Sleazebusting Diary of a Corbynista

The recess cannot come soon enough

by Don Urquhart

Mug shot of Don Urquhart1 November 2017

Sexual harassment interests most people.  The Harvey Weinstein affair seems to have opened Pandora’s Box.  That powerful people in organisations intimidate and exploit employees is hardly news.  There is a bandwagon and I suspect that some people are crying “Me Too!” on the basis that all publicity is good publicity.  The Damien Green allegations are hard to understand.  Green’s version of events has Kate Maltby as a personal friend he has met socially twice a year since the disputed knee touching of 2014.  Who would want to be the Cabinet Secretary sorting that one out?

2 November 2017

Up until a couple of days ago if I had been asked who in the Cabinet was the least likely to be tainted by a sex scandal Sir Michael Fallon would have been very close to the top.  There is clearly more to his resignation than Kneegate, as the “victim” Julia Hartley-Brewer characterises the 2002 contretemps.  What surprised me most about his resignation letter was that he described himself as representing the Armed Forces and as such was setting a bad example to the squaddies.  “Cognitive dissonance” is not a great look for a Defence Minister so it is as well that he is on his way.

3 November 2017

It is pathetic that our airwaves are clogged up with sleazy goings on involving members of the Mother of Parliaments.  Where are the good old British values as exemplified by film producer Harvey Weinstein?  In this country we appointed him as merely a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  Presumably his contribution to our national well-being fell short of that exemplified by the late Sir James Savile who warranted a knighthood.

4 November 2017

We are rightly proud of the richness of the English language so it is disappointing to discover that the Germans have quite a few words we cannot easily render into English.  One such is “Aktionismus” which I was often accused of when working for a German employer.  MP’s are being suspended and investigated in droves, the Tories announce a new code of conduct, Labour has a new complaints procedure, the LibDems claim to have super robust ways of handling things, and the three main party leaders are meeting to come up with a new process.  Thrillingly, many of the great and good have deigned to share with us their thoughts about what has been going wrong.

5 November 2017

Jane Merrick was a 29 year old Daily Mail reporter in 2003.  At lunch Sir Michael Fallon attempted to kiss her.  The other day she reported this to 10 Downing Street.  Fallon resigned.

6 November 2017

Appleby is a firm of Bermuda lawyers whose records have been hacked and made available to investigative journalists.  We discover that well known public figures have set up structures offshore in order to avoid tax.  How wonderfully this exemplifies British values.  Why is it that tax avoidance is not on the national curriculum along with the other concepts which have made our island nation great?

Well, it makes a change from Commons sleaze.  Interesting that there is so much focus on protecting MP’s employees when most of the cases reported so far involve journalists and the worst case, Bex Bailey’s, is nothing to do with Westminster politicians.

7 November 2017

Last year the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child had the UK needing to improve the accommodation and safety of children.

This morning Siobhain McDonagh will raise in the Commons the issue of temporary accommodation.  There are 78,000 households in temporary accommodation in England, including 120,000 children.  For months these children are exposed to cramped, often cold conditions, sharing kitchen and sanitary facilities with strangers and constantly changing schools.  When The Commons comes to debate the housing crisis the needs of those in temporary accommodation should be front and centre.

 

 

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