The thing that bothers me most about John Prescott’s affair with his diary secretary Tracey Temple, is the cliche factor. (I don’t know how to do accents on this blog, so I’m afraid cliche will have to be read like quiche). He’s a fat, late-middle-aged man in a suit, in a positon of power sufficient to have a diary secretary, and she’s 24 years his junior, thus far younger than his devoted wife Pauline, and blonder, and – according to Tracey’s diary (she is, after all, his diary secretary) – he started flirting with her round the office, then moved into the arena of what might be called sexual harrassment at a tribunal: lifting her skirt to look at her suspenders when she was dressed for an office party, rubbing her back in the office, telling her what he’s like to “do to her” while dancing at said party. Of course, this is all repellent to conjure up in the mind, but compulsive nonetheless and I obviously give thanks to the Mail On Sunday for shelling out a reported two hundred and fifty thousand quid of the money they’ve made from giving away DVDs and boosting circulation in stupid spurts in order than we, the public who vote the likes of Mr Prescott into office, might read of his misadventures, the “randy old sod”, as she describes him. But at the end of the day, did it not once go through Prescott’s mind, as he carried his secretary into the bedroom of his apartment, that he was about to become a big, fat cliche? The age difference? The power play? The suspenders? The morning after pill? (Oh, and that he might just one day be found out and made a national laughing stock?)
As we speak, randy old sods of a similar vintage, with similar wives, in similar offices (albeit not ones paid for by the public), are lifting the skirts of similarly risk-hungry secretaries to look at similar suspenders. They are all, to a man and a lady, quiches.