01 May 2006
John Prescott & the rules of the game.
The Two Shags Prescott saga seem to be going from the sublime to the very, very silly. Time to put the matter into perspective.
John Prescott is the Deputy Prime Minister of Great Britain. That he had a mistress - or even a string of them - is not something that should worry the bulk of the population of this planet, since keeping a mistress is a national sport in most parts of the world. That said one thing does trouble me about this matter.
Tracey Temple, one of the ex-mistresses, has said that she feels "hung out to dry" by John Prescott. It is possible that this is the reason why she went and flogged her story to the newspapers, pocketing about £100,000 in the process.
A man in Prescott's position should have provided his lover with a house and an income to go with it. This was not a two week fling that can be paid for with nice dinners and expensive clothes: this affair lasted two years and only ended when the press got wind of it. Prescott is clearly to blame for the scandal because he did not provide the girl with the goodies and left her to shift for herself.
Had this affair involved a man further down the food chain - say at the level of an MP or senior council member - then a mistress can expect to be given a well-paying job that is basically a sinecure. Go into any government office in Mexico and cast your eyes around for the willowy girl who spends her day polishing her nails. She is the lover of someone important in that department. He is not that important - she has to actually turn up at the office from time to time - but he is fairly senior.
However, in the case of John Prescott who is a very big deal indeed, once this affair went over the limit for a fling - say a few months - then he should have damn well offered her what every girl wants which is an easy life. (Yeah, I know, it's what every person wants, because only a fool wants to work for a living. The difference is that a pretty girl has a better chance of achieving her heart's desire via the bedroom.) He should have set her up in other words. That way he could have enjoyed her favours and she could have stopped worrying about how to pay the next bill. Everyone stays happy, just so long as everyone plays by the set rules.
Do you see how the system works? A girl catches a big fish and his help means that she does not have to work for a living. A slightly less lucky girl gets a sinecure, but it's still better than actually having to do any serious work.