John Profumo died today. The first time I learnt of the 1960’s scandal was during my photography A-Level. Our teacher told us of this photograph of Christine Keeler, the showgirl Profumo had an affair with:
The teacher explained how he had to be very careful when talking about this particular photo. The year before a british photography teacher had shown it to his class, explaining how it was a iconic, evocative image, and set them homework to try to create something similarly interesting. Somebody complained that he was telling them to create pornographic images, and he was sacked. I don’t know the details, but this seemed pretty stupid at the time, and still does.
From the BBC article:
Within days of his political departure, Mr Profumo turned up at the refuge centre Toynbee Hall and asked to help with the washing up.
He stayed for nearly 40 years, using his political skills to raise huge funds, and expanding the charity’s activities to include social programmes and youth training.
The prevailing opinion seems to be that he atoned for his mistake, which is nice to hear. And he had cool hair: