MICHAEL FALLON’s resignation was a bit of a “knee jerk “reaction I thought. The reason initially given was that he had touched inappropriately the knee of journalist Julia Hartley-Brewers years ago, a story that Julia herself went public with at the time without naming him, although she states it was no big deal and in fact she dealt with it there and then, telling the amorous Michael that if he did it again she would punch his face. Sorted, until The Sun named him this week, but one wondered if this was enough to force a resignation?
It turns out that the cabinet colleague he sat across the table from in Downing Street, the saintly Andrea Leadsom, has for years been waiting to tell her story of an event. When arriving at a party she announced to Michael that her hands were cold and he apparently told her where she could put them to warm them up. Apparently so shocked and devastated at his coarse remark she waited until years later when she’s jumped on the wagon of tittle tattle and unsubstantiated rumours circulating the Commons and the media. How she managed to put this life-altering remark behind her is a mystery, but it appears she hadn’t. It may be me but it seems such a crass thing to say and even more crass in the telling years later, but to bring down a career over it? Maybe it’s her that’s in the wrong job...
Michael Fallon has a reputation for liking a drink, and one wonders why May kept him as Defence Secretary. He always seemed to me rather dull, although he was a minister who knew his brief, so to speak. Apparently Michael is a Jekyll and Hyde when drinking and fancies himself as some sort of sex god, don’t they all? But it’s hardly up there with the Harvey Weinstein allegations. This is like the Beano version of the FBI investigation currently underway in the States.
Being the Defence Secretary, he has been dealing with the shenanigans on HMS Vigilant, a name clearly one should adopt when sitting next to an inebriated Michael. It would appear that men and woman who have been cooped-up for months on end in this submarine have been having affairs. Hardly a surprise, but it fell to Fallon to give the First Sea Lord, Sir Philip Jones, a roasting. Fallon has said his behaviour is not what one would want from a Defence Secretary but goes on to say, that behaviour which was acceptable 15 years ago is not now, really? I suspect it’s never been acceptable, but 15 years ago women would have done a Julia and told you where to go, not go bleating to the media.
The infamous spread sheet that is being circulated with unknown authors making unsubstantiated allegations are being read and taken as fact. People are being named and shamed without the presumption of innocence which is the core of our legal system. Old scores are being settled, and some women who are quite frankly using the list for their five minutes of fame. After all, a touched knee 15 years ago is hardly an Old Bailey offence and how can it be proved or disproved?
In the Times this week a woman, who I won’t name to give her the publicity she obviously craves, claimed that an MP NEARLY touched her knee years ago! Well I nearly fell over my cat yesterday, could have broken my leg but didn’t phone the hospital to say I had a NEARLY broken leg ...
I despair at women like this, surely we all have had to deal with amorous colleagues at one time or another, and although I’m not saying it’s okay, most of us deal with it at the time and do not wait till years later to contact the media, although I’m not sure the Times would be interested in my old boyfriend’s hands up my school skirt, although I was only six at the time so you never know .
Serious sex allegations are being overshadowed by this rubbish such as the claim from a Labour activist that she was raped by a senior Labour Party official. Not heard much about this? Neither have I, as the media has been dominated with Michael’s knee patting and warming hands technique. Rape is a police matter and one wonders why this was not reported at the time, however this is an extremely serious allegation and should be fully investigated not by the media but by the police.
I wonder what our elected politicians think they are doing with their sanctimonious finger pointing to the less sanctimonious? If all these misdemeanours were such common knowledge it shows a serious failing in the PM and her advisors in giving many of them serious political power.
Having an affair with your researcher whilst married is distasteful but is not a criminal offence, neither is buying sex toys – these shops are on our high streets for goodness sakes. Most of the events listed have been between consenting adults and although some of it a bit kinky it’s hardly prosecutable – but can destroy careers. When the authors of this list are tracked down I hope they are sued for libel as well as named and shamed for bringing no one else’s business but the people involved to public shame.
If any woman has a complaint that a man has been sexually inappropriate it’s a police matter, not presenting lurid allegations that can’t be proved as gospel.
Like a man, if a woman is in Parliament they surely can’t be some shrinking violet who is unable to handle a silly man when drunk, we’ve all had to deal with that over our working lives. A knee where it hurts usually suffices but most of us wouldn’t go to the media or harbour a “feeling of being violated” as expressed by the 5 minutes of fame brigade.
The way this has been handled has made our politicians a laughing stock and like a script of a “Carry On” film – although I can’t quite see Michael Fallon playing a sex god in it – more Sid James than Oliver Tobias.