While an increasing number of Tory MPs and their cheerleaders in both old and new media continue to put the boot in on Labour MP Clive Lewis, because he used the term “bitch” - even though it was to another man - all those attacking Lewis have somehow forgotten that the Tories are standing in an awfully draughty glasshouse when it comes to demeaning or insulting anyone - including their fellow politicians.
That’s because several Tory MPs have been caught in various acts of demeaning and insulting others, including the use of that term that got Clive Lewis so much attention at the end of last week. And, by complete coincidence you understand, none of the acts about to be described has been used as hit piece fodder by most of our free and fearless press - not, of course, that we should take this as a sign of bias.
Take Philip Davies, for instance, and an increasing number of voters in his Shipley constituency wish someone would. “A Conservative MP with a reputation for targeting bills protecting women’s rights has broken his own record by talking for more than 90 minutes in an attempt to derail a measure demanding the government ratify a treaty on domestic violence” told the Guardian recently. He lost. But it was entirely in character.
Or how about deployment of the C-Word in the Commons? Back in early 2015 we read “Labour tells Tory minister accused of swearing at Ed Miliband to apologise … Anna Soubry denies shouting ‘the foulest word’ at party leader but officials still demand she says sorry”. She called the then Labour leader a “sanctimonious c***”. Derek and Clive (and Paul Dacre) would have been proud of her. She got away with that one.
Maybe a little misogyny would be treated differently? Not in the Tory Party. “Brexit secretary David Davis has apologised after private text messages emerged in which he insulted Diane Abbott”. That was after a drunken move on Ms Abbott in a Commons bar. Was the whip withdrawn from him, as Tories are now demanding of Lewis? You jest - he is still very much in post. And he isn’t the only cabinet minister to stray.
Dead cat slinger supreme Michal Fallon was briefly in the mire in 2014: “Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is at the centre of an explosive row over claims he called a woman a ‘slut’ in a bar”. And there was more. “Mr Fallon faced further questions over a separate incident in which his party ‘minder’ intervened to get him away from an attractive Russian blonde, after he gatecrashed a party … According to some reports, Mr Fallon was seen touching the woman”. He, like Davis, is still in post. Along with his hands.
Also still in post in Scottish Secretary David Mundell, who was caught on camera earlier this year abusing Labour MP Yvette Cooper. And what did Mundell call her? He can be clearly seen saying “bitch”. That’s the same term for which Clive Lewis is being pursued by slavering Tories and their press pals. He, like Davis and Fallon, is still in post.
And that’s before we consider the racist language deployed on more than one occasion by London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, who, like his three pals, is still in the cabinet. Yet Tory MP Nusrat Ghani is pushing for a Commons debate about Clive Lewis. Double standards? You don’t say!