Well, it’s been quite the weekend for entitled sex-pigs, hasn’t it?
I hit myself in the head with a hammer on Sunday, and still had a better time of it than Prince Andrew or Boris Johnson.
Kerry Katona was thrilled to lose the title of Worst TV Car Crash Since Richard Hammond, and the debt-ridden Pizza Express chain had a Royal endorsement for the La Reine at its Woking branch.
Whether being an alibi for nonce-chums is going to be beneficial for business in the long term, we will have to wait and see. Especially as the only Royal Warrant most customers will want to see is one with ‘FBI’ stamped at the top of it.
Cats are now being slaughtered and thrown over the palace walls, with claims the duke used the n-word. And speculation is rife about what, exactly, Jennifer Arcuri’s non-interviews, about the secrets she knows and has not told, might be seeking to achieve.
Boris-bonkers and princely plonkers have long made headlines. But, as Emily Maitlis asked the Duke of Dork: what’s changed?
While once having sex with the wrong person could bring down a politician or send a Royal into purdah, society no longer gives must of a monkey’s.
A renowned adulterer doing some adulterating is barely even news, which is why the Prime Minister is hoping he’ll get away without having to discuss it.
And a 41-year-old exchanging physical pleasantries with a 17-year-old isn’t illegal, in this country, which is perhaps why Randy Andy thinks that him not remembering it is a public relations win.
Thing is, these men are not being accused of having sex. They’re being accused of abuse of power, in a world where equality has moved into the bedroom.
These two chaps were not expecting that. They both come from worlds which taught them to take “positive action”, while the ladeez gracefully recline, avert their eyes, or feign enjoyment.
But the price of equality is that everyone is treated equally. Because women have plenty experience of being physically belittled, intellectually-mocked and sexually-disdained, they want men to enjoy some of it, too.
The claims that stick in the mind are the profusely-sweaty prince with a foot fetish, the pestering politician who seeking help with his hard drive. Those are the things that shrivel them in the public eye.
Once, kiss-and-tells were about fallen women. Now it’s grown-up females, mothers, exposing men to ridicule rather than themselves.
It was not so long ago that older men capable of getting a young blonde into bed were considered to be playas with top bantz and balls of pure gold.
It is remarkable, then, that two men with reputations for being lotharios can now save those reputations only by proving they didn’t touch the blonde beauty in question, and are in fact teetotal monks with peculiar medical conditions that make such liaisons impossible.
It’s not the sex that matters, to them or to us. It is the claims of exploitation, dodgy friends, great and powerful men having the sort of judgement that says convicted paedophiles should be treated “honourably” and taxpayers’ money can or should be spent on something that elevates their personal enjoyment.
The scandal is, in short, that these men do not behave as though they are equal, and the women in question insist they are. Consensual or non-consensual, they want the relationships they had to be considered as one of equals – between people who are of equal value, and equal before the law.
The question that would most confound these men is not where they were, or what any pictures prove. It is how much respect they are capable of expressing for the woman who demands it.
Christine Keeler neither asked for, nor received, respect. A host of political flings from Antonia de Sancha to Sarah Keays were regarded by the public as women who’d made a bad bargain, rather than victims of the men who exploited them.
The Royal back catalogue of actresses, models and minor aristocrats were likewise women-on-the-make, infantilised females fixated by the possibility of baubles.
But now equality has been made law – if not fact – the likes of Jennifer Arcuri, or Virginia Giuffre-Roberts, are seen differently. Whether you believe them to be telling the truth or not, you may well think more of them than you do the men they accuse.
And this is less a form of light-entertainment than it is one of gross inequality. Rich men doing as they please, because they always could, and finding out for the first time that many of us think they are conducting themselves in a manner unbecoming.
Like any dinosaur, they’re not evolving well. His Royal Dryness expressed regret only for not expressing regret, and the Prime Sinister invoked his right to remain silent, which is perhaps as well considering his earlier claim that hanging out with child rapists is good for business.
They seem to both persist in thinking these are just silly sex scandals. They’re not. They’re abuse scandals, and if you want to know the difference I’ll explain.
Imagine it was a 17-year-old boy groomed into massaging a pervert, trafficked across international borders, and who claimed he’d been told to service a prince. Imagine it was a married dad who’d had taxpayers’ money funnelled towards his business after a “special relationship” with someone now too scared to speak to him.
There’s your equality. When women and girls stop being considered silly, fair game, or loose, all that’s left is to ask if they’re OK with it. Same as you would those men.
Note to those few Thighgrabosaurus Rex who still lurk among us: we are not okay with this. We now expect friends of wrong-uns to call it out, for employees not to look away, for police to investigate sexual behaviour only when it involves a crime.
These small-brained monsters don’t understand they have become socially unacceptable, to the point that the PM has been heckled at every public appearance since July and the prince’s patronage is as unwelcome as a Sandringham shooting weekend.
It has been a long time coming, but for the first time in history the accused men’s best exit strategy is not to shout “LADZ!” and punch the air.
It is, instead, to not have done it in the first place.