If one needed proof that the press establishment leans to the right, the behaviour of two MPs tells you all you need to know. Last week, the sticky brown stuff hit the rotating air circulation device all over Labour MP Jared O’Mara, who is now suspended from his party. And yesterday, Tory cabinet minister Michael “Oiky” Gove made a crass and inexcusable remark live on BBC Radio 4 concerning disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Isabel Oakeshott - not worrying about (some) misogyny
Excuse me, we do know who you are, thanks
Quite apart from much of what has been unearthed about O’Mara coming from as long as fifteen years ago, the way the two are being viewed by the punditerati is remarkable in its inability to condemn unacceptable comments if they come from your own side of the fence. The Sheffield Hallam MP got it in the neck from the word go, while Gove has been given more than the benefit of the doubt. The evidence is all too plain to see.
O’Mara was suspended by Labour last Wednesday. Julia Hartley Dooda was in no doubt that this was A Very Good Thing. “Labour MP Jared O'Mara suspended by the Labour Party. About bloody time” she observed. But Gove? “On #Marr @IsabelOakeshott talking sense about the hysterical portrayal of Westminster as being full of prowling sex pests. It isn’t”. Ms Oakeshott’s claims of overreaction also concerned Gove. Well, well.
Just to confirm this, Ms Oakeshott has Tweeted “Oh for goodness sake. There are SO many bigger things to worry about than this slightly clumsy remark. @michaelgove has already apologised”. Tory says sorry, that is OK, even if said Tory is in the cabinet. Labour MP says sorry, that’s just the signal to dig a bit deeper into his online history for some more dirt and kick him a bit harder. Then sneer at Shami Chakrabarti.
And here's another impartial and even-handed voice
These august individuals were not alone: Mid-Bedfordshire’s Tory MP (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries was tough on O’Mara, and the causes of O’Mara: “So with Clive Lewis and Jared O'Mara, safe to say Labour can no longer pretend to be the party of equal opportunities and diversity”. And then sniping at Jezza: “Was this before or after you tried to persuade Jared O'Mara to remain on the Women and equality select committee following his sexist rants?”. But on her pal Gove? It was all so different.
“I think more people are stunned that you have to apologise in response to the faux outrage, than are actually outraged” she told “Oiky”, before doubling down with “Given complete sense of humour fail on Twitter today and the 'let's get him' attitude of people like @bbcnickrobinson I'm off for the w/e!” Where’s these lefties’ sense of humour?
And yes, I know, that’s before we even get started on David Davis trying it on with Diane Abbott (plus the insulting text messages). Or Michael Fallon calling a woman a “slut”, and on another occasion having to be separated from “an attractive Russian blonde” after he gatecrashed a party, or what Davie Mundell shouted at Yvette Cooper.
Or, indeed, the serial racism, congenital lying and deviation from the marital straight and narrow by London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson - someone about whom the fragrant Nadine will not hear a bad word said.
Once again, you choose a subject and the Tory cheerleaders’ attitude to it comes up rank hypocrisy. As Private Eye magazine might have asked, I wonder if the two are in any way related? I think we should be told.