Sunday, September 23, 2007

Woopie Vs. Watergate

Here's another funny satirical gem from Art Buchwald's book,
I am Not a Crook. For other breaking in depth and even salacious news that most of Malaysia's intimidated cowardly local media is too chicken to cover, please drop by Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today, amongst many other blogs with balls. Though I do not agree with all that are in some of these outspoken courageous blogs, I recommend them because their sensible mature and honest opinions and views reflect the reality of what goes on in the country and make everyone realise how much of the rights and freedom that is so cherished by Malaysians under the Constitution have and continue to be eroded with the compliance of many of those whom ignorant or misled voters have elected.

By the way, it won't be long before I join the growing disillusioned and disgusted friends of mine who will be canceling our subscriptions to the local papers. We are not getting our money's worth
in papers that do not report the latest news but which merely serve as the Hitlerian propaganda mouthpieces of others with dictatorial mentalities.

Sex Vs. The Watergate

I don't wish to put down our own Watergate affair, but when it comes to a good government scandal, the British have us beat by a mile. A recent British scandal had to do with sex.

It is the type of intrigue that even a charwoman can understand, having for its major characters Cabinet ministers, lords, dukes and call girls.

While our Watergate investigation has to do with who bugged whom, the British inquiry zeroed in on who slept with whom and for how much. And while the senate drones on endlessly about what one lawyer told another lawyer in the Watergate break-in, the British scandal delved into the motives of why a man of title, wealth and position would pay for pleasure in the arms of a fallen woman.

What makes the British story different from Watergate is that all the major players kept a stiff upper lip. There was no begging for immunity, no taking the Fifth, no threats to implicate others.

When Lord Lambton, Prime Minister Heath's defense under-secretary, was confronted with compromising photographs of himself and a call girl named Norma Levy, he did not say he was doing it on orders from a higher authority. Nor did he explain he took his action to protect national security. He did not hide behind the Union Jack.

He explained it simply on the BBC, when asked by the commentator (and this is an exact quote, which shows you why British TV is so much better than ours), "Why should a man of your social position and charm and personality have to go to a whore?"

"Because," Lord Lambton replied, "I think that people sometimes like variety. I think it is as simple as that and I think this impulse is understood by everybody."

The main fear in the Lambton affair was that state secrets had been divulged during the liaisons. But Lord Lambton squashed that on his BBC broadcast. "Businessmen do not go with call girls to talk of private matters. If a call girl suddenly said to me, 'Please, darling, tell me about the new laser ray,' or, 'What do you think of the new Rolls-Royce developments?" I would have known something was up."

What also makes the Lambton scandal more interesting than the Watergate was that there was more than one lord involved. As a matter of fact, after Lambton, Lord Jellicoe, the lord privy seal in Heath's Cabinet, admitted to having affairs with call girls as well and tendered his resignation. There was also a duke mentioned, and nobody knows how many knights will eventually be involved.

I must say the British newspapers took it very well. They kept the public fully informed on every last detail of the sordid affair, interviewing the call girls in question, the friends of the lords, the wives and everyone else who could shed light on what became the best story since the Profumo affair. As far as British journalism was concerned, there would be no cover-up.

Some Americans in London believe that the British broke the story because they were jealous of Watergate.

"It was pure spite," an American State Department official told me. "Britain knew it couldn't be a major power without a first-rate scandal, and the only way it could top us was to find one with lots of sex in it. We consider the breaking of the Lambton affair at this time as a very unfriendly act."

The only bright side of the story, from the United States point of view, is that although Lord Lambton wiped Watergate off the front pages of Europe's newspapers, its hard to sustain a call girl scandal for very long.

Watergate on the other hand, will probably go on for years. Americans can take comfort that while Halderman, Enrlichman and Mitchell will remain household words for a decade, Lord Lambton, Lord Jellicoe, Duke what's-his-name and Norma Levy will soon be nothing more than a footnote in Britain's long and illustrious sexual scandal history.

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