In the aftermath of allegations of drunken and less than appropriate behaviour around the Palace of Westminster have come the pundits, ever ready to dispense their often questionable wisdom as to how the lechery can be tackled, and, in at least one case, avoided altogether. The latter course of action is top of the advice list from the increasingly dotty Liz Jones at the Mail On Sunday.
What do you think of it so far?
“The answer to drunken letches? Sober women and sober clothes” she tells sternly, establishing her credentials by telling, in the requisite confessional style, that “I was indecently assaulted by a fellow pupil in primary school”. This lets readers know that they are going to hear lots of stuff they don’t need, or want, to hear. Nor does she seem able to focus on Parliament.
“And what a roll call there has been of late: Dave Lee Travis, Michael Le Vell and Bill Roache”. Yeah, right. What have alleged events from decades ago got to do with the trial of Nigel Evans? They’re about as relevant as her key advice: “If you want to avoid a drunken pass, my advice is: don’t hang out in a bar”. Sociable sort, isn’t she? How does Liz think people get to meet one another?
But she’s back on the historical accusations tack: “being falsely accused and your name splashed across the newspapers ... The pendulum has swung too far and I would think every famous man in the land, and every man in some sort of authority, has been quaking in their shoes in case some woman with a grudge accuses them of a grope at a time when Showaddywaddy were in the charts”.
That still has nothing to do with Parliament, which was what last week’s stories were all about (and, for those not of A Certain Age, all you need to know about Showaddywaddy is that they were crap). But do go on: “If a man puts his hand on you, or flirts, or is lascivious, you tell him to bugger off, and report it at the time, but only if you really, really believe him to be dangerous”.
And how the merry f*** does a woman know whether a man is “dangerous” unless and until he does something a bit more, well, dangerous? We don’t get to know how she would figure that out, but we are told that “These women who feel so affronted need to put whatever happened, or they think happened, behind them, and get on with their lives”. So it may have been all in the mind.
“We need to empower young women” Liz asserts, as if this will stop bad behaviour stone dead, before the classic conclusion “Don’t dress like a prostitute, or be too drunk to know what you are doing, but beyond that, live your lives. Stop being victims”. Er, there’s a world of difference between smart and tart. And going down the pub does not immediately render someone incapable.
What is Liz Jones rambling on about? One wonders if even she knows the answer.