After tonight’s news that a six-year-old boy on a hot air balloon jaunt, thought to have befallen a tragic fate, turned out to be just fine and hiding in his attic at home in Colorado, I chart some other really terrible excuses for stupid behaviour.
1. Silvio Berlusconi: the Italian PM apparently ‘did not know [Patrizia D’Addario] was an escort’. Yes, because women do tend to find sleazy 72-year-olds attractive when there is nothing for them to gain.
2. Kanye West: The superstar attracted global criticism for his interruption of Taylor Swift during her MTV VMA award for Best female video. His justification – ‘Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time’! Some musicians make political statements when they cause trouble at awards ceremonies, but not Kanye.
3. Carol Thatcher: Given the boot from BBC’s The One Show because she referred to a tennis player, the French-Congolese Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as a ‘golliwog’. Her excuse; she was backstage at the time. Sure, because racism is totally acceptable when only some people are there to witness it. And when you scream in an empty wood, no one can hear you so you don’t make a sound, etc etc?
4. MPs, in general: because basically, their explanation for the mass expenses fiddling ran along the lines of; nobody caught us out yet so we are just going to keep on scamming the public. Oh, but crap, someone leaked it. And that’s the outrageous part, really.
5. Winona Ryder: the actress famously blamed being caught red-handed with some, ahem, souvenirs, of her visit to a shop, on ‘research’ for an upcoming role. Wow, talk about character acting.
6. Philip Whittington: the Tory party activist who allegedly nicked a bottle of champagne at last weeks conference, said he had behaved ‘rather foolishly’. Makes one truly optimistic about the possibility of a Conservative government, doesn’t it.
Ground them all, I say.