I was not going to comment on the latest twist in the divorce saga of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills until I saw the front page story on today’s Daily Mirror, in which Mills is reported to have produced a tape in which McCartney confessed to hitting his late wife Linda (of meat-free sausages fame) once or twice. Clearly, Mills did this because she thought that the worst thing she could have done to Paul, short of exposing him as a paedophile or a rapist or something like that, was to tell the world that he was a wife-beater (although she did this off-camera, but it still made it to the front of the Daily Mirror).
Why is this, though? If the worst that Mills knew about McCartney was that he had been, in his youth, a thug who made the lives of other boys a misery for fun, I’m sure the world would dismiss her as a vengeful cow and not bat an eyelid regarding Paul. In fact, even adult violence against teenage boys is often excused, and the perpetrators do not face any come-uppance even when it causes the youths’ deaths. None of the thug teachers or “care” workers who threw boys round rooms at my school, much less their teenage lackeys, did a day of jail time. Why, then, are we expected to think Paul McCartney the scum of the earth for one or two alleged incidents of violence against a grown woman?
There is another aspect to the relationship of Paul and “Saint Linda” McCartney, which is the fact that Paul and Linda remained married until the day Linda died, and by all accounts their marriage was mostly a happy one. Mills apparently thinks we will judge Paul McCartney with the usual response of “how dare he hit a woman”, when surely the alleged victim’s own opinion counts for more than whatever we think.
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