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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » What are we going to do about men in politics? (Page 3)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: What are we going to do about men in politics?
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You don't appear to want to listen to men's experiences of how they too suffer under patriarchy.

I never said they do not. What I am saying is that the problem is not equally shared by men and women. Do you think it is?
The problems that men and women face are different. You get to die in childbirth, we get to die by our own hand. You get to look after children, we get branded paedophiles. You have a glass ceiling, we work such long hours we don't see our families.

We are on the same side, and yet here we are.

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Forward the New Republic

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
It does seem rather unfair that some people are on this list for having had affairs or for having specific turn-ons. That's embarrassing, but nothing more. Does make me wonder who compiled this list and why.

I've seen what purports to be The List.

It's [Eek!]

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Forward the New Republic

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

It's [Eek!]

I'd heard about the video months ago. Except in the version of the story I heard the activity was somewhat more conventional. A rare occasion when Chinese Whispers toned down rather than exaggerated gossip.
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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
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Admin Tiara On

The Ship is legally liable for your posts so please do not make libellous comments about the Parliamentary sexual harassment scandal. The Ship would be legally liable for them and we'd sooner save our money for forthcoming software upgrade.

Admin Tiara Off

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Kwesi
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What is the origin of the list? The reason I ask is that it seems not too dissimilar from the kind of information known as 'Dirts' for which the Tory whips were famous, and threatened to broadcast to bring recalcitrant backbenchers into line. As I indicated earlier, it is the purpose of the disclosure that is most intriguing, and should be the job of serious journalists to discover.

More generally, I suspect much organisational behaviour is explained by the fact that important employees are compromised in various ways, thereby consolidated power structures that might otherwise be challenged. The more hierarchical the structure the more likely is that to be the case.

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mr cheesy
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I don't think anyone knows. I'd be amazed if the most scandalous details turn out to be true (..or provable).

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arse

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
What is the origin of the list? The reason I ask is that it seems not too dissimilar from the kind of information known as 'Dirts' for which the Tory whips were famous, and threatened to broadcast to bring recalcitrant backbenchers into line.

Whips in general rather than specifically Tory ones. The Labour whips office certainly operates on the same principles. The LibDems probably did during the coalition, now they're back to cat herding numbers it may work differently again.

Students of political history might be interested to know that the last chief whip I can think of who *didn't* practice the dark arts and was almost universally liked by the members he presided over at the time was Ted Heath.....but that was before he, er, went weird on becoming leader.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I don't think anyone knows. I'd be amazed if the most scandalous details turn out to be true (..or provable).

Indeed, a lot of that list is also scandalous in a selling newspapers sense rather than illegal. Not for a moment to diminish the items that *are* properly serious.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Not for a moment to diminish the items that *are* properly serious.

My guess is that this is made-up. Possibly by the Russians? That would be a very destabilising thing to do.

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arse

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Anglican't
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Some of the stuff on the list is already in the public domain, which would tend to point away from it being a Whips' list (you can threaten or blackmail people with stuff that everyone already knows about). Do you think it could be a list of gossip that someone's collated and it's all got a bit out of hand?
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Kwesi
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betjemaniac Whips in general rather than specifically Tory ones.

Of course you are correct. My reason for mentioning the Tories specifically is that they coined the phrase "Dirts", and the list under discussion has come from Conservative sources. That the publicisers are Conservative rather than opposition supporters suggests it is part of struggles within the Tory universe, and it is there we must seek the explanation and intention. Cui Bono?

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Doublethink.
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The defence secretary has resigned, which I find mildly surprising.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Adeodatus
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Phew. Don't things happen quickly?

I confess I have very few ideas to deal with this problem, but this thread has certainly given me plenty to think about: without debate, we all have silos in which our thought tends to be confined.

One thing I'm sure of is that we can't just wait for human nature to improve by itself. Parliament and government must tighten up their disciplinary procedures. That said, I know personally how difficult it is to raise a grievance against someone in a senior position. The more senior they are, the more evidence seems required to mount a case, and if you're the poor idiot who first raises the grievance, they can make your life intolerably uncomfortable in the meantime. I can only imagine it must be nigh-on impossible to bring a case against someone in the position of an MP.

