scrutiny by te media, how could he think to get away with it?
As for these—in some cases, pretty vicious—attacks on Guido and Recess Monkey, who are claiming the "scalp", there is something almost tabloid about certain bloggers' hysteria.
Why is Guido claiming a scalp here? Manic has a transcript of the relevent sections of the podcast, and it's a crock of shit. There's pretty hefty speculation that Oaten is gay, based essentially on what he looks like; well, we've all done that (if we're being honest with ourselves). Personally, I'm usually right (it's often the mouth...) and it's an amusing past-time. There is also a good deal of rubbish about him hanging around in playgrounds and being a paedophile. There is stuff-all about him hiring gentlmen of the night.
He was caught hiring a gigolo, not buggering kids. The two speculate that he might be gay, essentially from phenotype alone. This is hardly insider-stuff. In terms of being gay, well, they got lucky. It's possible that Guido and Monkey had some inside information that he definitely was, but it's not put that way in the conversation.
They didn't say that he was using male whores, but they did imply kiddie-fiddling. He didn't, and hasn't*, done. So, as far as I am concerned, Guido and RM have no right to claim this scalp. The two of them just got "lucky". So, can we stop with the hysterics now*, and all calm down a bit, please? Let's just sit back and enjoy the Schadenfreude.
UPDATE: It seems that Nosemonkey agrees with me.
* Unless, of course, there's more to come...
** I do have enough self-knowledge to accept the irony in your humble Devil calling for calm...!