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Holly-Ann Battye a month on – when will the country learn?

It was what around six weeks ago that Holly-Ann Battye was without a doubt the most famous Liberal Democrat candidate standing in any election on May 5. This is because the Daily Mail found her DeviantART website and decided that posing in sexy photos is not what prospective councillors should do and they decided to make a huge fuss over the story.

I said there and then that it was a mountain out of a molehill and the story just seemed so incredibly pointless and stirred up a lot of fuss over nothing. Young woman posing for photographs and oh my gosh – a ball gag – this type of woman surely cannot have a valid opinion of what the people want.

If you can’t tell I’m being sarcastic.

Well it turns out that she had hired Max Clifford to do her PR. In the piece Holly’s dad told the local rag, “They are actually working on an exclusive with national newspapers. Obviously the newspapers get something out of this in terms of circulation, and it is right there is something for Holly.”

Well it has been a month or so since the local elections and I have seen no story. Her star had faded and now her value to any tabloid is next to nothing. She did continue to stand but lost in the incumbent Tory councillor Ian McCord who got 548 votes to her 202. A resounding defeat but still she tried although she did not attend the count according to a local newspaper report

She has not updated her journal or art page seemingly since this whole thing erupted and you have to wonder how she has been affected by the media storm. It is sadly an indication of the society that we live in. We all have skeletons in our closets to some degree and running for office will give opportunity for those skeletons to find their way into the media and suddenly you are seen as a legit Public Interest story. If I posed today in ‘raunchy’ gear and posted it on the Internet no-one would care and those who saw it might have a nervous breakdown but if I did that and then ran for the local council then suddenly in the media’s eyes it comes under the guise of Public Interest.

Whilst there is no question of intrusion into privacy in this case as the pictures were on an open website, it does question the type of people who’ll both run and get elected into office. The country as a whole is still very stiff upper-lip and the majority of people do believe that for example a person wearing a suit is more intelligent and capable than a person wearing tracksuit bottoms and trainers. Appearances and first impressions play too much of a role in our society as a whole and even more so with our politicians.

I couldn’t give a damn if my local MP or councillor had the kinkiest private life imaginable. We elect them to do a job and if they do that job to a high standard then who cares what else they do as long as it is within the law. Sadly I know I’m not in the majority here. Will people with shall say we ‘non-vanilla’ personal lives run for public office and face the scrutiny of the media when they jump all over a small thing like this?

I doubt it somehow. Until the country becomes more sexually free then our elected officials with be either vanilla or privately perverted and when it comes out the nation will recoil. A sex life is a sex life. A private live is a private life. Should we care what others get up to when they are not on the clock? No we shouldn’t. The law is the law. Stay within that then you are good to go me. Until we relax our stiff upper-lips and stiffen up other parts of our anatomy then we’ll be destined to seeing the same types of people run for power and the same decisions being made.

I hope the experience hasn’t left Miss Battye feeling down on politics but if it has I wouldn’t blame her. I know the media have a job to do but really is this a story? It might be in Middle England but I’ll tell you this – Middle England is as perverted as the rest of us and if not more so and that my friends is saying something.

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