The Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun have brought readers al alleged “exclusive” today, which has involved the feat of investigative journalism otherwise known as raiding the contents of a private social media account. The headline “Exclusive: Grope Shame … As Westminster women’s secret WhatsApp group names sex-pest MPs, pervy politicians should … BE AFRAID … BE VERY AFRAID” sets the scene.
What that front page also shows is that readers should be on their guard, as this splash has been brought to us courtesy of the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, formerly tame gofer to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog. As any fule kno, Master Cole’s reputation for dishonesty is legion; his first Sun front page splash, the infamous “COURT JEZTER”, was a pack of lies from start to finish.
Still, one has to examine the evidence, paltry though it may be. “CABINET Ministers have been named by furious female staff in a secret list of sex-pest MPs to avoid at Westminster … They are among politicians listed in a WhatsApp group set to spark a fresh scandal in Parliament … Sources say the first MP could be exposed by the weekend and one said resignations are ‘anticipated’”. And what kind of misbehaviour are we talking?
Would you buy a used scoop from HIM?
“Reports include tales of MPs groping staff in lifts and a Minister branded ‘Not Safe In Taxis’ because of his wandering hands”. Christ on a bike Master Cole, we know who that is - one of his fellow (female) cabinet ministers has alluded to this already. And I can name a second cabinet minister faster than he could sling a distractionary dead cat.
What I can also tell from this story is that most of the suspects are Tories. That explains Cole’s fellow Sun “correspondents” trying to get readers to “look over there” at Labour, with Steve Hawkes peddling a story about self-publicising MP John Mann threatening to name one of his colleagues who allegedly misbehaved on a foreign trip. Sadly, Master Cole already appears to have that MP in his list.
Sarah Champion is NOT a "former MP"
Hawkes also suffers from basic inaccuracies, such as calling Sarah Champion a “former MP” when she is very much still in post and representing Rotherham, and claiming that Yvette Cooper is the “shadow Home Secretary”, when that post is currently occupied by Diane Abbott (one might expect a Sun hack to know that name).
And there are two more points that lead credence to the idea that Master Cole’s story may be rather shakier than first appears. One is that, if there is so much evidence to hand, why are his former colleagues at the Fawkes blog trawling for informants?
And Yvette Cooper is NOT shadow Home Secretary
And two, why is the Sun stopping at MPs going after women? As Zelo Street regulars will know, the aftermath of the Tory Bullying scandal saw three of the party’s MP identified as using gatherings of young party activists as a means of scoring casual sexual encounters. The Fawkes blog knows who they are, as do I. Only one of the three went after young women. Are we to believe that they all behave themselves when at the Commons?
When Master Cole’s name is on the by-line, the prospect of the story falling apart is never very far away. This steaming pile of nonsense is no exception.