While many happy couples were taking advantage of the change in the law on same-sex marriage, the Sunday Mirror was going back to the days of “Shagger” Major and Good Old Tory Sleaze, as it screamed “Top Tory MP resigns as Ministerial aide following claims he paid male escort for sex and drugs”. Mark Menzies – not really a “Top Tory MP” had resigned as Alan Duncan’s PPS.
It was hardly in the “Nude Vicar And Teapot” category, but what the heck, Westminster sex scandals sell papers, so much so that the Murdoch Sun lifted the story for its later editions. But in the aftermath of Menzies’ embarrassment before those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet, there has come the suggestion that more may be on the way.
And the loathsome Toby Young had the answer to this problem: “Every gay Conservative MP should come out of the closet”. Do explain: “Not that many of them are ‘in the closet’ ... Most are bachelors who are neither in the closet nor out of it, but in a kind of antechamber where they don't pretend to be straight but, at the same time, don't draw attention to their homosexuality either”. Yeah, right.
However, and in these cases there is inevitable a however, Tobes was not the only one to comment. Alex Wickham, newly anointed teaboy to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, has used the platform of the batshit collective otherwise known as Breitbart London to proclaim “Open Season On Westminster Sex Scandals”. More outings are allegedly on the way!
Wickham starts by pretending the only reason for the interregnum in sex scandal splashing is down to “The climate of fear instilled in newspaper editors by the Leveson Inquiry”, something that does not exist, but by laboriously banging on about it, Wickham is saying to potential employers that he’s “one of us”. Then, in true tabloid style, there is a change from victimhood to the mildly threatening.
“It would certainly come as no surprise if several other MPs were to be exposed for using rent-boys, and there are also stories doing the rounds of politicians using gay saunas and cheating on their civil partners with other men. Who will be the first gay married MP to get divorced from his husband after an extra-marital affair is exposed by a Sunday paper, I wonder?” he asks, to no wonder at all.
We have, Wickham asserts, “a resurgent tabloid press ... it is not the newspapers that are scared ... but politicians themselves ... It is now open season for these type of sex scandal stories. Mark Menzies will be the first of a few”. Yes, come on out while you can, or the tabs will do it for you. And dressed up as Our Great Free Press, so it can behave as it bloody well likes, because Leveson.
But good to see the self-appointed and judgmental are as unpleasant as before.
Would it have been less of a story if the headline had read reamed “Top Tory MP resigns as Ministerial aide following claims he paid female escort for sex and drugs”? Whatever his sexuality, it's his judgement that is in question. Allegedly texting someone he had no reason to trust. Why not just ask?
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