The news for Keith Vaz is devastating. In the Sunday Mirror it is reported that he is alleged to have hired male prostitutes for sex. The allegations suggest that he is experienced in procuring their sexual services. The reports indicate that the behaviour has been going on for some time.
As we know from previous scandals, the party Whips are often aware of such behaviour. They need to be aware to protect the party. If they can help the MP, they help the party. A party with MPs in the news for sexual impropriety, ethical lapses, and the appearance of potential criminality is rarely successful at the polls.
We have to consider the twilight political world where information is used privately for influence and advantage. In this world, political operatives, journalists, and even the police trade information for influence and to influence events. To influence events, they have to influence the main actors. For some this influence is simply called political deal making. For others, it is brutal political combat. (more...)