This is a story of sex, death and political malfeasance that will make Teddy Kennedy look like Anne of Green Gables. It has everything you’ve come to expect from a Bad Gays story about the English upper classes — psychosexual repression, violence, class prejudice, hypocrisy, the brutality and cheapness of life at the heart of the political system, and plenty of people named things like Rupert, Auberon and Emlyn.
=Content warning for child sexual abuse in the early parts of this story=
But as ridiculous and kinky as the fruity rulers of Britain are, the story is darker than that. This story is also about the way the law is impervious to the informal networks of power in the British establishment, and how homosexuality was subject to a series of double standards, tolerated in the powerful but suppressed in the ordinary citizen, practiced in private and denied in public. Today we’re discussing the life of a man whose sexuality stole his chance at power, the MP and leader of the Liberal Party, the Right Honorable Jeremy Thorpe.
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Bloch, Michael. Jeremy Thorpe. London: Time Warner Books, 2004.
Freeman, Simon, and Barrie Penrose. Rinkagate: The Rise and Fall of Jeremy Thorpe. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 1996.
Preston, John. A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies, and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment. Illustrated edition. New York: Other Press, 2016.
Thorpe, Jeremy. In My Own Time: Reminiscences of a Liberal Leader. Edited by Duncan Brack. London: Politico’s Publishing Ltd, 1999.
Our intro music is Arpeggia Colorix by Yann Terrien, downloaded from WFMU's Free Music Archive and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Our outro music is by DJ Michaeloswell Graphicsdesigner.