08
Oct
09

Should he quit?

mitterrand Passages from  his book in which he describes paying for sex with boys in Thailand were hardly noticed when it first came out four years ago, before he was in government. But French Culture Minister Frederick Mitterrand’s  defense of Roman Polanksi  means that his book, The Bad Life  may cost him his political life.

He says he use the term  ‘boys’ loosely , has no intention of resigning, and that all those who accuse him of paedophilia and sex tourism “should be ashamed”. He did admit paying for sex with men his own age. But what do you think – should he quit? Here’s what he exactly wrote in his autobiography.

“I got into the habit of paying for boys…All these rituals of the market for youths, the slave market excited me enormously… the abundance of very attractive and immediately available young boys put me in a state of desire.”

His case brings up a number of questions. Should the things you’ve done in the past affect your political life? Do people who have used prostitutes or engaged in sex tourism have a place in government? By writing his book, has Mitterrand made his personal life our business?


20 Responses to “Should he quit?”


  1. 1 Tom K in Mpls
    October 8, 2009 at 21:18

    If this episode was an issue, how did he get the position? It wasn’t a secret. I think this is an absurd reach for a story on somebodies part. Also, I don’t care what others do on their time as long as it doesn’t affect their work. And yes, this would include getting arrested for illegal activities.

  2. 2 Claudio Aliaga
    October 8, 2009 at 21:27

    I think that to have a political career one must have a clear and decent past life. If you made a mistake in the past or when you were young, sooner or later it will come to light as a weapon of your political opposers. It is supposed that these people are there for public service and for the common wealth, so bad attitudes or acts are like “spot” in your CV that sometimes is impossible to erase.

    I consider myself as a tolerant and open-minded people, but regarding to the subject of the book in question and his author…makes me think about how twisted our society has become..

    I think definitely he should and must quit.

    Regards.

  3. 3 John in Salem
    October 8, 2009 at 22:41

    While the French may be more forgiving on questions of immoral behavior, I think he should be forced to resign on grounds of stupidity – for publicly bragging about being a customer of the sex slave business, and for specically using the words “young boys” and then saying it was not pedophila.

  4. 4 Jennifer
    October 8, 2009 at 22:55

    Re: “I got into the habit of paying for boys…All these rituals of the market for youths, the slave market excited me enormously… the abundance of very attractive and immediately available young boys put me in a state of desire.”

    If he wants to lie about it; he is going to have to get all of his books back. This says alot about this man’s character.

    Re: Do people who have used prostitutes or engaged in sex tourism have a place in government?

    I don’t think that prostitution should be legal and we should work to eradicate sex tourism. These individuals should not be permitted to hold positions in government as they obviously exploit those who are vulnerable for their own purposes.

  5. 5 carin
    October 8, 2009 at 23:40

    A man having sex with underage children belongs in jail.

  6. 6 JanB
    October 9, 2009 at 00:11

    This politician paying a prostitute for sex should be non of my business, in fact it’s no one’s business (he’s not married), there are however two exceptions that change the situation and would be reason to sack him:

    1) He was elected on a platform that condemned prostitution, in that case he proves himself to be a fraud and thus unable to perform his function.

    2) He made use of the services of sex-slaves (people who are forced to prostitute against their will), this is a serious crime.

    Mitterand is guilty of number 2, therefore he should be sacked, and if additional evidence can be found, he should be prosecuted.

  7. 7 Kassandra
    October 9, 2009 at 00:28

    There has to exist a strict moral etiquette which has to be enforced especially on those that are elected to represent the people in government. Moral depravity is unacceptable and should be punishable to the full extent of the law. How can it be said that private dealings are irrelevant as long as one can perform one’s professional duties, and that including illegal activity? It is illogical. By virtue if being found guilty of a punishable offense, one would not be able to continue one’s duties, due to the simple circumstance of being incarcerated. Despite the state of today’s society, there is a MORAL CODE, there does exist such notions of right and wrong. This seeming moral laxity is frightening to me, to say the least.
    One can be anything one wants to be (minister, president, blue-collar worker, etc.), but one has an obligation of being human ahead of everything. It is ironic to have someone who is in charge of representing a nation’s culture and having no culture himself, merely stooping to his own base instincts.
    Incontestably, one’s past actions and during the holding of political office should affect one’s political life.

