POOR old George Washington. The first American President who once came clean about chopping down his dad’s cherry tree – because it just wasn’t in his character to tell a lie – must be birling in his grave right now.
That’s if he’s not thanking his lucky stars he’s not around to witness the casual abandon with which people lie their way through misdeeds.
Let’s just take a quick look at the last month: there’s been Lance Armstrong, finally confessing to taking drugs and invalidating his seven Tour de France wins; it’s been suggested that the policemen involved in the Plebgate row lied about MP Andrew Mitchell’s behaviour; civil servants lied to ministers during the process to award the West Coast mainline contract; former Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne has finally admitted that he did speed and ask his wife to take the penalty points on her licence, though in the years of flat denials he has compromised his career and more tragically his relationship with his son.
Grieving parents in the Lothians were lied to about what had happened to their babies’ ashes after they were cremated at Mortonhall Crematorium, and now it seems that Anna Gristina, the woman who grew up in Kirkliston, the adopted daughter of the gardener and maid to the Foxhall estate, has confessed that indeed she was a “pimp”, with 100 women on a “global roster”, after previously denying claims she was a New York madam.
Lie and deny, lie and deny seems to be the mantra – at least until you’re caught out. Never for a moment consider admitting your failings and saying sorry. That’s so 18th century.
But while the others mentioned will get their comeuppance, Gristina appears to be one of the world’s liars who’s going to get away with it. Not only will she serve no more prison time (she served six months waiting for her trial to come to court, then pleaded guilty to reduced charges of promoting prostitution), but she is now planning to write a tell-all book about her clients and their sexual peccadillos. Lovely.
This from the woman who, prior to her conviction, claimed she wouldn’t reveal her clients’ names because she was Scottish, which gives her a “deep sense of loyalty”.
Obviously not enough to think of her surviving family who still live in Edinburgh, or her own children. Her daughters, Suzanna and Noelanie, may be adults but they can’t fail to still be affected by seeing their mother arrested and her lurid history printed in the international press.
Her two younger kids, Stefano and Nicholas, not only had to deal with losing their mother for months while she was in jail, and to listen to the lies of their father, Kelvin Gorr, who consistently denied his wife was anything other than a “hockey mom”, but were also used in their parents’ public appeal to raise bail money.
On a website to encourage people to donate to the fund they were pictured and quoted saying: “There is never a day, a morning, an hour, a minute that goes by that we don’t miss our Mother.”
Perhaps she should have thought of that before exploiting others, breaking the law, and ending up in jail.
And now she wants people to buy her book. Well, don’t – even if you did know her when she was a pupil at Kirkliston Primary, or Queensferry High and was known as Anne Tennant.
Cheats are never supposed to prosper. Let’s make it a rule for liars too.
Pedalling low prices
SIR Chris Hoy is without doubt a hero to many, and in particular to children. His dedication to cycling, his determination to push himself to his physical limits to meet his Olympic goals are rightly inspirational.
And the fact that he did most of his hard work when cycling was not deemed particularly cool in the UK and lacked major sponsorship, meant that he had some very lean financial years.
Of course, Olympic success changed that, and now he’s about to launch his own brand of bikes, which could apparently make him a multi-millionaire.
I’m hoping, though, that his range is not at the same end of the price spectrum as gold medallist Chris Boardman’s bicycles, which cost between £500 and £1000.
Wouldn’t it be great if Hoy could see his way clear to making the prices more family – and pocket – friendly?
A rubbish idea
HOW difficult can it be to collect the city’s household rubbish? Make it fortnightly, but give people the correct bins – one large enough to take two weeks of landfill waste, the other to take the same amount of recycling, and a third for garden waste.
Let people know which days they’ll be picked up, and at what time they should have them on the street. Employ staff who have a modicum of common sense . . . and ta da! . . . job done with no need to threaten £50 fines or have waste piling up in the streets.
I’d like to patent this idea, but unfortunately I’ve stolen it from West Lothian Council. Perhaps Edinburgh City Council could too.