One thing I think Parliament should do to improve discipline: close the bars. British MP must be one of the few jobs left where you can turn up to work drunk, and still have a job at the end of the day. Impose a rule of absolute sobriety on MPs while on official business. There's nothing like clear-headedness to make men think twice before allowing their hands to wander.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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quetzalcoatl
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Strange kind of obfuscation now about Fallon. He hasn't resigned because of specific incidents of harassment, or complaints from women, but because there might be such incidents in his past. Or maybe there have been complaints. The important thing is that we are not informed about it.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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I caught Anna Soubry (MP for Broxtowe - Con) on Woman's Hour. She'd worked for Fallon at Defence for a couple of years, spoke very highly of his capabilities as a minister, and simply said of the situation, putting your hand on a journalist's knee some ten years ago isn't a resigning matter. When pressed by the presenter ("You mean there's more?"), she reiterated he wouldn't have resigned over putting his hand on a woman's knee at a dinner.

You may draw your own conclusions.

Or as (I think) the Poke puts it, "Too filthy to be Defence Minister. Not too filthy to stay a Tory MP." These things are finely judged.

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Forward the New Republic

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quetzalcoatl
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I think Leadsom has used the criterion that harassment involves a woman feeling uncomfortable. Well, fair enough, but a few MPs must also be feeling a bit uncomfortable now. But as Doc Tor just said, maybe a bit of discomfort over a sexual advance is OK with an MP, but not a Minister.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Erroneous Monk
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:


And then there's the culture of 'breadwinning' that takes men out of the home and away from their children, to see childcare as something that women do, to become estranged from their own kids' lives until they become strangers because they never see each other. No, definitely not fucked up for most men whatsoever. Most of us men have got it peachy and we don't want to change it.


On this, I recently went down from full-time hours (in my paid job - I also hold two voluntary positions) to 21 hours a week. This is because the person who has provided our childcare, and then our after-school childcare, for more than ten years (becoming our daughter's godmother part way through) has taken up a new opportunity. As my son has just started secondary school, I didn't think the time was right to introduce a stranger for after-school care, but I also didn't want the children to either be at after-school club 5 nights a week, or letting themselves into an empty house 5 nights a week. So I'm at home more.

I'd have liked to share the shortening of hours with my husband - we earn about the same (I could do better in a good bonus year or vice versa). I haven't got to the top of my profession and now I feel like I never will; he is at the top of his firm, and is a lot older than me. On the other hand, he fears ageism - that if he reduced his hours, he might find himself being edged out, or unable to move back to full time later.

Anyway, overall - and this is entirely anecdotal - I think I have the best deal. Having more time at home with the children is way more rewarding than I could have expected. I actually feel like my husband, because he has been raised in a world where he sees it as his role to work full time and "win bread", has been cheated out of this rewarding time. He probably wouldn't agree - he would say he doesn't want to make family meals, help with homework etc.

But the fact that he doesn't *know* he has been cheated doesn't mean that he hasn't and doesn't make it right.

However, just to reiterate again, the fact that this has been my experience doesn't mean it applies to anyone else. I just wanted to say that I could see what DT means about it being fucked up.

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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Kwesi
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As to the standards required of members of the armed forces, one is reminded of Churchill's comment: "Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash."
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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
As to the standards required of members of the armed forces, one is reminded of Churchill's comment: "Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash."

as an ex naval officer, that wasn't funny the first time, and hasn't aged well.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
I caught Anna Soubry (MP for Broxtowe - Con) on Woman's Hour. She'd worked for Fallon at Defence for a couple of years, spoke very highly of his capabilities as a minister

Which primarily consisted of going on radio/tv and defending the current version of the indefensible. Beautifully highlighted on Channel4, when he critiqued views he thought were Corbyn's until he was told they were Johnson's, whereupon he switched tack (but slowly - like the verbal equivalent of an oil tanker).
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Brenda Clough
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A brief article by -my- Senator; check out his list of resolutions that he's going to deploy to combat this. It is not often in the US these days that one can express pride in one's senator!

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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L'organist
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# 17338

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Back to the Fallon resignation.

Q Who advised the PM on whether or not to accept (Parliamentary-speak for force to it) the resignation of Michael Fallon?
A Gavin Williamson, Government Chief Whip

Q Who advised the PM on a likely successor to Fallon?
A Gavin Williamson

Q Who did the PM appoint as Secretary of State for Defence
A Gavin Williamson

You couldn't make it up.

