Brooks Newmark has been a fool, even he admits that, both publicly and, I’m sure, privately, to himself. The man has behaved badly but a Sunday Mirror newspaper reporter, desperate for a headline to embarrass Cameron on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference, has engaged in a textbook entrapment operation which has bagged him/her Brooks Newmark…so the reporter is happy, Ed Miliband etc etc, they are all happy, but the cost of their happiness and celebrations? a family destroyed, possibly a divorce to follow, Brooks’ children living a nightmare, having to go to school to be welcomed by jeers and public humiliation.

Brooks’ behaviour was foolish, as a father, a husband and a public figure but he does not deserve the punishment he is suffering today and will continue to suffer going forward and to the reporter and his/her boss who entrapped Brooks Newmark, I say shame on them for punishing Brooks’ wife and children who have done nothing.

Most people will say it’s all Brooks Newmark’s fault, that he shouldn’t have engaged in such lewd behaviour and that he, and he alone, has brought shame on himself, on his family, and on the Conservative Government. The motivation behind this story was the scoring of Brownie points, it was nothing to do with a journalist’s moral outrage. It’s not as if Brooks was doing something which was at odds with his Ministerial portfolio…he was Minister for Civil Society which concerns charities, volunteering, social enterprise and the Government’s ‘Big Society’ agenda.

Brooks’ public humiliation is a far harsher punishment than he deserves and no one involved in publicising this story has given any thought to the man’s wife or children (or they have thought about his wife and children and couldn’t give a stuff about hurting them!) My guess is that hundreds of thousands or millions of people in Britain do all sorts of similarly natured things and if they are caught, it is usually by their partner/husband/wife and the matter is dealt with privately and without the children knowing about it. Newmark and his family have been sacrificed on the altar of gutter journalism.