Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lord Rennard put his hand down the back of her dress

An unusual coalition seems to be rallying (very subtely) to Lord Rennard's defence.

Paddy Ashdown tells us we should not forget what a great service Lord Rennard did for the Liberal Democrats (and all great men have their foibles is the unspoken excuse).

Guardian writer Michael White has spent most of the day on Twitter calling for a sense of perspective (don't get your knickers in a twist could be a precis of his argument).

Labour activist Stephen Bush uses the Progress website to say that we are ALL guilty of sexism (and thus by implication Lord Rennard is no more guilty than the rest of us) http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2014/01/21/the-33-per-cent-problem/

Of course, these individuals (and others) are not really defending Lord Rennard.  They are attempting damage-limitation for the Liberal Democrat party - for a range of motives connected no doubt to marginal seat calculations related to 2015.  Sexual harassment is important, but not as important as winning the next election.

We are not helped by the clampdown that has been imposed on the scandal (secrecy that must inevitably fail - eventually the facts will come out).

We did hear yesterday from one of the complainants who said that Lord Rennard put his hand down the back of her dress.

Presumably (one hopes) he just put his hand down a little way before her objections stopped him. 

But one is forced to speculate whether his fat fumbling fingers intended to interfere with the most private parts of her body.

He is a dirty old man.

He must not be protected from the consequences of his actions, no matter how expedient it might be to do so.

And who knew all this was going on?  Why was nothing done?  Where does the buck stop?

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