It’s obvious that the MPs who represent us in the Houses of Parliament are not a good mirror of the country in terms of their sex; 420 MPs are men and 220 are women.
But the men at least seem to be doing a bang-up job in terms of representing the full gamut of messed up and criminal behaviour especially in terms of their not so private sexual proclivities.
Of course, the wince-making, bottom-seizing, now James Bond polo-neck wearing Mat Hancock MP, he whose affair with an aide was filmed, is a well-worn ‘for heaven’s sake’ moment. But at least his wife only had to put up with a cliché. Westminster is a hotbed and always has been of high-temperature flings and affairs. John Major PM and Edwina ‘most eggs have salmonella’ Currie MP anybody?
This week though brings a new low. And the knowledge that there really are further depths to plumb robs me of adjectives.
Despite the comic memes, the retelling of ‘I just fell on that hoover nurse’ jokes and columns about the unbridled joys of going to a tractor pull, we are faced with yet more evidence that those in government are so keen to avoid by-elections and the high-profile loss of Conservative seats that the default position is delay and, if at all possible, cover-up. Even when the offence is watching porn.
Watching porn is not funny. In the same way that posh middle class people snorting cocaine in swanky parts of London is not OK because it creates demand, watching porn creates a market for porn.
Parts of the porn ‘industry’ operate within a criminal worldwide network that includes trafficking of women and girls to be abused sex slaves.
A network that includes abuse of babies and young children. Not surprisingly, drugs and porn go together often where a drug addiction can only be fed by prostitution and prostitutes are controlled by their dealers.
So, anybody who buys or watches porn is responsible for the exploitation of the most vulnerable and helpless people in our society. I’m quite sure it’s not a career that any of the private schools MPs send their daughters to would encourage!
The first person, in this case apparently it was a woman, to spot Neil Parish MP watching pornography in the Commons while at his day-job, should have denounced him that day and there should have been zero delay to his sacking.
In any other office that would be grounds for gross dismissal – out the door with your pot plant!
It has taken though several days to reach the inevitable resignation.
So why do we, the voters, have a situation where those we vote into power to take charge of the running of this country, end up with a parade of self-entitled, arrogant, misogynist men who only care about re-election? (And that’s before we even judge them on the political decisions they take!)
This is why we, as a society, must protect people, often but not always women, who blow the whistle on unacceptable, violent, predatory and bullying behaviour.
I don’t believe it was just two Conservative women who saw Neil Parish watching porn. I find it hard to believe there were no Conservative men who weren’t equally aware – do you?
All the parties should have whistle-blowing processes. For the party whips to deal with this is like putting the poacher in charge of the game-keeper.