British Scandal

One of my favourite podcasts at the moment is British Scandal. I got into them with their series on the Traitor King, Edward VIII, and have now listened to a dozen or so of their series.

What I have found interesting is how they have changed my views of some of the people involved.

I always thought poorly of Edward VIII, but the podcast really brought to life how he would have been a terrible King regardless of Wallis Simpson, and how he actively courted Nazis and would have been happy to be their puppet king. I came out it feeling more sorry for Wallis Simpson.

With John and Yoko, I had always (like many) blamed Yoko for the breakup of the Beatles. But after listening to the podcast, I came away concluding that Lennon was in a fact a pretty terrible person (very talented though) who treated almost everyone in his life badly (wives, children, bandmates) and developed respect for Ono’s creative skills and how she let Lennon take all the credit for Imagine etc.

The latest series is on Jeremy Thorpe, the former Liberal Party leader who hired someone to kill his former gay lover. To my surprise I ended up slightly sympathetic to Thorpe and almost despising Norman Scott. Don’t get me wrong Thorpe should have been found guilty and gone to jail for attempted murder. The Judge’s summing up in his trial was appalling case of the establishment looking after their own. But Norman Scott spent around 15 years blackmailing and trying to destroy Scott, all supposedly because Thorpe didn’t help Scott get a National Insurance card. He wrote long letters to Thorpe’s mother, his wives, the Police etc detailing this brief relationship (when Thorpe was single). While what Thorpe did was so wrong, I can understand how he may have felt that there was no other way to get Scott to stop.

So this is why I am enjoying the series, it has me re-evaluating my views on various famous figures.

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