In his capacity as the Lords’ Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Privileges and Conduct Committee, Baron Sewel, 69, was in charge of enforcing good behaviour in the Upper House.
His own behaviour, however, didn’t always meet the high standards whose guardian he was. The other day Lord Sewel resigned his posts after starring on hidden camera.
The video depicts His Lordship snorting cocaine through a rolled £5 note while cavorting with two prostitutes in his Dolphin Square flat. It’s unclear whether the pink bra His Lordship wore in some of the sequences belonged to him or was borrowed from one of his friends for hire.
Personally, I’ve never felt the need either to own a brassiere or to put one on after removing it from a woman, but I realise that some men have more sophisticated tastes. So my hat’s off to Lord Sewel.
As each of the young ladies comes with a £200 price tag, they set Lord Sewel back £400 – unless they came cheaper for two. As well they should have done, for the session came complete with valuable political insights.
Between sex acts his Lordship took breaks, understandably prolonged on account of his venerable age. Rather than wasting the downtime, he imparted on the young ladies some unsolicited pearls of political wisdom, enlightening them on the fine points of his colleagues.
Cameron, he said, “is false. He makes one-off commitments and cannot deliver… He just shoots from the lip… He’s the most superficial, facile Prime Minister there’s ever been.” The garment Lord Sewel sported when offering this observation takes nothing away from its accuracy, as far as I’m concerned.
Boris Johnson? “A public school upper class twit… an a***hole [to be regarded as such up North]”.
One suspects that, being a career Labour man, His Lordship probably feels that all public school chaps fit this description. If so, he’s patently wrong. But there’s no gainsaying his judgement that Boris will be viewed in those terms “in Preston, in Burnley, in Manchester”. Why, I even know some people in higher-rent parts of the country who feel the same way.
Lest one might accuse Lord Sewel of bias against Tory politicians, he also took a swipe at the man to whom he owes his political career, Tony Blair.
In fact, he attributed the present, most pleasingly disastrous, state of the Labour Party to Blair’s dragging the UK into the “pointless” Iraq War: “He went to war because of this sort of love affair with George Bush… Blair fell in love with George Bush, absolutely.”
Love-related metaphors must have really rolled off His Lordship’s tongue under the circumstances, but one does detect a grain of truth in his diatribe. He might have added that Blair could give Cameron a good run for his money in the “facile and superficial” stakes, but party loyalty must have kicked in at that point.
In fact, he partly exonerated Tony by opining that his apparent obsession with money is inspired by his wife Cherie, who’s money-mad because she “comes from a working-class Liverpool background”.
One may think that the implicit contempt for such a lowly descent sounds odd when coming from a Labour peer, but in fact it’s par for the course. No one seriously thinks that there’s anything labour about the parliamentary Labour Party, or indeed anything conservative about the Conservative Party or anything liberal and democratic about the LibDems.
Blair, in fact, has a background similar to Cameron’s, and I’m sure that, just between them and a Krug bottle, they talk about the proles in equally derisory terms. And when Nick Clegg stops over for a quick glass, he must join in the fun.
Once Sewel got on a roll, there was no stopping him. The Labour leadership contest is “in a f***ing mess”. Again his judgement can’t be faulted.
Jeremy Corbyn is “a typical romantic idiot… Useless.” True, although I’m not sure about the ‘romantic’ bit. Communists are in my mind associated not so much with romanticism as with concentration camps, but hey, Sewel is a Labour man after all.
“Andy Burnham… goes whichever way the wind is blowing.”
Yvette Cooper is “not strong.”
Liz Kendall, whose name Lord Sewel couldn’t recall offhand, “is just too naïve”.
In short, “there’s nobody bright enough, or who has the leadership qualities…” And they’re all more or less run by union bosses like Len McCluskey who is “a f***ing idiot.” Yes, among other things, I’d be tempted to add.
And the SNP leaders aren’t much better. Alex Salmond, for example, is a “silly pompous prat.” And so on in the same vein, until His Lordship’s amorous vigour was restored by cocaine, and the young ladies stopped shirking and started working.
I don’t know if afterwards they agreed that the session was valuable in more than just monetary terms. I certainly think so – it’s not often that one can hear a politician talk in such an uninhibited fashion, or tell the truth about the sorry state of British politics.
Perhaps all our parliamentarians ought to be obliged by law to wear bras. Except of course the female MPs, who are likely to regard such a diktat as an expression of latent misogyny and the male desire to dominate women.