Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Tory sex dossier is an absolute mess

I've seen an uncensored copy of the Tory sex pest dossier and it's an absolute mess. The big problem with it is that it's not actually a list of MPs accused or suspected of sexual misconduct, it's more like a list of sex-related issues that could be used to blackmail MPs into silence or conformity.

Thus the list combines details of absolutely outrageous sexual misconduct, alongside stuff like extramarital affairs, consensual relationships, and the unusual private sexual proclivities of certain MPs (all ideal blackmail material).

Most of the details are very sketchy, and restricted to a single sentence, or even just a few words. For example the entry on the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is nothing more than "Adam Werrity"

It's impossible to gather whether this refers to what the public already know about Liam Fox breaching the ministerial code by allowing Adam Werrity access to classified meetings and official secrets, or whether the Tory party know that there's more to the Adam Werrity scandal than the public were ever told.

In a lot of cases it's simply impossible to tell whether the sexual conduct was consensual or not. 23 of the 40 cases involve MPs' researchers and office staff. In some cases it's obvious that there was harassment involved, but in others it's impossible to tell if what happened was fully consensual or not.

One thing that is absolutely clear is that this dossier was never intended as an exercise in identifying unacceptable sexual misdemeanours like sexual harassment and assaults, otherwise it wouldn't include numerous cases of tittle-tattle like private sexual proclivities, apparently consensual affairs between Tory MPs, and use of prostitutes.

One thing that is very odd about the list is how it names two female Tory MPs for having had sexual relationships with the same male Tory MP, but the male Tory MP isn't included on the list himself.

It appears very much as if the dossier holds female Tory MPs to a much lower standard of what constitutes sexual misconduct, apparently just in order to fill out the list with a few female names. 

One of the most serious cases on the Tory dossier is the case of a married Tory MP who apparently had an affair with a researcher in his office, and then pressurised her to have an abortion after she got pregnant. I thought about naming the guy, but then it struck me that the victim in this case deserves privacy if they don't want their experience to become public knowledge. Since there's a strong possibility that they could be identified if I chose to release the name of the MP who did it to her, it would be irresponsible to name him.

After Guido Fawkes released a heavily redacted version of the dossier many people have been speculating about who the Tory party have identified as "perpetually intoxicated and very inappropriate with women" might be. I don't feel that I'm breaching any victims' confidentiality by saying that's the Tory MP for Beckenham Bob Stewart.

Four other male Tory MPs that this document suggests women should be very wary of are the First Secretary Damian Green, Theresa May's private secretary George Hollingberry, the DWP minister Guy Opperman, and the Tory whip Chris Heaton-Harris (author of the McCarthyite University letters). They're all listed as being "handsy" (which is apparently a quaint euphemism for "a groper").

Another case that leaps out is the Tory MP Nigel Evans. The internal Tory document accuses him of being "inappropriate with male researchers - long history". The long history bit here is key. If people in the Tory party knew that this guy had a long track record of being sexually inappropriate with junior staff, why was nothing done to actually protect junior staff from his inappropriate sexual behaviour?

The Tory dossier also includes two examples of male Tory MPs apparently paying women to be quiet (one former cabinet minister, and one current cabinet minister) and the dossier also accuses another current cabinet minister of having an injunction against him for inappropriate behaviour with a woman.

One of the weirdest inclusions is the former disabilities minister Justin Tomlinson who is listed as dating his researcher, but that's already public knowledge after he ditched his wife for his 25 year old assistant Katie Bennett in 2016.

As I mentioned at the beginning, a minority of the details included in the Tory dossier are clearly private sexual proclivities of the kind that tabloid rags would crawl all over, but don't constitute non-consensual sexual misdemeanours like harassment or assault at all. 

I decided not to publish the whole document because I have no interest in exposing these people for their personal sexual tastes. As much as I detest them for callously and uncaringly imposing the economically ruinous and poverty inducing policies of their party, I actually have a bit of sympathy for them over the way they've been listed by their own party alongside a bunch of actual sex pests, just because they apparently like a bit of kink in their sex lives.

I didn't want to be responsible for outing people just because the Tory party consider a bit of kink to be as bad as being a serial sex pest, but it's obvious that if I've seen the document, it's going to leak out into the public domain sooner or later. So I'm in the unusual position of actually feeling a bit sorry for a few Tory MPs.

All in all the Tory sex pest dossier looks an awful lot more like a poorly cobbled together blackmail list than anything resembling an internal Tory party effort to identify and properly deal with actual sexual misdemeanours. 

The suspicion that it's actually a blackmail list fits with what Theresa May's former communications manager Kate Perrior said about the Tory whips collecting dirt in order to "use it to make sure that MPs know that other people within the party know exactly what they’ve been up to, and that behaviour either is not acceptable, or it will be used against them – you will vote in a certain way or we will tell your wife exactly what you’ve been up to".

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Legal note: All of the accusations in this article are made in the Tory sex dossier. I had no role in compiling the dossier, and this article simply offers commentary on the contents. I have been careful to qualify all commentary with the fact that these are accusations by others within the Tory party, not established facts.