Insightful piece by Giles Fraser in The Guardian suggesting that the internet generation will be a lot better at forgiveness than older people.
Which is why (I predict) the internet generation is going to end up being a lot better at what we used to be comfortable calling forgiveness. For if we are going to find it more and more difficult to forget, then we are surely going to find it more and more important to forgive. Public figures will no longer be able to delete their messy adolescences, for instance. Which means that we are going to have to learn to deal with our public figures as being more than bland two-dimensional cutouts. We are going to have to accept that they are as human and fallible as the rest of us. This is clearly good: we are simply going to have to learn to be more honest about ourselves and about other people.
I hope he’s right.
On the other hand, there’s plenty of evidence that dark pasts don’t seem to damage political careers; for example the Bullingdon Club behaviour of several Tory members of the cabinet, or former Home Secretary John Reid’s membership of the pro-Stalin Communist Party of Great Britain.