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Jeremy Thorpe

December 7, 2014

Three rules – marry, don’t pay blackmail, and be kind to dogs

Jeremy Thorpe And Wife Campaigning   norman scott    rinka

Jeremy Thorpe, leader of the tiny UK Liberal party from 1967-76, followed the first rule, twice. His first marriage of convenience in 1968 quashed rumours of rent boys, and his wife’s death in a car crash, ten days after the 1970 general election, sealed the sympathy vote. His second wife, previously married to the Queen’s cousin with a stately home near Ripon, helped the 1973 Liberal bye election victory there. In the 1974 general election the Liberals gained 14 MPs in a hung parliament, and the Prime Minister offered Thorpe a cabinet post. He turned it down. By then he had neglected rule two.

A blackmailing former lover, Norman Scott, had kept making demands, so Thorpe mused that it would be good if he was bumped off. We will never know if he was serious, but a gunman did meet up with Scott on Bodmin moor, and shots were fired. If the bullets had killed Scott, that might have been the end of the matter; the plan was to drop the friendless troublemaker down an old mineshaft. But after the assassin killed Scott’s dog Rinka, the gun had jammed and Scott got away.

Oh dear! The British may forgive a sex scandal, but killing an innocent dog? At his trial for conspiracy to murder, a witness claimed that Thorpe had said: “We’ve got to get rid of [Scott]. It is no worse than shooting a sick dog”. To everyone’ surprise he was acquitted, but at the subsequent election a comedian stood against him for The Dog Lovers Party, and he lost to his Conservative opponent. He lived another 35 years, but he’d broken the third rule and there was no way back.

Jim Thornton

See this also.  I got Thorpe as a 2014 duet. For the new AOdeadpool on Facebook click here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2014 9:53 am

    And too damn right! Dogs are good people.

  2. December 7, 2014 7:08 pm

    Here is Peter Cook satirising the judge’s summing up.

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