image: higham ferrars robowars park

National scandals are thunderstorms. They wander high, they bark the occasional hrmph, they scare the occasional cat. They might drum a parade of rain. You may get wet, you may get soaked. Hardly ever do they dislodge the solid stuff.

But they’re anonymous. You don’t know a thunderstorm personally. You’ve never bought it a pint. You may yell at it to bugger off, but you don’t expect it to notice. They’re impersonal, they’re other, they’re distant, they’re not you.

So you can gather my disquiet to once have known some of the people involved the current political scandals.

When I was smelly, if no longer so young, I was active in youth politics. Many people, like me, subsequently disconnected. Others stayed. They are my generation. My generation is now in government. I knew some people, then, who, now, are ministers. I doubt they remember me. The point is, though, I knew them. They are in my head. There are there, a vague there, a long ago there, these people with whom I drank a pint or more, these people with whom I politicked.

It was bad enough knowing one or two people in the Huhme scandal. It’s very much worse recognising an anonymous voice in the Rennard scandal. I knew these people. Why are they rattling my tiles?! Ok, so they’ve got reason to rattle something. More reasons than is blatant, I suspect. But why my tiles? Scandals should be anonymous. They should scare the weenies, not come round for a cup of tea and discuss being abused. Scandals should be impersonal.

image: rouge

If you’ve got the drift, you’ll suss the real disquiet, the shock. One voice is an ex–. I was a terrible lover, but I was a lover. A touch. Then. For a moment. A very long time ago. I was at my worst. Out of my depth. There. I admit it. I ran away. I had to say it. I recognised the voice. I was walking to the station listening to the podcast. I recognised the voice. I stopped in shock. Someone bumped into me.

At least I think I recognised the voice. It was rather a long time ago. Perhaps it has aged a little too little.

Most political people, those at the centre, those political, they will know the anonymous. The players, the journalists, the researchers, they will know. There, the anonymous are as anonymous as kings. But I knew these people. They were friends, they were more. They’re in my head, dammit.

Now, they know their world. I do not. They have their lives. I have mine. If they want anonymous, they can have anonymous. I will not break that. I am no disrespect. I am shock, but I am no longer disrespect.

Mind you, no one would listen if I blabbed. Why would they? I gave up that world for technology, twenty years ago. I’m irrelevant. A faded fade. But, more so, even more so, I’m no longer disrespect.