to be disgusted with Nick Clegg

(145 Posts)

So now we know that our DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER knew he had a man involved at a senior level in his party who was rumoured to harass women and he failed to act but instead faciliatated a cover-up. Fabulous. What an example to the voters angry

zamantha Tue 26-Feb-13 17:02:26

Is a roasting in the press appropriate for all?

Not a catholic, - non-religious - but Cardinal O'Brien does not know what he is accused of or who is accusing him. Is the castigation of the world appropriate at this stage?

There seems to be no middle ground between harrassment and abuse - all deemed the same in media and seemingly in people reading this. Shouldn't we look at adult behaviour in a balanced, proportionate way?

Madeleine10 Tue 26-Feb-13 17:27:47

Yes we should, Zamantha.

Let me just say, I can't be doing with the Lib Dems, and Rennard appears to have been an unpleasant chap in many areas, not just sexual, for years.

BUT

I have seen very few specific allegations, other than a suggestion he put his hand on one woman's knee, and the words of a lady who was interviewed on the radio today, saying he suggested she might like to come to his room , after an evening discussions in a bar. She did what any sensible woman would do in that situation , and said a firm No and went to her room. He didn't pursue her, or attempt to drag her into his rom regardless, or use his power to sack her/blacklist her/force her just made her feel a bit awkward.

This is propositioning, not harassment, and certainly not abuse. Married men away from home, try this shit regularly , I'm sure. Since when has it been the business of anyone other than his wife? If I had a quid for every man that has suggested a drink in his room after work, I would have quite a few quid by now, and most women I know would. It didn't upset me, I dealt with it firmly, and I most certainly didn't call the police . This is what happens normally, surely.

Yes the blokes are shits/sleazeballs, but only to their wives IMO.

Equating the allegations that I have heard so far with real abuse is ridiculous, and risks trivialising real harassment, and abuse. The frequent linking of the word "Saville" in the reporting of this nonsense is beyond insulting to those victims of Jimmy Saville's vile behaviour.

mathanxiety Tue 26-Feb-13 17:28:59

I betcha anything O'Brien knows exactly what he is accused of. And because he knows what he stands accused of he has recused himself from the upcoming conclave.

The priests and former priest who accused him of improper sexual advances were circumspect because if they made detailed accusations they would be accused of carrying out a public vendetta, crucifying him in the press, blah blah. People who make accusations of sexual harassment of any kind can't win for losing sometimes it seems.

mathanxiety Tue 26-Feb-13 17:40:05

Men who are in a position of authority in an organisation 'propositioning' younger women who are not n a position of authority in an organisation are abusing their position no matter what their intentions are. The young woman does not know how her firm No is going to be received or what impact her No will have on her career prospects as long as the propositioner retains his position of authority.

And sorry, but that is the business of any company, especially public companies whose stockholders would like to be assured that the best and brightest are running it, and not just those who have advanced their careers by way of the CEO's bed. It is just as much the business of the small company or the family company. What bright and able young woman would try her luck in a company whose MD has the reputation of being a 'propositioner'? Who would stay ling in such an environment? The bottom line is that it costs business money to tolerate sexual harassment, not just the money paid out as compensation for the harrassed who win suits against the company, but also in lost training costs when women leave as soon as is decently possible, and in lack of applications from all but the most desperate as word spreads through the grapevine of the Mr Feelies and their lack of accountability.

As long as 'propositioning' is tolerated or considered a marital sin and not a crime against corporate ethics there will be a cloud over the career of every woman who advances through an organisation, particularly good looking women.

Considering child sexual abuse as primarily a sin that damaged the sinner and not a crime that damaged the victims is what has almost destroyed the RC church. There is absolutely no way sexual harassment should be seen as mere propositioning and no way it should be seen as a matter between men and their wives, for exactly the same reason.

zamantha Tue 26-Feb-13 17:58:49

Thank goodness there are some madeleine10's in the world.

Abuse is different from harrassment or propositioning - there are scales/grades to the negative behaviour i in all of those areas.

Those in the wrong need to be dealt with proportionately.

And what should be done with those that falsely accuse which is going to become more of an issue if such hysteria and bashing goes on in the press. I never once saw a headline that an accused was vindicated. Mud is thrown and it sticks.

zamantha Tue 26-Feb-13 18:00:48

O'Brien made it clear - he was told to resign - he may have been inappropriate, maybe not.

mathanxiety Tue 26-Feb-13 18:12:44

I never once saw a headline that an accused was vindicated

Maybe that is because there is rarely smoke without fire?

The RC church does not back down unless there is good reason to and in this instance they had an unwinnable case and decided not to brazen it out, not 'just' accusations from adult laypeople who had been abused as children or teens but priests and one former priest -- if priests and a former priest are not credible witnesses then what does that say about the credibility of the RC church? The church can't claim ordained and serving priests are individuals with personal axes to grind or nefarious motivations. The church does not continuously look over its shoulder waiting for priests to come forward with complaints of sexual advances from bishops or fellow priests. When they do, they are taken very seriously.

Madeleine10 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:15:14

As long as 'propositioning' is tolerated or considered a marital sin and not a crime against corporate ethics there will be a cloud over the career of every woman who advances through an organisation, particularly good looking women.

mathanxiety - But there are already laws to deal with the issues of the boss - or anyone in a more senior position - using that position to bully or manipulate female workers. It's up to the women to use those laws, if they feel that they are appropriate by implementing them.

