What Clarke and Strauss-Kahn tell us about our leaders

It’s happened again. One of our key politicians has spoken without censoring himself, and everyone’s in shock. But should we be? How much more do we need to hear to realise that this is the reality of politics in the western world? Kenneth Clarke talked about a distinction between “serious rape” and “date rapes”, referring to the latter as “17-year-olds having intercourse with 15-year-olds”. Serious rape, he explained, includes “violence and an unwilling woman”. Mind-boggling, yes. But frankly not so surprising, at least for those who knew that Clarke has previously commented on how “a woman can make an anonymous complaint, the man can eventually be convicted, after going through a long and probably rather...

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