What strikes me is that both of these people have young children, not far off the age of my daughter. How awful must it be for them to read those things about their parents? And what about the effect that it may have on their treatment by their classmates? It's not as if the behaviour of their parents is any of our business.
Politicians are human beings. Their families already make incredible sacrifices. Kids grow up only seeing their MP fathers and mothers a few days a week. Spouses have to raise the kids pretty much by themselves because of the all consuming nature of the job. The potential for tensions in that sort of situation is pretty high.
Being 10, or 11, or 14, is hard enough - you're facing quite a lot of transitions. If your parents aren't getting on, then that's stressful enough but having the intimate details of their personal lives broadcast on the pages of the gutter press is exruciatingly embarrassing. And it's not as if newspapers become tomorrow's chip wrappings like they used to in the olden days. Every salacious detail is there, accessible for all time via a bit of Googling.
The papers don't hold back on those intimate details, either. They can make the removal of a tie sound like deviant behaviour, infer that nudity is shocking, when actually it's quite common for people in that situation, married or not. Of course if there isn't nudity, and, for example, the presence of a football shirt or socks, then that's presented as something for us all to laugh at too.
I found the way the Strathclyde story was reported was highly patronising to women. There is no suggestion that this was anything other than a consensual liaison, yet it's being presented in a way that suggests that he's taken advantage of her. She's a grown up. She's known him for years. She had a choice and she has to take responsibility for her actions.
Tom Strathclyde and Laura Johnson aren't the first people to have affairs and they sure as hell won't be the last. Their spouses and kids have every right to be pissed off with them, but it's none of our business. There may be a case for exposing hypocrisy, or financial impropriety but in the normal scheme of things, a politician's private life should stay just that. You can't legislate for that - a free press is fundamental to a civilised society even if it's not always a sensible one - but we can choose not to buy the papers who print this sort of nonsense.
Next time you see an account of an illicit affair, think of the effect of this unwarranted and unnecessary intrusion on the poor kids.