The Delaney Liaison
The Delaney marriage was widely regarded, literally speaking, as a joke. One only needed to open Private Eye or The Guardian to find cruel sketches of the judge and his wife scrawled in red and black ink across the political pages. The Hon. Mr Justice Abel Delaney was often depicted (sans robe) cavorting with a pretty blonde while Deborah Delaney sat on a lilypad, green, glum, and seething.
There are many reasons one may decide to marry a deeply unattractive woman. Remarkable wit. Astounding charisma. Superb potato gratin. An impressive bank account. The answer to that riddle, in the Delaney marriage, was an impromptu liaison with his then-receptionist on the top of the 390 bus to Archway one Thursday in 1987, resulting in a sizeable 9-month bump for Deborah and a sizable bruise on the nose for Abel. Her father, through winsome physical violence, had vigorously advised him to marry her.
And so it was in 2006, that Britain’s most prominent, and indeed promiscuous, judge, ended up living in Chiswick with the most remarkably dull, and unhappy, wife in London. Like most of the married upper-middle class with a son at uni, they had an arrangement. The arrangement being understood by the author as the below;
i) The party of (The Right Hon. Mr Justice Abel Delaney) was going to be thoroughly, despicably, and notoriously unfaithful in body and mind
ii) The party of (Mrs Deborah Delaney) was going to have to shut up and accept that divorce wasn’t worth the paperwork, the financial implications, or the hassle
All in all, unremarkable. Unfortunately, as is often the case among the middle-aged bourgeois, Mrs Delaney was very much in love with her husband. This, most assuredly, was not at all requited. Mr Delaney (let us do away with full formal titles to save on ink in these trying economic times) loathed his spouse as much as a Republican Senator loathes restrictions on selling guns to pathologically misogynistic teenage boys. “You must love me, a little,” she wept after a particularly bitter argument over a 19-year-old called Mercedes. “You never ask for a divorce.” He looked at her incredulously. “The only reason I don’t want to divorce you, you trull,” he replied sharply, “is because HMRC would…