Why Max Mosley has to go

Yesterday, Max Mosley finally responded to the News of the World‘s allegations. And I have to say, if the allegations were not enough to make one think that Max Mosley can no longer be the President of the FIA, then his pathetic letter ought to be.

The letter has been taken apart by Ollie, Negative Camber and Clive.

One the face of it the letter is a confession. However, he denies the “Nazi connotation”. This might be key if Mosley wants to survive as FIA President. It is generally agreed that if it was a mere sex scandal, people would not have been so offended. It is the alleged Nazi element that has riled most people.

But can we be convinced that there was no Nazi connotation? Planet-F1 says that Mosley could be heard on the video saying in a German accent, “She needs more of ze punishment.” And according to Clive,

not only were the participants dressed in Nazi uniforms, but at least one was attired in concentration camp pajamas.

Whatever Mosley’s explanation that this is not a Nazi fantasy is, it had better be convincing.

We now come on to another uncomfortable point of the letter, which is Mosley’s seeming implication that the fact that this information came about as a result of a private investigation somehow exonerates him. We can see that this is what Mosley believes as he continually puts the blame for his current predicament on those who did the investigation, and not himself for behaving in the way that he did.

Regrettably you are now familiar with the results of this covert investigation and I am very sorry if this has embarrassed you or the club…

I shall now devote some time to those responsible for putting this into the public domain but above all I need to repair the damage to my immediate family who are the innocent and unsuspecting victims of this deliberate and calculated personal attack.

How utterly outrageous. Max Mosley’s family are not “the innocent and unsuspecting victims of this deliberate and calculated personal attack.” They are the innocent and unsuspecting victims of Max Mosley’s offensive behaviour.

I have said often enough that an invasion of someone’s private life is not acceptable. I do not for one second subscribe to the News of the World style of journalism. Samuel has been particularly vocal in the comments to a previous post here. For instance:

Western democracies defend the right of privacy for everyone. The devil himself should have the right to maintain his private life private. I firmly believe in civil rights so for me Max is the only victim. Period. For me it’s the end of the story.

This may be true, but the fact is that nothing can be done about that now. It is a sunk cost. The damage has been done, and Max Mosley’s privacy has been invaded. Wringing our hands about that will do nothing.

We now have to face the apparent reality that Max Mosley has hired prostitutes for an allegedly Nazi-themed sex orgy. The motor racing community has to ask itself: now that we have knowledge of Max Mosley’s behaviour, is he an appropriate person to be running the FIA? And the answer must surely be ‘no’.

Mosley himself knows this. It appears as though he will not attend the Bahrain Grand Prix. Bernie Ecclestone revealed that the Bahraini Royal Family would not appreciate it. No shit, Sherlock.

So will they appreciate it in 12 months’ time when Formula 1 next races in Bahrain? Will the King Juan Carlos appreciate it when F1 moves to Spain in a few weeks’ time? We can go on throughout the calendar. No-one will appreciate it. This severely restricts the ability of Formula 1’s powers-that-be to do the deals that are essential to the survival of the sport. For this reason alone, Max Mosley must resign.

But as if that was not enough, the rumours that have come out since then have rubbed salt into the wound as far as I’m concerned. You can be assured that Max Mosley is not embarrassed about these rumours, and indeed he has partially confirmed them, without a hint of shame, in his letter.

It demonstrates everything we know about Mosley’s arrogance, unsavoury thirst for power and complete self interest that he refuses to stand down as FIA President. Not only that, but he now apparently wants to stand for another term as FIA President! You would never expect Mosley to do the honourable thing, but this just takes the biscuit.

Then there is the fact — which Mosley parades in his letter — that he has received “a very large number of messages of sympathy and support from those within the FIA”. This just demonstrates that the FIA has been filled with Max Mosley lackeys and yes-men over the past decade and a half.

