The family that fought back

James Harkess explains why he took on Alan Clark over allegations in the former minister's diaries
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Indy Lifestyle Online
"MY DAUGHTER Josephine felt very strongly that the sleazy allegations made about her by the priapic diarist Alan Clark should be challenged.

My wife had been told by Clark in 1992 that there was no mention of my family in his diaries and when this proved to be untrue Josephine had the courage to take issue with him through the Press, and we supported her.

A few journalists hailed the ex-defence minister - whose diaries boast 'I do not in the least mind showing my penis to girls' - as witty, heroic, epitomising an 18th-century bounder, which is their prerogative, if a callous and overbearing attitude to women can be seen as such.

Others, more correctly emphasised his confession to have a different standard of morals from ordinary mortals, or his evidence to an Old Bailey jury [in another scandal] that he had been 'economical with the actualite'.

Stung by certain other revelations, Clark's wife retorted about 'bitches from Essex' and 'people from below stairs'. Those who enter the fray in order to expose sleaze and corruption in high places must expect a hungry and highly competitive Press to grab at stories in a battle to boost circulation.

It is really the public that has been victimised by the sleaze (be it sexual or financial) that has caused so many members of John Major's Government to resign or be accused.

It is said that the fish stinks from the head. If so, then the small part we played, along with many others, may assist in replacing Mr. Major - now overtly supported by only 218 out of 650 MPs. Sooner than later, it looks as if the victimised electorate may choose Tony Blair to sweep away the moss."