There are no fewer than 46 Conservative MPs (at least) with military experience: at least 7 of those achieved a reasonable rank (Major or equivalent) but Mrs May prefers to appoint someone to Defence who not only has no experience of the military, he also has no experience of even junior ministerial rank.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Ohher
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She must be taking lessons from the US President. He has put in charge of most federal agencies people who are not only ignorant and unqualified, but are actually hostile to the relevant agency's remit.

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From the Land of the Native American Brave and the Home of the Buy-One-Get-One-Free

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Golden Key
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Q--

quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I think Leadsom has used the criterion that harassment involves a woman feeling uncomfortable. Well, fair enough, but a few MPs must also be feeling a bit uncomfortable now. But as Doc Tor just said, maybe a bit of discomfort over a sexual advance is OK with an MP, but not a Minister.

Would you explain that last sentence, please? I can think of more than one interpretation, not all good.

Thx.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Back to the Fallon resignation.

Q Who advised the PM on whether or not to accept (Parliamentary-speak for force to it) the resignation of Michael Fallon?
A Gavin Williamson, Government Chief Whip

Q Who advised the PM on a likely successor to Fallon?
A Gavin Williamson

Q Who did the PM appoint as Secretary of State for Defence
A Gavin Williamson

You couldn't make it up.

Given that there is a suggestion that the Whips office knew/knows a whole lot of stuff that they've not acted upon, is it a stretch to think that Williamson somehow used this as leverage to get a ministerial role?

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arse

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Back to the Fallon resignation.

Q Who advised the PM on whether or not to accept (Parliamentary-speak for force to it) the resignation of Michael Fallon?
A Gavin Williamson, Government Chief Whip

Q Who advised the PM on a likely successor to Fallon?
A Gavin Williamson

Q Who did the PM appoint as Secretary of State for Defence
A Gavin Williamson

You couldn't make it up.

Given that there is a suggestion that the Whips office knew/knows a whole lot of stuff that they've not acted upon, is it a stretch to think that Williamson somehow used this as leverage to get a ministerial role?
Probably - which is why it's causing such consternation within the parliamentary Conservative party.

However, the other event of last night yet again shows up the problems of the whips office (and probably parliamentary party politics):

Labour's suspension of Kelvin Hopkins - in reverse order, 16 months after he was appointed to the shadow cabinet, 22 months after the regional party authorities passed the allegations to Jeremy's office and er, 23 months after the alleged victim reported their allegations to the Labour whips office.

If we weren't in a frenzy of denunciations, I wonder when either party would have done anything.....

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Kwesi
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betjemaniac
quote:
If we weren't in a frenzy of denunciations, I wonder when either party would have done anything.....
Quite so, but why should the whips make the information public? It's more useful if kept secret because the whips can use the threat of disclosure to keep individual MPs in line. That is why I find the disclosure of the information by Conservatives so intriguing. Who complied this dossier? Why was it disclosed now? To what purpose?
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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
betjemaniac
quote:
If we weren't in a frenzy of denunciations, I wonder when either party would have done anything.....
Quite so, but why should the whips make the information public? It's more useful if kept secret because the whips can use the threat of disclosure to keep individual MPs in line. That is why I find the disclosure of the information by Conservatives so intriguing. Who complied this dossier? Why was it disclosed now? To what purpose?
because, no matter how it's being trailled in the press, this basically *isn't* the whips list. It's a list which seems to have been drawn up by some Tory staffers for the benefit of new arrivals in the house for who to watch out for. It's a *gossip* list rather than the sort of thing the whips would have. Which is why much of it is embarrassing rather than worse, and some of it (not all) has already fallen apart as untrue on the first contact with daylight...

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And is it true? For if it is....

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Q--

quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I think Leadsom has used the criterion that harassment involves a woman feeling uncomfortable. Well, fair enough, but a few MPs must also be feeling a bit uncomfortable now. But as Doc Tor just said, maybe a bit of discomfort over a sexual advance is OK with an MP, but not a Minister.

Would you explain that last sentence, please? I can think of more than one interpretation, not all good.

Thx.

