Sun 27 Apr 2008
Another issue of the News of the World, another shameful lead story concerning someone in authority, some hookers and an orgy. No Nazi overtones involved or implied this time though.
The figure involved in this instance is Lord Laidlaw who is apparently a prominent Tory peer, although I must admit I’ve never heard of him in my life!
Now, because I’m not really interested in the private life of someone I know nothing about, I skipped past most of the story until I saw one thing which caught my eye.
As is often the case with this type of thing, I fully expected Lord Laidlaw to have declined comment or come out with a straight denial, as our own Max Mosley did a few weeks ago.
But no, in a refreshingly honest turn of events he has actually come clean (so to speak…), owned up to his escapades and promised to do something about it.
I couldn’t believe what I was reading - if we use Max as an example then this isn’t what he should be doing at all!
This is what Lord Laidlaw said in a letter to the newspaper :
On Sunday I understand you will report on a sex party that I organised recently. I haven’t read the story…but the basis of the story is likely to be correct.
I have been fighting sexual addiction for my whole adult life. Sexual addiction is comparable to the other, better known addictions, such as drug, alcohol and gambling. Many people suffer different types of this disease. There is no cure for it, and self-help is rarely successful.
But having an addiction is no excuse for my behaviour. I have been in therapy a number of times, but I have not worked hard enough or continuously enough on this. I should also have been stronger in resisting the temptations.
I want to say how deeply sorry I am for the embarrassment that I must cause my friends and colleagues. I apologise from the bottom of my heart.
With Christine’s support and encouragement, I am seeking long-term expert help, not to cure me, but to prevent any relapse into unacceptable behaviours.
I am also planning to make a £1million donation to a UK addiction charity to help others in similar circumstances fight their addiction.
I hope that, in time, people will be able to understand and forgive me as I fight this difficult, personal battle.
Yours, Lord Laidlaw
Whether the addiction story is really the full truth only he can say, but at least he has had the decency to provide an “explanation” of sorts. Not only that but he has also stated that despite this addiction, he is not offering it up as an excuse and is promising to make amends.
Most importantly of all, I think, is that he does not say anything detrimental about the newspaper printing the story and apologises to his family and colleagues.
Let’s compare this stance with the one Max made :
From information provided to me by an impeccable high-level source close to the UK police and security services, I understand that over the last two weeks or so, a covert investigation of my private life and background has been undertaken by a group specialising in such things, for reasons and clients as yet unknown. I have had similar but less well-sourced information from France.
Regrettably you are now familiar with the results of this covert investigation and I am very sorry if this has embarrassed you or the club. Not content with publicising highly personal and private activities, which are, to say the least, embarrassing, a British tabloid newspaper published the story with the claim that there was some sort of Nazi connotation to the matter. This is entirely false.
It is against the law in most countries to publish details of a person’s private life without good reason. The publications by The News of the World are a wholly unwarranted invasion of my privacy and I intend to issue legal proceedings against the Newspaper in the UK and other jurisdictions. Max Mosley
At first glance, it appears that he does apologise, but it actually seems as if he is actually apologising for the fact his antics were made public rather than saying sorry for doing the deeds in the first place. He also places high emphasis on the fact that he feels the newspaper invaded his privacy in the first place and that the whole focus should be on that offence rather on the revelations they uncovered.
The Max story has caused a huge uproar, despite what the man himself seems to think, but had he come out and been as honest as Lord Laidlaw appears to have been then I think that would have deflected a lot of the flak. Of course it wouldn’t have lessened the embarassment factor but I think the majority of people, myself included, are more annoyed by the whole “wriggling” factor.
I really don’t care whether Lord Laidlaw or Max Mosley enjoy getting up to no good with a bunch of prostitutes - the Nazi side of things is a different issue however and while there is a certain amount of evidence, we won’t really know if that is true or not until there is a court case.
Even had I known Lord Laidlaw before this story, it would have been pretty much in my head today and gone by this time next week - with Max though, it’s much worse because the story is running and running, mainly due to his constant denials. If he had simply held his hands up and admitted he had hired prostitues for a roleplay bondage session then I, and many others, would have though he was a bit foolish, but accepted his honesty.
Now I simply don’t believe a word he says.
His honesty wouldn’t have stopped some people calling for him to leave his position, but I don’t think the clamber would have grown with each passing week as it has done since his denials. By trying to keep quiet and comment on the story as little as possible he has probably been thinking it would go away quicker but those tactics are having the opposite effect. Not only that but every time he does actually release a statement it only makes things worse.
I’m sure when Max heard the News of the World had another vice story on the front page his heart skipped a beat, and he would have been relieved to learn it was someone else feeling the heat this time. I hope that he has read the story though, and in particular the letter from Lord Laidlaw.
Look and learn Max, that’s how you deal with things properly when you’ve been caught with your trousers down.
As a side note, it is thought that the FIA meeting which may decide Max’s fate is going to cost the governing body something in the region of £1million - Lord Laidlaw is planning to donate this exact same sum to help combat sexual addiction so could it be that he plans to give this to the FIA to cover their expenses in dealing with Max’s sexual exploits?