Tuesday, 25 November 2008

189: Jeremy Thorpe 7

from “Private Eye”, 20 February 1976

Until recently, every issue of issue of “Private Eye” opened with an editorial by its fictitious, hypocritically criminal proprietor “Lord Gnome”. In each editorial, the previous fortnight’s embarrassing scandals would somehow be incorporated into Lord Gnome’s mirror existence. “Lord Gnome” is usually vigorously heterosexual and homophobic, but an encounter with a “Mr Sweetie Roughtrouser” (a name suggesting both effeminacy and a hint of s&m?) is too good to miss. At this time in the public knowledge of the Thorpe affair, a guess at an affair involving a male prostitute and hush money wasn’t unreasonable, but of course not even close to what really happened.
The recourse to ravening lawyers is quite accurate though. Thorpe immediately retained Lord Goodman (and who now remembers him?) to put the fear of God into anyone even thinking about making unsubstantiated comments.

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