Now I'm baffled as to what interpretations you have come up with. I think Doc Tor's post made the point - whatever Fallon did was filthy enough to require his resignation as minister, but not filthy enough to get him suspended as MP. This is, shall we say, piquant.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
betjemaniac
quote:
If we weren't in a frenzy of denunciations, I wonder when either party would have done anything.....
Quite so, but why should the whips make the information public? It's more useful if kept secret because the whips can use the threat of disclosure to keep individual MPs in line. That is why I find the disclosure of the information by Conservatives so intriguing. Who complied this dossier? Why was it disclosed now? To what purpose?
because, no matter how it's being trailled in the press, this basically *isn't* the whips list. It's a list which seems to have been drawn up by some Tory staffers for the benefit of new arrivals in the house for who to watch out for. It's a *gossip* list rather than the sort of thing the whips would have. Which is why much of it is embarrassing rather than worse, and some of it (not all) has already fallen apart as untrue on the first contact with daylight...
If the whips have anything which reflects illegal activity then they should reveal it.

A good point made on the radio: if the behaviour concerned would've got you disciplined in a school, why is it permissible in Westminster?

As for MP's policing themselves on this: no. It will simply be a fudge like the expenses claims.

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L'organist
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Apparently Michael Fallon put his hand on Julia Hartley-Brewer's knee - about 7 years ago. That's it. He, being one of the few gentlemen in the Commons at the moment, now realises that this was inappropriate and offered his resignation, which was accepted, etc, etc, etc.

BUT if its not appropriate for him to be SoS for Defence, how is it appropriate for him to be an MP?

(IMO while JH-B may not have welcomed the hand is that really worth the resignation of someone who was actually doing well at Defence? Really?)

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Apparently Michael Fallon put his hand on Julia Hartley-Brewer's knee - about 7 years ago. That's it. He, being one of the few gentlemen in the Commons at the moment, now realises that this was inappropriate and offered his resignation, which was accepted, etc, etc, etc.

and apparently this isn't the reason he resigned, and apparently you missed the various news stories that described why he did.
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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I think Leadsom has used the criterion that harassment involves a woman feeling uncomfortable. Well, fair enough, but a few MPs must also be feeling a bit uncomfortable now. But as Doc Tor just said, maybe a bit of discomfort over a sexual advance is OK with an MP, but not a Minister.

Leadsom's statement to the house was:

quote:
“... If someone is made to feel uncomfortable, or believes that others have acted inappropriately towards them, they should be able to contact an external, independent, specially trained support team—via phone, the intranet or face to face—so that any issue can be raised confidentially, and appropriate advice and support can be given.”
My problem with this statement is that I'm not sure that being made to feel uncomfortable is as bad as "being treated inappropriately" or deserves the same response.

I doubt if there's a single person in the history of the world ever who hasn't made someone else feel uncomfortable. [Confused] But that's totally different from bullying, sexual harassment or other equally unacceptable stuff.

Tubbs

[ 03. November 2017, 11:15: Message edited by: Tubbs ]

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Kwesi
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A question that needs to be raised concerns how sanctions might be imposed on an MP who has transgressed the prevailing moral norms. It is difficult to see how such decisions can be made by an ‘independent’ authority given that any recommendation for the suspension or expulsion of an MP, preventing him/her from voting, could have critical political and partisan consequences when the government’s control over parliament is fragile, as at the present time. That is why historically an important privilege for MPs was ‘freedom from arrest and molestation’. Is it desirable that the transgression of an individual MP, or several MPs, should be allowed to subvert the collective decision of citizens in the previous general election? At the end of the day, however dressed up, any decision on sanctions will be political rather than judicial in character, unless criminality rather than morality is involved.

What I find somewhat bizarre in the present situation is that Sir Michael Fallon is seen fit to remain an ‘Honourable Member’, a member of the Privy Council, and have his knighthood unquestioned, but unfit to be a member of the government. Does that mean that only the righteous can serve as members of the executive? Reform might promote virtue, but is more likely to enhance hypocrisy and political blackmail to the advantage of the whips, not to mention the yellow press.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
What I find somewhat bizarre in the present situation is that Sir Michael Fallon is seen fit to remain an ‘Honourable Member’, a member of the Privy Council, and have his knighthood unquestioned, but unfit to be a member of the government.

