Ah, that whiff of hypocrisy, the pungent aroma of double standards, those screeching 180-degree U-Turns as the boot is seen to be very firmly on the other foot: during the campaign for the European Parliament elections, we were told very firmly by those out on the right, chucking a milkshake over Nigel “Thirsty” Farage was no laughing matter. This was merely an entry-level drug on the way to something infinitely more serious.
Mark Field MP ...
Moreover, the milkshake chucker should be prosecuted with the full force of the law. But now it is all so different, after Tory MP Mark Field, who represents the Cities of London and Westminster, was caught on camera last night violently assaulting a peaceful woman protester who had, with some others, interrupted Philip Hammond’s Mansion House speech. The assault was entirely unprovoked, and there was no threat to Field.
... and where he may be heading soon
The protester was walking past the table where Field was seated. As she passed behind him, he leapt from his seat, grabbed her, pushed her up against a pillar, then grabbed her again, this time by the neck, and pushed her out of the room. The condemnation has been instantaneous. Except from those out on the right, who have either mysteriously not seen the incident, do not want to jump to conclusions, or are spinning it as justified.
Field claimed “In the confusion many guests understandably felt threatened and when one protester rushed past me towards the top table I instinctively reacted. There was no security present and I was for a split-second genuinely worried she might have been armed”. Yeah, right. She was wearing a sleeveless dress. Exactly where was she going to conceal those offensive weapons? At least he’s referred himself to the Cabinet Office.
But there has to be spin from the right, and as so often, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog are the ones to supply it: “For what it’s worth, this was a protester who had breached security and was reportedly heading straight for the Chancellor just three years after an MP had been assassinated. Should she have been allowed to get to him?” Thomas Mair had a knife and a gun. She didn’t.
Meanwhile, in the real world, condemnation of Field came thick and fast, with Sunny Hundal concluding “No one looked threatened. Expressing ‘regret’ is not enough. This is assault”. James O’Brien added “Strangling a woman ‘instinctively’ doesn’t sound like a defence. It sounds like a personality disorder”. EL4JC mused “Remember that time Jeremy Corbyn gabbed a female People’s Vote campaigner by the throat and slammed her against the wall and all the centrists said it understandable because of ‘security risks’?”
Assaulting peaceful protesters is not a good look. And one Tory MP endorsed this view last year, telling “Concerned by arrests and violence against peaceful demonstrators in Rangoon calling for an end to fighting in #Kachin on 12 May. I urge the Burmese authorities to drop charges against peaceful demonstrators, and withdraw legislation limiting peaceful assembly”. His name was, er, Mark Field.
Life comes at you fast sometimes. Mark Field has no excuses. He said so himself.
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