We British love good scandals. Particularly if the people who are the stars of them are those we used to consider to be the great, the good, and the wise. It is interesting, amusing and informative to learn how members of 'The establishment' are every bit as flawed (or even more so) than the rest of us.
Not that it has always been so easy to find this out, of course. Even today, those with shameful secrets that they'd rather we didn't find out about can use the courts to frustrate the wishes of those who seek to expose them. In the age of the Internet and Ebay
it's often easy to find out who the famous footballer, who has been having a bit of hanky-panky behind his wife's back, is; or the 'pop star' who has been indulging in strange orgies with persons other than his 'legally wedded' partner. Try to publish this information on a website or newspaper within reach of UK libel lawyers or a court injunction, though, is a different matter. It is no wonder that the truth about so many scandalous activities, even fairly recent ones, are still shrouded in a great deal of mystery.
But this is half the fun of it! If we didn't know beforehand, we soon become aware that politicians, business leaders and major or minor celebrities can be just as wriggly and downright dishonest as the rest of us. Many of them can lie in their teeth, and threaten or persecute those who seek the truth. This makes us all cynical, and far less ready to accept the official line as we would have been in earlier days, when we were tought to believe that those set in authority over us were semi-devine, at the very least. A result of this has been the rise of conspiracy theories; for example, there are still those who believe that the Americans have covered up the arrival (and post-mortems) of little green men from outer space; that senior members of the royal family conspired to have Diana, Princess of Wales, murdered; that the FBI had a hand in the murder of President John F Kennedy. If we cannot find evidence to prove of disprove these beliefs, which concern happenings over the last few decades, how can we be sure about other scandals in the distant past?
Perhaps we really don't want to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A really good exposure that brings shame and ruin it it's wake is fascinating; but how much better is the one that still holds a few mysteries, twists and turns, dead end alleyways? the lesson to learn from finding out about the peccadillos of the famous or infamous is that we should never take anything for granted; that often the majority verdict is just plain wrong, that facts are not what they seem, that those we trust to tell us the truth are just as capable of lying as Pinnochio. Read on, enjoy, and stay cynical.