Alan Rusbridger, at home after the Home Affairs Committee grilled him yesterday:

Rusbridger, the editor of the guardian, was asked in an inquiry yesterday whether he “loved his country”, and whether this had any impact on his alleged leaking of official secrets. When he got home last night, his wife Lindsay Mackie tackled him on a similar issue…

Rusbridger and Mackie are in bed. Rusbridger is reading ‘Betraying Your Country in 12 Easy Steps’, Mackie is doing the Times crossword. Rusbridger hates that.

Mackie turns to Rusbridger.

Mackie: Alan…

Rusbridger: Mmm…?

M: I want you to answer me a question.

R: What is it, Lindsay? I’m quite busy.

M: It’s a simple question, it won’t take long.

Rusbridger sighs, checks his watch,and puts down his book.

R: Go on.

M: Well, Alan, it’s like this. Throughout our marriage, we’ve both asked each other very personal questions. Very, very personal. Now, you and I were both born outside this country –

R: No you weren’t, you were born in Carlisle.

M: Alan. Let me finish. Now, you and I were both born outside of… this house. In fact, when you and I were born, we didn’t know each other. Now I – Mackie chokes up, but powers on – I love you. But do you… do you love me?

Rusbridger turns to Mackie, astonished. His brain whirs.

R: Now, Lindsay, it’s important to remember that, um, we live in a democracy. This house is a democracy. We have laws. So remember that – you can’t kill me and think you’ll get away with it. Rusbridger sweats nervously as Mackie’s countenance hardens. Anyway, to answer your question: most people in marriages are British people who have families in this country –

M: What? Alan, you’re not making any sense.

R: Will you just let me finish, woman?! As I was saying: British people, British families. Now, what’s important to remember is that a lot of people in The Guardian love their country – technically, as I’m their boss, all of their love for their country is actually mine. Technically.

M: Alan, I’m not asking you whether you love your country. I’m just asking whether you love me. A yes or no will do.

R: Well, Lindsay, I gotta say I’m surprised to be asked the question –

M: Oh, Alan, don’t turn this around on me! Don’t try and guilt-trip me, just answer the question!

R: Right. You know, there are some marriages where editors aren’t allowed to say what they think at all. I’m very grateful to live in a marriage where I have freedom to write and to report, and to say things that may seem unpopular…

M: What are you saying, Alan? Just answer: do you love your wife?

R: Love is a tricky thing to define. But we are patriots, I’ll tell you that for nothing.

The debate continues long into the night, and only when the dawn breaks so does Lindsay Mackie’s patience. 

M: Right! That’s it! You don’t love me, you don’t love your home, you don’t love your marriage – that’s all perfectly clear. Now get out of this house and never come back!

R: But where am I supposed to go?

M: Why don’t you go stay at Edward’s? You seem to be getting on pretty well with him, if you get my drift!

And so began a tale of fun and frivolity, as Alan Rusbridger and Edward Snowden lived the good life in their Russian bachelor pad.


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