If for anything else, Max Mosley has revealed himself to be unfit for the role of the FIA’s Presidency due to his failure to face up to the truth and for his despicable attempts to blame others for his own wrongdoings.

It is clear that Max Mosley has brought the sport of Formula 1 into disrepute. There can be no doubt about this. This was, you will recall, the same thing that McLaren were found guilty of last year in Max Mosley’s personal, vendetta-driven “spy(sic)gate” farrago. I await the $100 million fine landing on Mosley’s desk. But of course, under Mosley’s direction, you can never expect the FIA to hand out punishments consistently.

Update: Max Mosley is now claiming that the only reason he was speaking German was because some of the prostitutes were German.


  1. I posted most of this comment to Ed Gorman’s blog over at The Times, but thought it fit in pretty well in response to your post…I really think there is just so much more to it than Max’s private life being private…

    Max Mosely still needs to go, regardless of whether there were Nazi undertones or not.

    He chose to put himself into the public domain when he ran for the presidency of the FIA. He has, by choice, been high profile in the administration of this position. The organization, for which he is the public face, is one whose life blood depends on its reputation for high moral and ethical standards. Sponsorships rely on the reputation of the underlying organization to reflect the positive attributes they are selling to the public.

    Sado-masochistic orgies are outside the socially acceptable norms for most of these sponsors. Now, we can debate all day long whether they should be or not, but the point is they aren’t right now. The vast majority of companies who have chosen to connect their names and reputation to Formula 1 do not want to be, in any way, associated with orgies and S & M.

    Even Max reflects this understanding. He states how embarrassed his family is by the revelations of his actions. He neglects to connect the humiliation to his actions, however, just the revelations. As it is apparent he understands the lack of acceptance of his actions by society as a whole he had two choices. Either not indulge in such activities or step down from the FIA before pursuing his “needs.” Although this revelation would have been a source of huge amusement were Max the “former FIA president” it would be appropriately relegated to a “his private life is his own business” story.

    And I’ll tell you, when this story is being reported all over the US media where F1 news is virtually never covered, sponsors are going to howl…and I can’t see how Bernie or the new corporate owners are going to let Max stay.

    Because I can’t help myself…do you think Viagra is now considering sponsorship with F1? Or do you think they have approached Max to be a spokesperson for a new campaign they are calling “5 for 5”?

  2. Now you’ve gone and got me all fired up again, Doctor. It’s Samuel’s introduction of the red herring that is “invasion of privacy” that does it. Let’s get this straight – when someone manages to take photos of you in your own home doing whatever takes your fancy, that’s invasion. When you take your proclivities out of the home and pay for others to get involved in your dirty little fantasies, that is no longer a matter of privacy.

    Effectively, you have blown that argument by affecting other people – not just your wife and family but the lives of the prostitutes you employ. You have also supported an illegal act in the supply of prostitutes for hire, even though the law might not see you as the cause of the illegal act. Aiding and abetting, I believe it’s called.

    Calling upon some lofty ideal of western society protecting its citizens’ right to privacy is just baloney. Genuine invasions of privacy happen every day in all western societies in the form of detective agencies hired to get the dirt in divorce cases – do I hear any shrieks of protest at that?

    If we members of the great unwashed have to put up with such things without complaining, why should not the great and good have to pay for their privilege by ensuring that their personal lives can survive such inspection?

    The point is not how Max’s unsavory tastes have been revealed – it is that they have. If he had a shred of decency left, he would have resigned already.

  3. Oh how considerate of Max ! The poor immigrant prostitute he was demeaning was German, so he only spoke that language to make her feel more comfortable !

    Who knew he had such a soft side to him? That is absolute gold.

    Say what you like Mad Max, the writing is on the wall. Just a pity YOU can’t read it.

  4. Clive, as I said, I don’t know a word about British laws, but I can assure you (since my wife is a lawyer), that under the spanish law, any photograph must be taken in a public place or with the explicit permission of persons involved if you intend to use it in a court as a proof of anything.

