The elevation of sexual harassment to the pole position of current media-political concern may have actually begun overseas before it snowballed here with l’affaire Weinstein. I didn’t follow the story closely, but I do recall a few years ago that the prominent and beloved television host Jimmy Savile over in the UK was revealed to have been a Weinstein-scale pedophile of long standing—sort of a Brit version of Charlie Rose crossed with Mister Rogers.
Of course, you would be right to suggest that the British invented sex scandals, going back to King Henry VIII or at least the Profumo scandal of the 1960s. In recent weeks Theresa May’s government has seen the exit of two senior ministers in recent weeks. Vanity Fair reports:
Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has admitted acting inappropriately on at least one occasion—a hand on the knee of conservative commentator Julia Hartley-Brewer years ago. Damian Green, the first secretary of state and effectively Prime Minister Theresa May’s deputy, is fighting for his political life after a separate accusation that he made sexual advances towards a young Tory activist, which he furiously denies.
Apparently, too many people in British government think “Yes, Minister” is a universal reply and not a satirical comedy. Vanity Fair goes on to report that Tory Party whips are using allegations and rumors of sex scandal to keep backbenchers in line. I suspect this may have inspired Nancy Pelosi to get John Conyers to step aside as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee today.
But it looks like the Labour Party wants in on the action. From today’s London Times:
A second member of the Labour Party has died after apparently taking his own life amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
The man, understood to be in his early thirties, died suddenly last week after being suspended from the party and his job at Labour headquarters after claims involving pornography. . .
The new death came two weeks after the apparent suicide of Carl Sargeant, the cabinet secretary for communities and children in the Welsh government.
Sargeant was removed from his post and suspended from Welsh Labour on November 3 after allegations about his behaviour. He died four days later apparently still unclear about the detailed claims against him.
Strange that the name of the person is being withheld. Even more interesting is this detail:
The man who died last week was a member of Labour’s team at the party’s headquarters in Victoria, central London. One source said he had been caught digitally manipulating the faces of people onto the bodies of porn stars.
That just sounds like good opposition attack material to me.