As you make your bed, so you must lie in it
And if you sleep around, you can expect to be called a prostitute, a whore, a slut...
or at least ‘unfaithful’.
One can, of course, be forgiven: there is redemption. But once the bond of trust is broken, it may take years of intensive care before it can be mended. Raging hormones can be a curse, but within a union of loyalty, fidelity, honour and mutual respect, they are a means of blessing and strengthening partnership. But when one betrays trust, breaks vows and behaves in a manner which is disloyal, one risks undermining all that one has worked for: there is the constant insecurity, the perpetual uncertainty of never knowing quite where the relationship stands, whom your partner may be in bed with, and, of course, the risk of contracting a nasty disease. Then come the lies to conceal the indiscretion, and the lies to cover the lies. And, before you know where you are, your friends desert you, your colleagues shun you, and you begin to envy the friendships of Job.
While temperatures have plummeted inside No10 and Gordon Brown has had to comfort himself rubbing his hands over a solitary candle, the Conservative Party has discovered the deep inner warmth and satisfying glow of political Ready Brek.
A political coup within the Government is always exciting for the Opposition, but a botched coup is a Godsend. David Cameron now has Gordon Brown exactly where he wants him, and there he must keep him: in office but not in power; irreparably damaged, fatally wounded and beyond help.
And the Cabinet has also been immensely damaged by this. Their blathering and dithering has been tortuous: even the Home Secretary Alan Johnson managed to omit the Prime Minister’s name from his statement of support (which has probably gone down well with his own supporters in the forthcoming battle for the soul of the Labour Party). It is difficult to see how Gordon Brown can persuade the country to have confidence in him when his own Cabinet colleagues are so obviously lukewarm.
Lord Mandelson undoubtedly still pulls the most political strings, and his manipulative influence is evident. It may be his task to preside over Labour’s post-election civil war, and to ensure that his former master’s legacy is preserved.
David Miliband was once widely seen as the heir to Blair. But not any more: both fractious rebels and ultra-loyalists have lost patience with his tedious and dull procrastination. He has been waiting in the wings through an entire year of profound dissatisfaction with Gordon Brown, but we have given up waiting for his soliloquy: ‘Now might I do it, pat...’; not a hope in hell, Ed.
Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt have given David Cameron a New Year gift he could scarcely have dreamed of. Their own reputations have been destroyed, and the Labour ship has been fatally holed beneath the waterline. We now face five long months while this appalling government sinks to oblivion: an agonising political death which must make even the most devout Christian reflect on the benefits of euthanasia.
Blessings to Dead Goose for the graphic