Being put in a slightly uncomfortable position because some sleaze ball asks you up to his room is not a happy place to be, but it is a million miles away from abuse and harrassment - unless the bloke won't take no for an answer, and takes things further.

LineRunner Tue 26-Feb-13 18:16:25

Rennard decided what was winnable seat, and who was an appropriate candidate, and where election campaign money would be spent - and he made sure that his 'people' were doing the same at Council election level.

Look at Lib Dem contolled councils, and how few women are on their Cabinets.

LineRunner Tue 26-Feb-13 18:16:40

controlled

LineRunner Tue 26-Feb-13 18:23:06

Madeleine10 I don't think you understand the context of political non-employment situations eg applying to be a parliamentary candidate or standing for election as a councillor.

One is in intense competition with other candidates, and if most other candidates (male) don't have the same anxieties about 'displeasing' the decision-maker, that is not a fair situation.

And if that is why there are so few women in politics, that is not good for us all.

Madeleine10 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:25:26

Linerunner - But correlation is not causation.

Unless you know for sure that the single reason that there are so few women on LD councils (and I have no idea whether there is a dearth of women or not) is because they have refused sex with Rennard or any other LD with simliar power, then you can't extrapolate like that.

Madeleine10 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:26:23

similar

The woman who spoke to Radio 4 today told them that Rennard had made an advance which she declined. She said she was going to bed. He said he would walk upstairs with her. She made her excuses and went to the loo. When she came out he was waiting at the foot of the stairs. How is that kind of behaviour not harassment?
I think we're on really dodgy ground if we attempt to say 'that incident isn't serious enough' - what next? It's only rape if a knife is used? It's only a crime if she tried to get away?

'Being put in a slightly uncomfortable position because some sleaze ball asks you up to his room is not a happy place to be, but it is a million miles away from abuse and harrassment - unless the bloke won't take no for an answer, and takes things further. '

So what you're saying there is only assault counts. Is that honestly what you believe?

LineRunner Tue 26-Feb-13 18:30:59

It's not about sex per se. It's about patronage and power.

ThePathanKhansAmnesiac Tue 26-Feb-13 18:34:26

The LDems should be ashamed of how this was handled.

I find it hard to understand how Nick Clegg didn,t know specific details at the time.
He speech at conference when Lord D was leaving, hypocrasy of the highest order.

I am, however, really sus that all this has come to light right now, just as a by-election is in progress, and as uk loses it,s AAA rating.
AND, yet again it ceases to be about those who may have been damaged, hurt but navel fucking gazing by the LDs as to who knew what, and when.Disgraceful.

maddy68 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:35:37

Actually he has gone up in my estimation. He didn't act on rumour. Only on facts

LineRunner Tue 26-Feb-13 18:38:49

Actually the message that the UK maybe needs to wake up to is that to be electable, you need to flush your principles down the toilet.

And that is because of the toxic combination of male privilege, media manipulation, the resulting electoral apathy, and internal party back-stabbing over personal relationships and dynamics, itself a result out of how political parties are finded.

LineRunner Tue 26-Feb-13 18:39:31

finded? I mean funded.

claig Tue 26-Feb-13 18:41:08

I don't think it is navel-gazing by the LibDems. The LibDems would have preferred this not to come out days before the by-election.

I think the fact that it has been made public now shows how important this by-election is to some people.

I think it has harmed the LibDems and shown up hypocrisy.

zamantha Tue 26-Feb-13 18:42:00

rarely smoke without fire - think you are not correct mathanxiety.

our blame culture allows people to accuse all the time.

Sleazy men and malicious women/girls are all are rare thank goodness - but they exist.

claig Tue 26-Feb-13 18:43:17

Agree with LineRunner. It looks like abandonment of principle, and hypocrisy.

The public has seen so much hypocrisy in so many spheres lately, and this looks like more hypocrisy again.

Madeleine10 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:43:45

So what you're saying there is only assault counts. Is that honestly what you believe?

Not at all, Northern Lurker, I am saying that being propositioned (and dealing with it effectively) in a hotel setting by the boss, is not the same as being assaulted/stalked/raped/abused by the boss. The law accepts that, as do most people. I would not feel traumatised, desperate, terrified by the sort of incident this woman recounted. That's just obvious surely, and anyone who has ever been assaulted/raped/stalked would surely feel insulted by the idea that there is an equivalence - which is what the current reporting, reactions and rage seem to indicate.

But I know what you are getting at - the whole murky world of the Patriarchy starts with this sort of crap - manpulation and bullying. It shows what many men still think of women, and it stinks. However, I've heard nothing yet to indicate that he has committed a sexual crime.

claig Tue 26-Feb-13 18:45:17

'Actually he has gone up in my estimation. He didn't act on rumour. Only on facts'

grin good joke!

mathanxiety Tue 26-Feb-13 18:45:48

Do people really accuse all the time?
How many people do you know who have made accusations of this sort against a manager, etc?

It is not blame culture, but the law, that allows people to make accusations of illegal acts. People can complain about behaviour that is illegal. Not sleazy but illegal. Sleaze is legal.

Seems you have a touch of 'blame culture' yourself if you think of victims as malicious.

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