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Is private conduct relevant in selection for public office?

By Roger Scruton   May 2000

Dear Roger Scruton

11th March 2000

The relevance of a person’s private conduct to his or her fitness for public office is once again making the news. Should it matter that a candidate for mayor of London, New York or Paris, may have reneged on promises given to the women (or men) in his (or her) life and, very possibly, have lied to them into the bargain? I remember David Mellor’s then mother-in-law being quoted as saying that a man who cheated on his wife could not be trusted not to cheat on his country; similar doubts have been…

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