Remove the Knighthood. Actions = consequences
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Tubbs

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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
A question that needs to be raised concerns how sanctions might be imposed on an MP who has transgressed the prevailing moral norms. It is difficult to see how such decisions can be made by an ‘independent’ authority given that any recommendation for the suspension or expulsion of an MP, preventing him/her from voting, could have critical political and partisan consequences when the government’s control over parliament is fragile, as at the present time. That is why historically an important privilege for MPs was ‘freedom from arrest and molestation’. Is it desirable that the transgression of an individual MP, or several MPs, should be allowed to subvert the collective decision of citizens in the previous general election? At the end of the day, however dressed up, any decision on sanctions will be political rather than judicial in character, unless criminality rather than morality is involved.

What I find somewhat bizarre in the present situation is that Sir Michael Fallon is seen fit to remain an ‘Honourable Member’, a member of the Privy Council, and have his knighthood unquestioned, but unfit to be a member of the government. Does that mean that only the righteous can serve as members of the executive? Reform might promote virtue, but is more likely to enhance hypocrisy and political blackmail to the advantage of the whips, not to mention the yellow press.

Or how it works when the person making the complaint - Leadsome - is the person who is also involved in investigating it?! Which is what would have happened if he hadn't resigned.

The Tories should suspend / remove the Whip from their MPs while investigations are on-going in the same way Labour has.

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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churchgeek

Have candles, will pray
# 5557

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
Phew. Don't things happen quickly?

I confess I have very few ideas to deal with this problem, but this thread has certainly given me plenty to think about: without debate, we all have silos in which our thought tends to be confined.

One thing I'm sure of is that we can't just wait for human nature to improve by itself. Parliament and government must tighten up their disciplinary procedures. That said, I know personally how difficult it is to raise a grievance against someone in a senior position. The more senior they are, the more evidence seems required to mount a case, and if you're the poor idiot who first raises the grievance, they can make your life intolerably uncomfortable in the meantime. I can only imagine it must be nigh-on impossible to bring a case against someone in the position of an MP.

One thing I think Parliament should do to improve discipline: close the bars. British MP must be one of the few jobs left where you can turn up to work drunk, and still have a job at the end of the day. Impose a rule of absolute sobriety on MPs while on official business. There's nothing like clear-headedness to make men think twice before allowing their hands to wander.

Your practical suggestion in that last paragraph seems more than reasonable as an obvious step that needs to be taken.

In the paragraph before it, you point out that the culture is such that people in higher positions of authority are harder to make complaints against, and that strikes me as generally true. I suspect we need to actively do something to change that. What, precisely, I don't know. But maybe structuring things so that there are more checks and balances on power?


Earlier in the thread, there was talk of women in positions of authority abusing people below them, and I think that raises the issue of how power is constructed, and how it is gendered...and how gender is constructed, and how power is assigned to different genders.

One of those things - power and gender - is the chicken and the other is the egg; it's hard to know, I suspect, whether men tend to be abusive because they tend to be in power, and power is constructed so as to include violence; or whether people in power become abusive because they tend to be men, and masculinity is constructed so as to include violence. But it is all a construction, which means we can take it back apart and re-construct it differently if we work hard enough. For Christians, Jesus is a great example of de- and re-constructing both masculinity and power!

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Apparently Michael Fallon put his hand on Julia Hartley-Brewer's knee - about 7 years ago. That's it. He, being one of the few gentlemen in the Commons at the moment, now realises that this was inappropriate and offered his resignation, which was accepted, etc, etc, etc.

BUT if its not appropriate for him to be SoS for Defence, how is it appropriate for him to be an MP?

(IMO while JH-B may not have welcomed the hand is that really worth the resignation of someone who was actually doing well at Defence? Really?)

It has been reported that the hand-on-knee wasn't the inappropriate action that led to him having to resign, but instead that he said something inappropriate to Andrea Leadsom.

Now it sounds a bit like even this wasn't absolutely terrible and could possibly be explained away as a very bad joke or stupid comment that slipped out.*

But given the current climate, it is very hard to be Andrea Leadsom and take a strong line when something has been said in the past which wasn't then dealt with. It appears the incident was some time ago.

I think it is also possible to argue that a misjudgment of this kind is possibly a different thing when doing it with a senior colleague than as an MP. One might generally think that an MP could get away with mistakenly coming out with an unfunny joke whereas one only has one chance as a Minister of the Crown, and once you've blown it - that's it.

But one has to have a modicum of sympathy on at least one level - before one knows a colleague it can be hard to talk in a mutually acceptable fashion. Sometimes bosses f and blind and expect everyone else to deal with it. Sometimes colleagues find themselves dragged along in patterns of language they wouldn't normally use. I can't imagine a situation where I'd even say this to my wife in public (never mind anyone else) but then maybe it does depend on the context.