    • 8 Tom K in Mpls
      October 12, 2009 at 15:40

      I couldn’t disagree more, who would set the standard? The Taliban, a Californian nudist club? When popular attitudes change, how do you choose a new standard? If they are legal, they are good.

  8. 9 Dennis Junior
    October 9, 2009 at 01:03

    Should the things you’ve done in the past affect your political life?
    *Technically No…But, something like this should have a impact*

    Do people who have used prostitutes or engaged in sex tourism have a place in government?

    *NO*

    By writing his book, has Mitterrand made his personal life our business? *Yes*

    ~Dennis Junior~

  9. 10 Joe
    October 9, 2009 at 07:43

    To resign is not enough but investigation on them boys as I suspect they were underage and poor, Unless this is cleared he is just like Polanski!!

  10. 11 VictorK
    October 9, 2009 at 10:05

    Any politician who’s fool enough to disclose something like this deserves whatever happens. But since Le Pen has condemned Mitterand I expect him to get plenty of support from establishment politicans and media (who are, besides, the kind of people who have no problem with ‘sex work’ as a profession and celebrate homosexuality as a lifestyle). The Polanski link is enlightening.

    All the questions asked depend on context: i.e. the country and culture in question. If doing x is not accepted in country y, then of course it will matter, and should matter, and may matter however long ago you did it. You can’t generalise or treat Western liberal attitudes as being universal (or even right).

  11. 12 Obeds Oriku
    October 9, 2009 at 11:18

    What one has done before should technically never affect their political life but more often than not its never the case.

    The sad fact is that when you join politics, your life whether present or past becomes of public interest; the irony of this is that just like a man of the collar you are expected to be holy and never sin, which is hardly the case as all of us are human and have dark secrets that only justify our human imperfections

    I would never say he should stay put or quit, but I would rather want to know what he thinks about it; we find this morally decadent and stinking but if he does not think so then we cant do much, he will stay! If he shares the same opinion as the public then without a doubt he will throw in the towel! Its all a question of intergrity

    Bottom line: If you want to keep your life “private” avoid anything “public”!!!

  12. 13 Rattyrain
    October 9, 2009 at 13:56

    One simple answer. YES!

  13. 14 Livia Varju
    October 9, 2009 at 14:48

    Mitterand should resign so as to not bring more shame on the French Government and if he refuses, then he must be asked to go. Most of us have only just found out about his book and the part about pedophilia, so it’s possible that also in France people had not read it and this is how he was appointed to his ministerial post.

  14. October 9, 2009 at 15:04

    Mitterrand’s own words of,boys,young boys and youths puts him in a difficult position,his support for Polanski makes it even more difficult,and he is a sex tourist,out of his own admission of going and paying. The same as people who visit the red light districts of,Soho,Hamburg and Amsterdam,sex tourists all,even if they do not indulge. If he has not broken any laws I do not see a resignation problem. But I would not let him come within a mile of any of my “young boys”

  15. 16 moshezve
    October 9, 2009 at 15:46

    Very interesting connection to the Dreyfus case in France, turn of the century ,which shook France, case recently on BBC radio 4

  16. 17 moshezve
    October 9, 2009 at 15:53

    There is hope that truth and justice is not dead yet and may prevail for a world fit for our children and their children till we get the Garden of Eden

  17. 18 T
    October 9, 2009 at 17:21

    First Polanski and now this? The key is having sex with an underage girl and with boys. Yes he should quit.

  18. 19 nora
    October 9, 2009 at 17:57

    A politician that admits to seeing prostitutes is refreshing. One that admits to getting hot for slave boys may bring his own downfall but also brings an important issue before us. Thai sex tourism is a terribly tangled web with many kids caught in it. Some very brave people work tirelessly to help these kids and they are overwhelmed.

  19. 20 NSC London
    October 12, 2009 at 16:43

    How is a politician using hookers “refreshing?”

    Any disgusting old man who excited by “the slave market” has no place in the leadership of a decent society. This makes me sick.


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