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Sexual harassment in politics - is the current scrutiny just a UK thing?

(24 Posts)
PandaPieForTea Fri 03-Nov-17 21:05:05

I’ve seen lots in the news about UK politicians, but I wondered whether this scrutiny is happening elsewhere in the world. I just can’t understand how this works elsewhere given that Trump was elected.

MissConductUS Fri 03-Nov-17 21:31:07

It's been in the news non-stop here. I'm not sure I understand the last part of your post. Here's a few recent cases from the colonies.

thehill.com/homenews/media/358220-npr-news-chief-resigns-after-sexual-harassment-allegations

pagesix.com/2017/11/03/nypd-detective-there-is-enough-evidence-to-arrest-weinstein/

pagesix.com/2017/11/03/kevin-spacey-foundation-goes-dark-amid-sexual-misconduct-claims/

pagesix.com/2017/11/03/alec-baldwin-admits-to-bullying-women/

Of course Bill Cosby broke the dam:

www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-bill-cosby-timeline-htmlstory.html

PandaPieForTea Fri 03-Nov-17 22:23:37

Sorry - my point is that this started with Hollywood and seems to have opened up a can of worms in UK politics. Is the UK alone in scrutinising politicians now?

Ifearthecold Fri 03-Nov-17 22:25:45

I haven't noticed this in the US, there are other political issues taking centre stage at present, tax reform, terrorist attack in NY and trumps trip to Asia.

PandaPieForTea Fri 03-Nov-17 22:34:11

Do you think it’s a cultural thing that means it has become a massive story in politics in the UK but not in the US? It’s not like it’s just a slow news week here so it’s filling a news void. There are other stories that could be headlines if this wasn’t.

MissConductUS Fri 03-Nov-17 22:45:44

I think what has happened is that women are now feeling more empowered to come forward, but it happens in fits and starts.

I don't think that politicians here are safe from this at all. Their turn in the barrel will come, and it has certainly happened before. Bill Clinton comes to mind,

Just look at the section from 2010 onwards:

US Political Sex Scandals

Carolinesbeanies Sat 04-Nov-17 08:34:56

Pandapie, This is Julia Hartley Brewers statement from earlier in the week.

Appears a 15 year old after-dinner amusing anecdote, (she has recounted this story many times) has then been twisted and framed it in a sexual assault manner. Youre right its rife at the moment and appears purely political.

I watched First Dates the other night and witnessed an 'assault' on our screens. Young couple, he patted her arse as they were leaving. Should I have dialled 999?

Two sensible articles in Spiked this week.

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/this-sex-pest-witch-hunt-is-an-abuse-of-politics/20504

And the damage its doing to womens causes and genuine victims.

http://spiked-online.com/newsite/article/harassment-in-the-house-of-commons-calm-down/20491#.Wfsxr2i0NPY

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Sat 04-Nov-17 08:40:56

Surely it's clear to everyone that Fallon did not resign because of the JHB incident, but because of things which have not been disclosed. And Spiked loves to be "controversial" by minimising sexual abuse.

PandaPieForTea Sat 04-Nov-17 09:21:27

Fallon clearly didn’t resign because of the Julia Hartley-Brewer thing. And it may be that whatever he did do won’t come out now if the other person/people involved are satisfied with his resignation.

My question is whether the reason that we are seeing British politicians coming under scrutiny is a cultural thing. But given the impetus has come from Weinstein, I can’t see how it is a UK/US culture difference.

Carolinesbeanies Sat 04-Nov-17 09:37:05

No OP, its a purely political tool. In the old days, the easiest route to sack people was check expenses. Even honest genuine staff, generally make some mistake on expense claims that allowed instant dismissal.
This is the 21st century version, sack first, investigate later. The victims of this 'cultural' shift, (which sees those accused of rape plastered over MSM pre trial and publicly judged) at the end of the day, will be genuine victims of abuse and sexual assault such as Rotherham. The law needs to change.

Anyway, will Jeremy resign today?

Spinflight Sat 04-Nov-17 12:13:02

Middle class lass get's her knee touched. Media erupts in outrage and screams for blood.

1500 school girls raped in a provincial, lower class, part of the country. Media barely notices.

Kursk Sat 04-Nov-17 12:19:15

Some of the accusations are justified some are not.

Rape is never acceptable. But some behavior was acceptable years ago, we can’t judge that by modern standards.

PandaPieForTea Sat 04-Nov-17 13:51:03

My mum seems to think that the sexual harassment she experienced as a young adult was just the way things were at the time.

But as a political tool it’s a really blunt one. It isn’t targeting a particular party or particular MPs - it really does depend on who has done what. And a few of the accusations are really quite trivial, but many are very serious. So it’s hard to see it in the UK as a deliberate political tool unless it’s a general distraction from other political issues.

But I still struggle to understand why it’s blown up here in politics but not elsewhere. I doubt our politicians are unusual in having behaved poorly or illegally in this respect.

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Sat 04-Nov-17 14:15:35

Which politician has been sacked then?

