29 March 2006
On John Profumo
|John Profumo died earlier this month at the age of 91. He had been the War Minister in the government headed by Harold MacMillan, and resigned over a sex scandal in 1963.|
A few days after his resignation he went along to Toynbee Hall in East London and asked if they needed any volunteers. He started out by washing dishes and rose to become the charity's president. An awful lot of the East End's poor owe their survival to that organisation, and the charity owes a lot to Profumo who spent hours writing letters and raising funds on its behalf.
Throughout the 43 years of life that remained to him after 1963 he refused to talk about the Profumo Affair that had led to his resignation, and his work at Toynbee Hall may have been his way of making amends for that whole matter.
There does seem to have been a decency to Profumo that is missing in public life today. When one thinks about the sleeze that hangs around NuLab like some vile and noxious fog, the question has to be asked, will any of the warmongers, honours purveyers and wide boys who make up this government ever find it within themselves to atone for their sins in the way that John Profumo did?