The trouble with celebrities is that they believe their own press. Being apt to take themselves terribly seriously, they assume the rest of the world does too. Thus they confuse public curiosity - which is really just Schadenfreude in waiting - with genuine interest.

Because they get invited to first nights at the opera and restaurant openings they get the idea that their opinions about global warming or cruelty to animals are worth more than, say, those of their hairdressers.

This self-regard can go to extremes. Maggie Barry is seeking the National candidacy for Botany - an idea that seems to have occurred to her after she left radio to "travel and write and do other things".

Her ambition flourishes despite the fact that our political history is littered with the corpses of those who believed that celebrity alone equipped them for public office: Suzanne Prentice, Pam Corkery, Lisa Lewis, Ewen Gilmour. The sense of entitlement conferred by renown seems inexhaustible.

It's that sense - no doubt combined with a profound, cringing embarrassment - that presumably drives the campaign of a high-profile celeb to keep secret the awful argument with his wife during which he jumped on the bonnet of their car in central Auckland.

The so-called "household name" was given police diversion and so did not have to appear in court. His name will remain suppressed until at least February 7, and perhaps forever, depending on the court's decision on competing arguments on that day.

Justice Minister Simon Power last year signalled his intention to make it harder to get name suppression, specifically remarking that renown alone should not be grounds for secrecy.

We couldn't agree more: if celebrities expect, even demand, the limelight for their most trivial utterances, they need to accept it will be shed on their more idiotic behaviour as well. It would be useful, if for no other reason than to give them a sense of perspective.