Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Michael Fabricant tried to claim drunken sex pests are "blameless"

In a BBC Newsnight interview the Tory MP Michael Fabricant laughingly tried to dismiss the sex pest scandal as a "witch hunt" and attempted to make out that people who carried out sexual harassment/assaults that happened when "everybody was sloshed" are somehow "blameless".

The first thing to note is that the dossier of more than three dozen Tory sex pest MPs isn't a "witch hunt" at all, it's a list compiled internally by the Tory party which was then leaked.

Another factor that differentiates the sex pest scandal from a "witch hunt" is that the victims of a "witch hunt" are usually blameless (or guilty only of transgressing some harsh and restrictive social or political convention), while the vast majority of Tory MPs named in the sex pest dossier have done massively inappropriate things, often to junior members of staff or to journalists. 

Something that would actually qualify as a witch hunt would be an effort to criticise/abuse/shame the victims of sexual misconduct into silence (trivialising cases of sexual misconduct and victim bashing does seem to be the sex pest containment strategy adopted by elements of the right-wing media, including The S*n).

The next thing to note is that drunken sex pests are not "blameless". Drunkenness is no excuse whatever for sexual misconduct. Even when drunk it's simply not difficult to tell whether your sexual attentions are wanted or not, and it's definitely not difficult to know that  it's inappropriate to drunkenly grope young journalists, or that junior employees in your workplace are off bounds (even if the place you work happens to be riddled with taxpayer subsidised bars where you and your mates hang about getting "sloshed" instead of concentrating on your jobs).

The next thing to note is that (as he almost certainly knows himself by now) Michael Fabricant is one of the MPs named in the dossier of sex pest Tory MPs.

I guess time will tell whether Fabricant tries to use drunkenness as an excuse in an effort to downplay the case of his own inappropriate sexual behaviour in the sex pest dossier ...

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