    You are also not allowed to redistribute that photgraphs or videos or you can be sued if you do.

    Sex between consenting adults(prostitutes or not)in a private place, I’m completly sure its protected by privacy legislation (as I said I don’t know a word about your laws).

    Said that, you can judge him under your own moral principles. I won’t do.

  5. Knowing the way tabloids operate I thought I’d add a little conspiracy theory to the mix.

    When I first heard the story my immediate reaction was it was fake. I mean who believes articles in the News of the World? I have not seen the video but the photos I saw looked photoshopped. The Nazi connotations seemed too ridiculous especially given Mosley’s famous father’s background.

    It all sounded like a deliberate set-up, a witch-hunt designed to damage Mosley’s reputation. And that reminded me that Max is suing the Sunday Times over an article Martin Brundle wrote last year. In his article Brundle accused the FIA of a organising witch-hunt against McLaren.

    (Both the News of the World and the Sunday Times are owned by News International.)

    If the story is a fake why did Mosley not immediately refute it? The only reason I can think of is that the tabloid have something far worse on Mosley. Something so bad that he’d rather be embarrassed with a sex scandal than risk it coming to light (possibly some illegal financial dealings?).

    Of course this is just a silly conspiracy theory but is it any more far-fetched than Oswald Mosley’s son being caught at a Nazi-hooker-orgy? I look forward with great interest to the result of the FIA’s legal action against the Sunday Times.

    (It’s like a game of chess isn’t it? Much more exciting than guessing refuelling strategies.)

  6. There are, as they say, interesting times…

    Watching the news, stories seem the merge into one – soundbites from Mugabe and Mosley are interchangeable.

  7. It seems I lost the ability to type… Aplogies.

    “There” = *These*

    “…seem the…” = *…seem to…*

  8. Mosley still believes that he can use his position as President to denounce his critics (just like last year when he attacked Jackie Stewart for voicing an opinion differing to his own)

    Mosley replied to the Merc/BMW by saying: “Given the history of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, particularly before and during the Second World War, I fully understand why they would wish to distance themselves from what they rightly describe as the disgraceful content of these publications. Unfortunately, they did not contact me before putting out their statement to ask whether the content was in fact true.” By this logic, News of the World should have contacted Max first before publishing the video.

    So is this to be Max’s stance? Proclamation to all manufacturers, by edict of Max Rufus Mosley. All press statements are to be submitted to the office of FIA president for vetting.

    The arrogant arsehole!

  9. So, the MAN-MAX, feels proud of his idiosyncracies and presents himself as a role model by assuming (imposing through media) that the 21st century is very accepting of feats such as his. Is it? These are the kind of principles that he wants the 21st century to nurture. We dont need to even ask the question about what he wants his family to live with. As per him, if his private act (while in public office) were not to become public, his family would be very accepting. So he can do whatever he wants and eithet the 21st century will accept it or they would not care because they don’t know about it (step back and think of someone applying the same principles to their responsibilities). We don’t even want to know where all this individual has been. I am sure he is well-travelled. But, we do know that he should leave from where is: for the little that he has done while in office and very much so as the 21st century does care about not having such individuals in public offices. Doesn’t it behove of people who hold public offices to conduct themselves in a manner that is acceptable – ironically his “act for the 21st century” is quite contrary to the respectable individual he tries to portray himself as in his everyday doings. He is not, as exhibited by his deeds. The public and authorities must do the right thing and have him replaced sooner than later.

    If the authorities even consider having him continue, it would be noble for all Motorspot fans to give-up watching the sport until he steps down. Needless to say, sponsors should act too as they exist in a 21st century that is apparently very different from the one that MAXI lives in.

    It is surprising that the councils are willing to convene to hear him out even though MAXI has acknowledged he was the conductor of this opera. Someone needs to step-up, take him by the hand and walk him outside in the interest of the 21st Century (and perhaps they will restore normalcy and respect in the motorsport world).