My child and I have an ongoing insult-a-thon whereby we try to find the most insulting greeting to say to each other. It's probably best that nobody else overhears..


* pretty clearly not OK. Not ok for a teenage boy to say to a girl at school, absolutely not ok for an adult to say in parliament to a colleague.

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arse

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quetzalcoatl
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churchgeek wrote:

quote:
One of those things - power and gender - is the chicken and the other is the egg; it's hard to know, I suspect, whether men tend to be abusive because they tend to be in power, and power is constructed so as to include violence; or whether people in power become abusive because they tend to be men, and masculinity is constructed so as to include violence. But it is all a construction, which means we can take it back apart and re-construct it differently if we work hard enough. For Christians, Jesus is a great example of de- and re-constructing both masculinity and power!
These are interesting points, but I would suggest that the 'construction' of masculinity, and also patriarchy itself, are social things. In fact, it's often called 'social construction'.

Another point is that these things are also unconscious, well, that is arguable, but it strikes me that way.

The problem then is how we are to deconstruct such things, if they are collectively carried out and unconsciously carried out.

I don't think it's impossible, as we can see from the current news events, but it's difficult to do it by lifting our bootstraps.

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chris stiles
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# 12641

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

It has been reported that the hand-on-knee wasn't the inappropriate action that led to him having to resign, but instead that he said something inappropriate to Andrea Leadsom.

Now it sounds a bit like even this wasn't absolutely terrible and could possibly be explained away as a very bad joke or stupid comment that slipped out.*

Except that the Telegraph reports that it was Leadsom herself who insisted he be sacked.

There was also the suggestion elsewhere in the media that he was known to do this kind of thing when drunk, and that when asked by May whether he could guarantee that more serious allegations wouldn't come out, he couldn't give such a guarantee.

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churchgeek

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# 5557

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
churchgeek wrote:

quote:
One of those things - power and gender - is the chicken and the other is the egg; it's hard to know, I suspect, whether men tend to be abusive because they tend to be in power, and power is constructed so as to include violence; or whether people in power become abusive because they tend to be men, and masculinity is constructed so as to include violence. But it is all a construction, which means we can take it back apart and re-construct it differently if we work hard enough. For Christians, Jesus is a great example of de- and re-constructing both masculinity and power!
These are interesting points, but I would suggest that the 'construction' of masculinity, and also patriarchy itself, are social things. In fact, it's often called 'social construction'.

Another point is that these things are also unconscious, well, that is arguable, but it strikes me that way.

The problem then is how we are to deconstruct such things, if they are collectively carried out and unconsciously carried out.

I don't think it's impossible, as we can see from the current news events, but it's difficult to do it by lifting our bootstraps.

No disagreement from me on that!

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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An American congresswoman is heroically trying to clean out the Augean stables that we call Capitol Hill. I think the only solution, especially in relatively closed environments like the government, is for the members themselves to step up and fix it.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Kwesi
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# 10274

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Tubbs
quote:
The Tories should suspend / remove the Whip from their MPs while investigations are on-going in the same way Labour has.

The problem is that this would occasion the collapse of the government given the number against whom accusations have been made. Labour, by contrast, is not so inconvenienced by suspending the odd MP at the present time. The difficulty is how to sanction an MP while securing the essentials of democratic government..
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MarsmanTJ
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Would the people have voted for the MP in question if they knew that they were guilty of sexual harassment/assault/inappropriateness/unprofessionalism? Probably not. However would they pick party over individual? Depends on the constituency, I guess... for some of the razor thin majorities, it's tough. For seats like mine (one of the top safe seats in the country, with a majority of over 50,000 votes) I suspect it's party over individual...
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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
Tubbs
quote:
The Tories should suspend / remove the Whip from their MPs while investigations are on-going in the same way Labour has.

The problem is that this would occasion the collapse of the government given the number against whom accusations have been made. Labour, by contrast, is not so inconvenienced by suspending the odd MP at the present time. The difficulty is how to sanction an MP while securing the essentials of democratic government..
I’m not seeing that as a downside...

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Curiosity killed ...

