A VERY ENGLISH SCANDAL
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BY JOHN PRESTON
With the imminent BBC TV drama scheduled to appear this month, starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw, this is an excellent topical book choice, especially for those of us old enough to remember this political scandal that dominated the news in the '70s.
Enter a charismatic, highly educated and charming MP and then Leader of the Liberal Party, Jeremy Thorpe. An ideal leader to take the party from obscurity to the forefront of politics. But beneath this flamboyant personality was the hidden side of his life, a homosexual, illegal at the time and therefore unable to come out for fear of his career. Like many before and after him, we learn about the ruthless lengths he went to with various colleagues to stop this side of his life from entering the public domain.
In the current tide of sexual allegations in politics and public life, it is even more poignant. The key to this story is that John Preston has written it as a page-turner with dramatic dialogue and tension. And you are left thinking that the lengths MPs go to cover up their misdemeanours probably hasn’t changed.
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