I wrote yesterday that if Mr Sheridan's colleagues were against 'privilege, inequality and greed' surely they must recognise that their leading light is consuming far more than his fair share of life's goodies.
Paul Stokes agrees.
"I have no doubt that the unfettered sexual marketplace operated in what we term the capitalist West is failing to allocate resources either fairly or efficiently. How else do we explain the fact that Scarlett Johansson never returns my phone calls ?
There are clear tendencies towards monopoly ... market failure is everywhere. Some people have strings of lovers. Others have none."
Christians believe that marriage and monogamy are the surest foundation for stability in family life and the successful transmission of a culture to a succeeding generation. But our rulers don't - and by the bastardy rates, neither do a large minority of Britons. Mum, kids, and whoever she's shacked up with at the time constitutes 'the family' as supported by New Labour - and Blue Labour too.
The government are tremendously keen on addressing disparities in income - between the deserving poor, struggling to get by on £31,000 of benefits (plus house and lots of extras) and the bloated plutocrat paying top rate of tax on his outrageous £37,000 salary (in the interests of fairness, the same rate as paid by a billionaire on his). Yet money isn't everything. I'm sure Chris Dillow would be able to lay his hands on the research which shows that people would rather have a high relative income than a high absolute one.
And there are other perceived goods too - like sex and power. Some people believe that these are simply a function of how much money you've got. Such people have spent little time on council estates. A violent criminal, even though only successful in his immediate neighbourhood, with a take-home income (mostly illegal and untaxed) of say £40,000 a year, has much more power and respect in his community than the marine underwriter from Dorking, on £100,000 post-tax has in his. He has more - and younger - women, too - especially if he always has access to drugs. People get out of his way. Everyone will know what he does, but no-one will want to tell the police. He gets served straight away in the local. Everyone wants to keep in with him.
The guy who lived four doors up from my father dealt smack and other drugs. Everyone on the estate knew it (he'd served a sentence for just that crime), they assumed the police knew it, but no-one wanted to give evidence and become a 'grass'. He had the best car of anyone on the estate, and he never got out of bed before two in the afternoon. He had some nice girls, too - nice as in pretty. On one occasion a large container arrived on the pavement early one morning, for once our man was up early and for the next three days an impromptu cash-and-carry liquor and tobacco business was run from the pavement, with cars being loaded up half way down the street.
Polly Toynbee would have us believe that the guy was 'poor' and 'disadvantaged' compared to the secondary school maths teacher in his own semi a couple of miles away. He appeared to me to be having a great time.
Perhaps this is why so many initiatives against crime and anti-social behaviour fail. Liberals seem incapable of grasping that criminal behaviour can not only be financially profitable, but profitable in other ways too, as well as great fun. It's a failure of empathy on their part.
The left's attitude to sex since the Glorious Sixties Revolution has been 'if it feels good, do it' - a mantra on which Graham Coutts is relying to get him out of jail. This laissez-faire attitude contrasts sharply with their micro-management of every facet of economic life.
As I wrote two years back :
In Victorian times a person could dispose of property more or less as he wished, whereas sexuality was subject to many legal and social restrictions. Now the situation's been more or less reversed.
Back before the sexual revolution of the 1960s, sexuality was a public, not a private affair. Marriage was a public ceremony, the only socially approved expression of sexual desire was within marriage, and married couples held a privileged position in law, some vestiges of which still remain. It was also a time when employers could operate a colour bar, hotels or guest houses could display 'no coloureds' notices, and a private citizen was free to discriminate or not as he chose on any grounds in any area of life.
The Old Labour sociologist Norman Dennis, in his 'Families Without Fatherhood', commented on the cultural change which elevated the freedom to have relationships as and when you chose, regardless of the damage to third parties (for example children or an abandoned spouse) to an absolute right. Already, he wrote, the the classic phrases of rampant capitalism come to mind as the number of fatherless families mount - "Cannot a man do what he likes with his own ? As for the other party, caveat emptor - let her take the consequences of her bad bargain !"
The only difference, he continued, was that now the State, through taxation, would take the consequences of a wrong choice of partner - ' ...in sexual conduct the cast of mind is that I please myself, but if anything goes wrong, you must be responsible that my children come to no harm. In effect such a biological father is saying, "You must be a socialist so that I can be an egoist. My baby is the hostage through which I, who will not do my duty, will hold you to your duty."
Yet on the face of it there seems no logical reason why this state of affairs should continue. Attractive people (a class into which I must assign Mr - and Mrs - Sheridan) tend to get more sex. Yet the physical characteristics of attractiveness are just as unearned and unmerited as inherited wealth, an evil which Gordon Brown is attempting to wipe out.
Surely those Labour MPs and other egalitarians who would wish, for example, to abolish private education, should address themselves to the glaring sexual inequalities which enable Kate Moss to snog Jemima Khan - while Paul still awaits that call from Scarlett.
Which brings us back to Mr Sheridan. Take a look at the 2003 list of candidates and nominate those who appear in urgent need of congress. John Milligan looks like a nice chap, but when did he last indulge in coke-and-champagne-fuelled orgies ? Why have all the male candidates for Katrine's area (North East Scotland) got smiles on their faces ? Which three dictators does Bob Goupillot remind one of ?
There is no doubt - in my mind, at any rate - that, as well as giving up half his salary to party funds, Mr Sheridan should also share his other goods more equitably among the party faithful.
Not in plan
3 minutes ago