For positive proof that double standards exist in politics, check out former Defence Minister Sir Michael Fallon, forced to step down following rumours of sexually inappropriate behaviour.
After a female journalist confirmed he’d repeatedly touched her knee at a conference in 2002, Fallon’s pathetic non-defence was that ‘times have changed in the last 15 years’.
Although his victim claimed the incident was inconsequential, it’s rumoured Fallon resigned because similar examples of his over-enthusiastic behaviour might emerge.
In 2010, he was accused of calling journalist Bryony Gordon, a ‘slut’- although his aides were quick to claim he didn’t use the exact word, but something equally derogatory.
For positive proof that double standards exist in politics, check out former Defence Minister Sir Michael Fallon, forced to step down following rumours of sexually inappropriate behaviour
He’s a bloke who has strong opinions about women. Can this be the same Michael Fallon who just a few days ago, gave the head of the Royal Navy ‘an absolute roasting’ after it emerged that staff on one of Britain’s nuclear submarines tested positive for drugs and were involved in ‘inappropriate relationships’.
Mr Fallon is said to drink a bottle of wine a night and enjoy the many bars in the Houses of Parliament. I can see exactly where his antediluvian mindset comes from – the bottom of a large glass of scotch or a carafe of fine claret.
In the eyes of this 65-year-old creep, women have got more picky about being touched, whereas men like him haven’t woken up to the fact that in 2017, equality means equality, not forcing yourself on someone less important as if it’s a favour they’re gagging for.
Fallon’s best pal is Colonel Bob Stewart MP, aged 68, the Tory MP for Beckenham, who described journalist Isabel Hardman as ‘totty’ to her face last year.
Stewart has been moaning that ‘we are soon going to be in a situation where people who work together can’t say “can I take you out?”‘
The ever-growing list of allegedly predatory behaviour in Parliament describes Stewart as ‘perpetually intoxicated and inappropriate with women’. He says ‘I am not a sleazebag’.
The allegations of groping and wandering hands sound familiar, mirroring the ghastly behaviour of Harvey Weinstein and now seemingly Kevin Spacey.
Things weren’t different ten or fifteen years ago, older men groping younger people wasn’t OK then.
Around that time, I edited a national newspaper and had lunches with Cabinet Ministers and MPs. I thought one party leader had Parkinson’s disease as he shook so much, but after he had consumed three double gin and tonics and two bottles of wine at lunch, I realised he was an alcoholic.
Fallon’s best pal is Colonel Bob Stewart MP, aged 68, the Tory MP for Beckenham, who described journalist Isabel Hardman as ‘totty’ to her face last year
Another Cabinet Minister demanded female journalists sat extremely close to him at lunch (claiming he was deaf) so he could grab their knees.
Abuse, and predatory behaviour has always gone on, but young people were scared to speak out.
We only woke up to Jimmy Savile and decades of child abuse, after he died in 2011.
Then, MPs were quick to round on the BBC and criticise the organisation for not doing anything about the sleazy activities that were taking place on the premises.
Harriet Harman said it had ‘cast a stain on the Corporation’.
Morality is not something that can be shifted around like a set of goalposts from one decade to the next.
Men who hold responsible jobs hanging out in bars which are open until midnight with very junior staff half their age is always an unhealthy mix.
Ironically, the only other place I have worked with so much subsidised booze readily available a few steps from the office, was the BBC.
The Houses of Parliament has up to ten places where MPs and their staff can buy booze up to midnight, and that’s without counting the bars reserved for the House of Lords.
Parliament is where laws that govern every aspect of our lives are revised and debated, and yet members operate according to some Dickensian set of rules which have no place in modern Britain.
MPs and Ministers are keen on framing legislation about equality in the workplace, outlawing sexually aggressive and controlling behaviour, reprimanding excessive drinking and the demonising the consumption of class A drugs.
MPs have created loads of rules to apply to the rest of us, laws relating to employment and discrimination. We (the ordinary voters) have to treat workers with respect, advertise jobs, and don’t harass the staff.
The Houses of Parliament has up to ten places where MPs and their staff can buy booze up to midnight, and that’s without counting the bars reserved for the House of Lords
Yet in Westminster, MPs are self-policing – they can employ members of their own families without advertising. They use interns as cheap labour, trading off the ambitions of smart young people keen to get on in politics.
The unequal power struggle starts right there.
Four years ago, a survey discovered that one in three staff had been sexually harassed at work in the House of Commons. Nothing was done. When complaints were made to officials, victims were told that there was no mechanism in place to protect them, just the MPs.
Ironically, in the light of Sir Michael Fallon and ‘kneegate’, the vast majority of the allegations concerned young men being propositioned by elderly male MPs out for a quick grope.
Most of these sad characters will have wives at home, window-dressing for the constituents – having a partner and a couple of kids generally plays better at election time.
Booze (subsidised by tax payers) just swills around Westminster, it’s how journalists get stories and it’s how MPs get sexual favours.
Shut down the bars, and institute standard contracts for all workers. It’s the only way for MPs to regain our respect.