Öpik meets Irimia

All the recent mudslinging and crazed waving of arms that characterised federal politics before, as Tony Abbott admitted on Lateline tonight, the government decided to flick the switch away from vaudeville and try to restore its image as an, erm, actual government, lacked one key ingredient. That is, a key ingredient for actually being interesting. A spicy sex scandal. While tedious and hypocritical accusations about character are the stock in play of post-Kennedy American politics, the Brits have always done the crazed sex(y) scandal with more style. Most recently, for reasons that are totally unapparent to me, Welsh Liberal Democrats leader and Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Öpik has been in trouble for starting a relationship with Romanian pop singer Gabriela Irimia, one half of The Cheeky Girls. Tabloid reports suggest the MP was having a lively old time while still seeing his previous weather presenter fiancee. Local Lib Dems are unhappy, while party leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, has ruled out dumping the MP who’s campaigned strongly for more awareness of the possibility of dire asteroid collisions with the Earth.

Öpik sets the critics straight:

Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik has said his relationship with Cheeky Girl Gabriela Irimia is “a meeting of minds”.

The romance has raised eyebrows in Westminster and Mr Opik readily admitted they are “the oddest couple in Britain”.

But he told Hello! magazine: “Gabi is insightful, bright, sharp, challenging, very funny and pretty strong-minded. She challenges me intellectually, and she demands respect as a person just because of who she is.

“Our relationship is not based on lust – it’s primarily a relationship of intellect, a meeting of minds, and that I find really interesting and attractive.”

It wasn’t on my to-do list to date a Cheeky Girl – Lembit Opik

Miss Irimia, 24, shot to fame with twin sister Monica and their 2002 hit The Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum).

<img src="http://larvatusprodeo.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/lempitcheek161206_228x427.jpg&quot;

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Posted in levity, politics
13 comments on “Öpik meets Irimia
  1. Katz says:

    Kim, how can you accuse Australians of lacking political sexiness in the very week that Pauline Hanson’s Untamed and Unashamed sizzles to the top of the best seller list?

    Cue Pauline Hanson, draped in semen-stained Aussie flag

    If you are reading my tell-all expose now, it means I have been disappointed. Severely disappointed. On the very night of my maiden speech, a significant event in any woman’s life, a certain person who I’ll identify as “The Worm”, took advantage of me. He told me he loved me. He tricked me into feeling special. And then what? Well. let me tell you, it was nothing special.

    Then after giving myself to him, what does he do? He denies we ever shared a night of passion. The liar! As this flag is my witness I swear that I gave him everything.

    You can see how far he got.

    Do not let my utter frustration distract you for even a moment. While thre are book deals and gig on “Dancing with the Stars” there will always be ways of raking over the embers of my brief political career. For the sake of our children and our children’s children, my dignity must be sacrificed.

  2. Kim says:

    Oh, yeah, forgotten about Pauline…

  3. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Australia doesn’t really do spicy sex scandals, as such.

    There was of course, further back, Gareth and Cheryl. Further back still, there were the circumstances of the death of Billy Snedden. There was the mysterious Memphis episdoe of Malcolm Fraser and his trousers. And there was, of course, Jim Cairns and Junie Morosi. Most of you people are just too young to remember.

    *adjusts teeth*

    But one of the things I really really love about Australia, one of the things that makes me grateful not to live in the US or the UK, is that, apparently, we take this kind of thing for what it is, namely, people’s own private business. In general, we understand that irregular sex lives don’t make people bad treasurers or whatever. We go about our own business and we do not bang on lasciviously, because we do not care. Media beat-ups are largely in vain, and last about a week. The Clinton hysteria would have been a non-starter here. Canberra’s dirt units don’t understand this yet because they are blindly basing their methods on US and UK models.

    The only people in Australia who really feed, or feed on, sex scandals are either those who have an agenda (as, regarding Evans and Kernot, many did) or those who are appalled by any hypocrisy that emerges, as with the Mad Monk and his non-child. And vice versa, of course.

  4. derrida derider says:

    “a meeting of minds”

    Uh-huh, sure, sure. A meeting of something anyway.

