Leading article: Marry in haste...

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The Independent Online
WE KNOW the Prime Minister approves of marriage and wants to promote it - without in any way casting aspersions on those of his colleagues who are less fortunate than he on the conjugal front. The question is, how to get the message across. He and Cherie appeared on the step of No 10 Downing Street for a photocall the other day, holding a single red rose to advertise National Marriage Week. Is that going to stop people hurrying into unsuitable matches, or suing for divorce the first time the top is left off the toothpaste tube? Hardly.

Now we have the solution. The Wildenstein Solution. All the Government has to do is to draw the moral from the divorce of Alec and Jocelyne Wildenstein. Alec W, from a family worth billions of dollars, claims to earn $175,000 a year, although New York court depositions show he and his wife spent $16m in 1995 and $11m the next year. She claimed she needed $2.4m a year, partly because she did not know how to make toast or boil water. He complained that her insatiable appetite for plastic surgery "submitted us to public ridicule".

That's it: ridicule. Jack Straw could compile a fact pack on the couple's embarrassment and humiliatione for his parenting classes. And another on Earl Spencer's divorce case in South Africa, when his wife accused him of having had 12 mistresses and threatened to call them all to give evidence. That should put them off.

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