Ashdown managed an equally effective counter with words along the lines of: ‘I won’t comment on it. It is a family matter for me and my wife to sort out.’ What happened next? Absolutely nothing (and that’s the main point). Media interest simply faded away.
Ashdown’s ‘I won’t comment on it’ was taken as: ‘I am commenting on it. I did it. Hey come on guys, none of us are perfect, so now leave me alone. I won’t lie. I won’t get loud and angry. I won’t play the game you want me to play.’