From big dog Johnson to 'big grope' Chris Pincher: another day in Westminster’s ‘normal’ workplace

NSecause nothing is too on-the-nose for the current Conservative party, the intro of Chris Pincher’s latest drinking column featured Uncle Monty from Withnail and I. “That lubricious booby”, Pincher called Monty, in an article for the Critic magazine filed some time before he appeared to admit drunkenly groping two younger men on Wednesday night. I wonder what Uncle Chris was saying as he chased them round the Carlton Club? “I mean to have you, even if it must be burglary!」

実際には, the dialogue is likely to have been less iconic than any of that movie’s quotable quotes. The last time Pincher resigned for alleged sexual misconduct – of course there was a last time – he was accused of luring a former Olympic rower back to his home before reappearing in a bathrobe, massaging his victim’s neck and untucking his shirt, while whispering: “You’ll go far in the Conservative party.” Just call him Harvey Winetime.

Speaking of going far in the Conservative party, でも, it was AFTER that incident that Pincher was elevated to the position of deputy chief whip, with the whips’ office naturally being the place you’re supposed to go with your concerns about sexual misconduct by MPs and so on. It all does rather raise the question: who whips the whips? Unclear. Some sadist down in Battersea, you’d imagine. But if he or she is off for a week, I don’t think it would be too difficult finding holiday cover. Just walk along any British high street and ask who fancies letting out a bit of their frustration with how they’re ruled.

それでも, great to see the government turning itself into the Netflix of sex scandals. Forgive me for falling back on its most gibberish of favoured metaphors, but you have to concede the Johnson administration is a bloated monster, profoundly overvalued and built on a vast debt to the public that will ultimately need to be collected on.

今のところ, let’s have a look at the resignation letter sent to the PM by Pincher, who inevitably – yet somehow still incredibly – has apparently long been nicknamed Arse Pincher. This missive to the prime minister is some state-of-the-art minimising. “I’ve embarrassed myself and other people” is surely the most twee possible way of saying: “I am alleged to have sexually assaulted two people.” It’s the Live, Laugh, Love of predatory behaviour.

As is the way of these things, it wasn’t long before allies of Pincher were briefing that the Tamworth MP was “vulnerable”. That line was reportedly also trotted out at this morning’s Downing Street meeting, with staff told by director of communications Guto Harri to “think about how he feels today”. Righto. Maybe the guys he allegedly sexually assaulted that night were vulnerable too? Maybe they are now? Why were Downing Street staff not encouraged to think first about how they feel?

Probably because Pincher was a key part of Operation Save Big Dog, instrumental in the shadow whipping operation that got Tory MPs back on Johnson’s side as the Partygate revelations piled up. The prime minister was made aware of the “issues” with Pincher back in February, when he sought to promote him in reward for all this. Yet Johnson went ahead anyway. Politico revealed this morning claims that Pincher had been assigned a “minder” to ensure he left events “without drinking too much and getting into trouble”. Where was the minder on Wednesday night? Or maybe he groped the minder? つまり, anything feels possible.

What we can say for sure is that Pincher and those who appointed him are not the only ones in positions of power trying very hard to handwave it all away. No sooner had the resignation letter dropped than the prime minister’s winged flunkeys were out there explaining why it was fine that Pincher hadn’t had the whip withdrawn. Very much doubt that non-punishment will hold longer than the time it takes me to type this paragraph, let alone all the way till lunchtime. But it’s nonetheless crucial to understanding the situation. Always listen to that reflexive first reaction, because it tells you exactly what they really think, and by extension why situations like this keep happening. として Tory source explained in the immediate aftermath of the Pincher revelations last night: “The PM thinks he’s done the decent thing by resigning. There is no need for an investigation and no need to suspend the whip.”

ああ, I see – ボリス・ジョンソン thinks he has done the decent thing. Well that really is the fricking hallmark. Where do other people convicted of breaking their own laws stand on this moral issue? What about other people who try to grift £150,000 toddler treehouses off their donors? Other people who are reported to have been caught in a “compromising situation” in their office with a junior colleague? Tell me what THEY think, because I simply must know! I don’t think I’m going to be able to fully plot this on the decency graph until I’ve heard from every other chiselling sexual incontinent who recognises the word victim only as a term that applies to him.

While you’re waiting on that, listen to Welsh secretary Simon Hart, the government’s new shiteater-in-chief, who gets sent out seemingly once a week to do the job of cleaning up after the latest scandal. Simon was on the morning broadcast round today, どこ クインビーは、列車が無人の間に誰かがエアブレーキシステムを無効にし、2台の鉄道車両間のリンクを分離したとガーディアンに語った of the Pincher horror show: “This is not the first time, and I fear it won’t be the last. This happens in workplaces from time to time …”

To which the only sane reply is: WHAAAAAAAAT?!?! Can you imagine if – in the past three months alone – five senior BBC figures had been accused of serious sexual misconduct? Can you imagine what people like Simon would be saying about the BBC? Or think of your own workplace. Can you imagine if five senior figures there had been involved in major sex scandals since April? We’re only just into July!

Hart’s line-to-take recalls that of the recent Tory candidate for Wakefield (a seat vacated when the last MP was convicted of sexually assaulting a child). This guy kept going on the news with the most eye-watering version of the “one bad apple” take you’re likely to hear, explaining that the public should still trust Tory MPs because Harold Shipman didn’t make them stop trusting GPs.

Sorry to wheel out this mindboggling statistic yet again, だが 56 current MPs are reportedly facing allegations of sexual misconduct. Assuming the vast majority of those will be men, that’s about one in eight male MPs. Labour MPs and others will be among those, of that you can be sure – though for a sheer run of repulsive form, no one can currently touch the Conservatives. Yet on it all goes. Westminster is a rotten and backward workplace, and nothing seriously meaningful gets done about it because the people with power actively do not want to do anything about it, and in several cases are involved in abuses themselves. What is it they’re so fond of saying? Ah, はい: “We work for you.” In which case, do please consider stopping before more people get hurt.

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