Monday, January 23, 2006

Arrogance and the fall of Oaten

I am sometimes reminded of my now futile wish of what I'd like to do when I grow up, but didn't think of it at the right time, and now it's too late. Had I thought of it in my 20s, and qualified as a Profiler, I would have probably studied Mark Oaten.

His disgrace due to a long-standing relationship with a rent boy of 23, his naivety about the likelihood of exposure and his excuse of having made "errors of judgement" would, I'm sure provide a profiler with a marvellous case-study in, amongst other things, arrogance.

Successful young men are particularly prone to arrogance, it seems, bred, as it is, from a feeling of invincibility and untouchability. If they do not experience the salutary lessons offered by a dose of failure, or being down-sized by an older and wiser mentor, these men can go through life oblivious to necessity for moderation and curtesy. They carry on regardless of others until they are hit by a huge scandal, probably at the instigation of an enemy of which they have many.

Mark Oaten's disgrace is partly a result of his arrogant belief that he was entitled to behave recklessly. He wallowed in a sleazy relationship with a rent boy, careless of the extreme distress he would cause to his family, the embarrassment to his political party, and the risk that his career could end up in the political shredder.

Personally, I have no sympathy for him. He brought it on himself, and has, I hope, taken up his crampons for a steep learning curve in Real Life.

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