So the Tory sex pest scandal gets to the stage where the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun start to fill in the blanks on the 36-name spreadsheet. And, as I suggested previously, one of the cabinet ministers on that list is Michael Fallon, dead cat slinger supreme. The only news is that he has been revealed as the Tory MP who groped self-promotion expert Julia Hartley Brewer fifteen years ago.
The headline milks the shock horror angle for all it is worth, screaming “Exclusive: Commons Sleaze [it didn’t happen in the Commons] … Shock confession as sex pest dossier names SIX Cabinet ministers … FALLON: I FELT RADIO HOST’S KNEE” [she wasn’t a “radio host” at the time]. But the event has been related by Ms Hartley Dooda several times over the years. Still, it sells papers and all that.
This revelation, which has nothing to do with Ms Hartley Dooda seeking attention, or that she now works at Murdoch broadcaster TalkRADIO, has been brought to readers by the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, who tells readers “Mr Fallon confessed that he was the minister who talkRADIO presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer threatened to punch for repeatedly putting his hand on her knee”. And sadly, there was more.
Yes thanks, we know who you are
“Married father-of-two Mr Fallon admitted to The Sun he had touched Julia - but insisted he apologised over the incident 15 years ago and that both considered the matter closed”. Yeah, right. You just say sorry and it wipes the slate clean. What else was on offer, apart from two photos of the “radio host” clearly showing her knees?
“A pal said: ‘Julia’s a good friend of Michael’s. He overstepped the mark when he put his hand on her knee. She made clear it was unwelcome and he rightly apologised 15 years ago’”. A pal my arse. That is Master Cole indulging in Phil Space journalism, which is the nearest he will ever get to real journalism.
And Ms Hartley Dooda wants the world to know that, despite being repeatedly groped, she does not consider herself to have been groped, or something. Hence her Tweeting “This ‘incident’ happened in 2002. No one was remotely upset or distressed by it. My knees remain intact. I refer you to my earlier statement”. Here, she stresses that she is not a victim. Also, she has made light of the matter this morning.
“Full medical check-up this morning and, yes, both of my knees are still intact. Get a grip, people.* *Although not on my knee, obviously”. Laugh? I thought I’d never start. But she does have a point: for one, Fallon has been caught doing rather more than that, having to be pulled off an “attractive Russian blonde” at a party, and for two, many of those names on the already legendary spreadsheet have indulged in far worse behaviour.
Don't give up the day job, eh?
Even so, Michael Fallon did grope her, and his behaviour was out of order. But ultimately, this is starting to look like little more than a Murdoch asset promotion exercise - would so much attention have been lavished on the story if Julia Hartley Dooda had not been a presenter - a weekday morning presenter - on Murdoch’s TalkRADIO?
This is just a brief lull in hostilities. There is far worse to come.