It doesn't matter about the crime - if you are able to change the scene and make it about something else, then do it.
Everyone is at it. Cherie Blair did it when she was caught out in a flat-buying scandal. 'The pressures of juggling my hectic life,' she sobbed. The Duchess of York this week blamed 'the alcohol' when she spoke on the Oprah Winfrey show about the News of the World sting, while Tiger Woods playing around on and off the course was blamed on 'my addiction to sex', rather than his cheating sod qualities.
David Laws, Chief Secretary to the Treasury (now ex) was caught paying his partner's rent. His job is all about reading the small print and he knew exactly what he was doing. It had nothing to do with his sexual preference and it is insulting to use homosexuality as a get out of jail card.
However, if this is to become the norm, public figures should be original, as the drink, drugs and serial bedding line is wearing a bit thin now. You need something new. No longer can you simply be an embezzler, a shagger, a thug or a liar; there has to be an obscure catalyst that triggered your crime.
With these revelations inevitably comes the 'obituary speak' that backs up your jaw-dropping self-indulgence. Tributes poured in for Laws as if he had unexpectedly passed away.
Vince Cable even managed a Tony Blair People's Princess face. Many spoke dewy-eyed about the amazing job Laws had done in government. Laws was there for 18 days? I have stuff in my fridge older than his Treasury job.
David Laws is a millionaire and he should have considered that £40,000 was worth paying for the highly prized privacy he craved and just paid it. But he didn't.
Recently, the glorious Lady Gaga was asked in an interview what she spends her money on. She replied she spends it on her privacy, claiming that discretion is possible if you are willing to pay for it.
Anonymity was a price Laws considered paying for, but only if the taxpayer were footing the bill. Some people call that a bit greedy.
Tara Hamilton-Miller is a political adviser and formerly worked for the Conservative Party press team