Look. He said he was sorry, didn’t he? He didn’t mean it, of course, but at least he said it. What more do you want?
He said he took full responsibility. He didn’t mean that either, but hey, what else could he say?
In fact, there’s a simple rule to follow whenever he opens his mouth. If the sentence begins with the first person pronoun, insert the word ‘not’ before the verb that follows to work out what he actually means.
‘I will [not] learn lessons from what has happened.’
‘I do [not] fully understand people’s anger.’
‘I have [not] been as surprised and disappointed as everyone else at what has been revealed.’
What the hell did you expect? This is a man, don’t forget, about whom one of his school teachers once wrote: ‘[He] sometimes seems affronted when criticised for what amounts to a gross failure of responsibility … I think he honestly believes that it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception, one who should be free of the network of obligation that binds everyone else.’
He is now nearly 58 years old. Do you really think he’s going to change the habits of a lifetime? A man on his third marriage, who has fathered an indeterminate number of children, who has never bothered to buy a suit that actually fits him, and who lies as frequently as he ruffles his hair.
He insists that he has always said what he believes to be true. Translation: he has always said what he wants us to believe to be true, but not much caring whether we believe him or not. He has been sacked twice for lying, he has a total lack of interest in what most people would regard as basic standards of human decency, yet … Well, you know the rest, don’t you?
Napoleon is sometimes quoted – or more likely misquoted – as having said that he would rather have a general who was lucky than one who was good. Our man has an unshakeable faith in his own luck, his luck without end, and he has good reason to. Misdeeds that would have sunk virtually anyone else in public life have left him seemingly untouched, the greased piglet who has slipped through everyone’s hands time and time again.
He can preside over serial law-breaking, day after day, week after week, disgraceful carryings-on under his own nose, yet claim to have had no idea how the ill-disciplined youngsters in his charge were misbehaving after lights out. Yes, from time to time, he would pop his head round the door of the dorms as the kids were having their cocoa but he was shocked – shocked, I tell you -- to discover what mischief they got up to while he was translating ancient Greek texts upstairs.
He thought he was running a monastic order. How was he to know it was really St Trinians?
He is what he has always been, and he will do what he has always done. Anything and everything that he needs to do or say to get through tomorrow. It’s worked perfectly for him up till now – so why shouldn’t it go on working?
At first, as you may recall, his story was that nothing had happened. Then it morphed into, well, some of it might have happened, but there was nothing wrong with it. Now, we’ve got to yes, it was awful, but I wasn’t there at the time.
Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!
Ah. I’ve just realised. I haven’t made clear who this is about. But of course, I didn’t need to, because you’ve known all along, haven’t you?