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It's definitely party over individual. Local party tried to deselect sitting MP over the expenses scandal; said sitting MP did very well indeed out of capital gains on home swapping, to the tune of hundreds of thousands. Head Office came to the planned deselection meeting and talked the local party out of so doing. Local MP was returned with an increased majority at the next election, and the next.

If Fallon has said such inappropriate things as reported, and that is enough to resign, then there are likely to be a lot more people due for the chop. Because I have had that sort of comment said to many more times than I can remember.

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Kwesi
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# 10274

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Tubbs
quote:

Tubbs: The Tories should suspend / remove the Whip from their MPs while investigations are on-going in the same way Labour has.

Kwesi:The problem is that this would occasion the collapse of the government given the number against whom accusations have been made. Labour, by contrast, is not so inconvenienced by suspending the odd MP at the present time. The difficulty is how to sanction an MP while securing the essentials of democratic government..

Tubes: I’m not seeing that as a downside...

The downside is that it removes the baby with the bathwater.

In United Kingdom elections most people cast their vote for a political party and its leadership rather than for individuals they know next to nothing about that appear on the ballot paper, and the formation of a government represents in a robust way the collective will of the nation following a general election. Democratic and responsible government is thus secured through through a mandate to rule extended by the public to party leaderships. It is also by and large desirable that governments should be stable. Administrations with small majorities tend to be unstable, vulnerable to by-elections and prey to pressures that compromise coherent leadership. MPs, both front and backbenchers, therefore, have a strong interest in party unity and in sticking together through thick and thin. The collective is crucial to survival. When that instinct is compromised it is invariably a harbinger of defeat. That is why there is a problem in handing over the adjudication of non-criminal behaviour of MPs to independent assessment, especially if that includes the power to insist on withdrawal of the party whip, temporary disbarment, or expulsion from the House. Such decisions are more political in character than judicial. At the present time it might empower these non-elected independent adjudicators to overthrow the outcome of a general election. Thus, while the public might welcome the removal of bum-pinchers and knee-gropers, adulterers and foul-mouthed oafs, they might not be so enamoured of thereby removing from office the party they support.

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Huia
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
An American congresswoman is heroically trying to clean out the Augean stables that we call Capitol Hill. I think the only solution, especially in relatively closed environments like the government, is for the members themselves to step up and fix it.

Brenda the article stated than neither interns or fellows were covered by some of the protections mentioned. What are "fellows?".

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Golden Key
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Re Weinstein allegations:

Was watching Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" a little while ago. One guest was Ronan Farrow, who wrote the investigative piece about Weinstein that sparked this whole thing.

He's smart, dedicated, very well spoken, looks about half his age.

Hmmm, I thought. One of actress Mia Farrow's kids? And, given the abuse attributed to Woody Allen, this could be interesting.

So I looked him up (Wikipedia). Mia's his mom...and Woody is officially his biological father. (There are questions about that.)

RF made it clear in the interview, without naming names, that part of his interest was because sexual abuse had happened in his family, to one of his sisters, and he hadn't always taken it as seriously as he should. (From what I read in the Wiki on Mia, that would be his sister Dylan. The court info is very interesting.) Plus WA married Soon-Yi Previn, his step-daughter and RF's sister. RF and Mia are estranged from WA because of this.

So RF wound up with doing the Weinstein investigation. He said it was simply assigned to him. He's probably one of the best possible choices to do it.

So all the Hollywood guys who are tumbling are doing it because of Mia's kids.
[Cool]

As you can see in the Wiki article on him, RF has quite the resume': law, politics, activism, journalism. Maybe president someday?

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--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
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Posts: 17986 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
chris stiles
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# 12641

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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:

If Fallon has said such inappropriate things as reported, and that is enough to resign, then there are likely to be a lot more people due for the chop. Because I have had that sort of comment said to many more times than I can remember.

Or he said/did a lot worse and resigned before anything more came out. The Telegraph seem to be consistently pointing the finger at Leadsom:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/03/michael-fallon-knifed-andrea-leadsom-schemed-have-sacked-secure/

They have connections with the Tory inner-cicle, which doesn't mean the article is necessarily true - it could equally be some other faction sowing division - which would be even worse news for the Tories.

FWIW I think there is potential for this to be even worse for Labour - by their very nature as a party they will contain people who are naturally good at organising the protests of lower ranking staff. The sorts of complaints around Conservative Future would be far harder to cover up within such an environment.

[ 04. November 2017, 09:08: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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