PandaPieForTea Sat 04-Nov-17 15:12:39

I think Fallon was asked to resign and a Tory has been suspended from the party - which is about as close to sacking as they can get.

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Sat 04-Nov-17 16:02:44

Thanks panda

It just seemed like there might more than one from carolines post

Appuskidu Sat 04-Nov-17 16:07:18

Anyway, will Jeremy resign today?

Corby or Hunt? Why?

kirinm Sat 04-Nov-17 16:11:44

Fallon resigned because Andrea Leadsom accused him of something. Another Tory has had the whip removed because allegations are now being dealt with by the police.

Oddly Crabb is still in post whereas if he tried his shit in the private sector he’d be gone.

Corbyn fucked up a high five.

Carolinesbeanies Sun 05-Nov-17 01:12:46

"Corbyn fucked up a high five." Didnt he just. Still funny grin

Rufus, theyre dropping like flies at the moment, hard to keep up.

Chris Pincher, Mark McDonald, Daniel Kawczynski, Charlie Elphicke, Damien Green, Kelvin Hopkins, Clive Lewis, not to be confused with Ivan Lewis (also accused), Mark Garnier.

Im sure more names will pop up over the next few days, and of course Im utterly free to type this list as all 'accused' are in the public domain, whether guilty or not. (For semi-decency reasons, Ive left off those accused of affairs, as apparently, even then setting up home with new love still warrants entry onto a list of alleged sexual predators, and Im wary of second wife club here on MN shock

WitchesHatRim Sun 05-Nov-17 01:18:06

I think Fallon was asked to resign and a Tory has been suspended from the party - which is about as close to sacking as they can get.

You have forgotten to mention the two Labour MPs that have been suspended with whips removed and others being investigated also.

This isn't party political.

FaithHopeCharityDesperation Sun 05-Nov-17 13:53:00

Fallon resigned within a couple of hours of a female journalist phoning WM to say that in 2003, when she was 29, he tried to kiss her after they’d had lunch together.
She said she felt it was important that she disclose this now, 14 years later.

FaithHopeCharityDesperation Sun 05-Nov-17 13:56:03

Jane Merrick is the journalist - she’s written about it in today’s papers apparently.

Spinflight Mon 06-Nov-17 06:41:23

" It isn’t targeting a particular party or particular MPs - it really does depend on who has done what. "

I wouldn't be so sure of that. Or rather I'd reconsider whether there is anything that links the majority of those whose names have been circulated in the 'sex spreadsheet'. Which is easily findable in full unredacted form.

First some history, the expenses scandal broke in mid 2009 and saw an unprecedented number of MPs decide to spend more time with their possessions / family / second homes / male prostitues who they accidentally fell penis first into.

And why wouldn't they? Being an MP seems to be the surest way to become a millionaire, despite the salary not being sufficient to statistically justify this.

So this left lots of very safe constituencies where the tory vote in particular tended to top 50%.

Hence Cameron's tories parachuted in their preferred candidates to such seats. Few had local ties or knowledge, and if there's anything linking them other than being fast tracked by Tory central office then I can't immediately discern it. Who knows, might be down to the quality of blowjob performed. smile

Said chaps ( mainly) were duly elected despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth from local Tory associations who had the strange idea they should have their own elections and choose their own candidates. Perfidious naive fools. smile

This was the dynamic which resulted in Cameron labelling the local associations the Turnip Taliban. Which is a nice way to get your most active local campaigners to bugger off to Ukip.

Which became a bit of a problem, not per se because of the brain and shoe leather drain; campaigning was changing more towards an online model where money was more important ( supposedly) and Cameron was very good at raising money.

More because the disaffected tories found common cause with both more labour centric people and previously non political types. Ukip grew and started to threaten. Despite the, with hindsight, pretty clear attempts by it's leadership to remain as unelectable as possible, almost stretching credulity to ensure such.

Meanwhile the intake of 2010 was sorted into those who were groomed for greater things, made under secretaries, junior ministers, select committee bods or other positions. Often instantly upon election over the heads of more experienced backbenchers, many of whom had actually been elected by their respective Turnips.

So fast forward to now and the 40 names listed on said spreadsheet, the vast majority of whom are males who were parachuted into safe seats in 2010 with expectations of over 50% tory vote, and a great many of whom have found promotion to be rather easily gained.

Now it could be that there is something fundamentally sleazy about someone from out of town who wins the safe seat, though I doubt it. Or indeed that they're all at it like rabbits and that this is merely targeting a specific group. Which let's be honest we probably wouldn't put past them.

Given the role of the chief whip though, to be the repository of all compromat for influencing and blackmailing use of, doesn't it strike you as strange that in this hour of need the Chief whip, first elected into an out of town safe seat in 2010 and then being made Cameron's secretary is given one of the four great offices of state?

Difficult to be sure as noone is talking but I'd personally say this was the revenge of the Turnips. May's appointment of our Gavin to be the restatement of the status quo.

Hence expect plenty more to come out.

Carolinesbeanies Mon 06-Nov-17 09:40:05

gringringringringrin

We so need more of this Spin. Excellent brew

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