I think I made a mistake last week when I suggested that Ken Livingstone was entitled to his privacy, no matter how many children he has fathered, and that we don’t need to know about public figures’ private lives. My mistake was saying it about Ken, who today dragged some of his children into a dispute about his late appearance on a radio debate. His excuse, like the right to privacy, cuts both ways.
According to the BBC, Ken’s aides had originally attributed his late (30 minutes) arrival for the Asian Network debate to “hold ups on the tube”. But when mayoral rival Boris Johnson pointed out that there was a good service on Ken’s line, he admitted that he had left the house late:
"Yeah I left the house late. The kids were just... they don't understand why daddy spendsmore time with Boris than with them."
Very clever, very funny. It might even be true. It’s probably better than blaming the London Underground, for which you are responsible. But once you start citing minor family issues for your failure to do what people expect of you, don’t you step over the same line that adulterous ministers cross when they drag their wives (invariably) and children out for photocalls?