    Lucky bastard.

  5. Kim says:

    Dr Cat, I think the celebritisation of politics is in part a function of the lack of substantive differences among the political class. In the US, there’s the added ingredient of deep disagreeement over “values” which isn’t really present here to anything like the same degree. But given the blandness of what’s generally on offer, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of it here. I’m not so sanguine about the good sense of the Australian people, etc…

  6. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Oh good heavens, I would never claim good sense! But I would claim (in general, I mean) a realistic world view, a highly developed sense of irony, and a refreshing absence of either US-model fundie-based hysteria on the one hand, or the Benny Hill nudge-nudge approach on the other. And what that means is that a lot of this kind of stuff dies a quick death for lack of oxygen.

  7. Steven says:

    I would like to see a Leader of the Opposition be married the PM. Of course, that would mean we have to have a female PM or Opposition leader. Seeing a husband and wife fighting for PM in an election would be very entertaining.

    BTW, is there something between Gillard and Abbott?

  8. j_p_z says:

    “Opik Meets Irimia”

    Great names! Vargon of Nulj, meet Hectoplasmus-5 of Zythimuk-on-Chelm. And cue the music from the Star Wars tavern scene.

  9. j_p_z says:

    I should add that if there’s a real scandal here, it’s that somebody was able to become famous with a song called “Touch My Bum.”

    Pavlov’s Cat — your reading of the “Clinton hysteria” is flirting with cliche. A few of the factors that were in play aside from sex as such: 1. he gave his enemies actual legal grounds to go after him; 2. he had a large, organized, and curiously venomous band of enemies massed against him, who were searching far and wide for something, anything, to nail him with (and if they had found something better than sex and legal issues, they woulda used that, too); 3. knowing all this quite well, he showed incredibly poor judgement in not taking it into account w/r/t his behavior as a public official and public figure. Woeful as the whole thing was, it was certainly a far cry from America collectively shrieking and shielding its prudish ears from something naughty. The substructure of the scandal was not sex, but a series of ugly political vendettas combined with a quality that’s always sort of disturbed me about the GOP, namely their seeming belief that they have a natural right to the White House, and that whenever anybody else occupies it, it’s a usurpation. Much, much stranger than having conservative views about sex. We did let Madonna be famous, after all.

    Man, remember her?!

  10. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Yep, JPZ, I do get that. I was (for example) less shocked than a lot of people by the shift to the right of Christopher Hitchens when it came, because I had been following his analysis (and, it must be said, his hatred) of Clinton right through from the latter’s gubernatorial days, and you could see which way it was going even before the Seymour Hirsch affair. Here I was talking strictly about the shock/lasciviousness level in the public eye, as it were, and the success the Right had with it — which is what I meant about the importance of starving such things of oxygen — rather than about the swamp in its entirety.

  11. Mark says:

    But the thing to note, PC, is that the Clinton attack failed. Polls at the time showed majorities believing Bill shouldn’t be impeached, that he was doing a good job as Prez, and that they thought his sexual morality was highly dodgy. The electorate did in fact distinguish between his private “character” and his public function. So the GOP and the noise machine were reduced to denouncing the people!

    Joan Didion in her Political Fictions analyses and describes this particular “disconnect” very well.

  12. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Yes indeed, I’m obviously not making myself very clear today — when I said ‘success’ I didn’t mean ‘electoral success’, I meant ‘success in creating a huge scandal and stink’, one example of which is that even today, relatively few adults in the English-speaking world can hear the words ‘blue’, ‘dress’ and ‘stain’ in a sentence without thinking of you-know-who and his you-know-what.

    What I was arguing, and I still do think this, is that in Australia a lot more people would have just yawned and turned over, as it were.

    Does Didion actually use the word ‘disconnect’? It suggests that the issues were or ought to have been connected but somehow became unnaturally separated, which I’m sure you, and I hope she, didn’t actually think.

  13. Mark says:

    Yes, indeed, she does. It’s a term used by the inside the beltway crew and she’s employing it with a heavy dose of irony.

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