As you’ll probably know, the odious Tory MP Tim Loughton was enjoying his time (presumably a freebie) at the BAFTA awards last night when he was greatly offended by Ken Loach daring to use his award speech to attack the Tory government’s inhumane treatment of the unemployed and disadvantaged – here’s his speech in case you missed it:
Loughton took to Twitter to express his outrage:
Loughton didn’t stop there, also retweeting an attack on Loach for his ‘ancient’ views:
As someone who talks to a lot of unemployed and disadvantaged people for this blog, I know who’s out of touch. Comedian John Bishop agreed – and nailed it:
if there was ever an example of how out of touch you and your government are with ordinary people it's that tweet.
— John Bishop (@JohnBishop100) February 12, 2017
But if Loughton dishes it, he’s got to be able to take it. So you might be interested to know a few more things about Mr Loughton, so you know what kind of person is attacking a world-famous film director with an equally famous sense of compassion and social justice. Below are a few pointers.
He lied about claiming expenses – to a memorial service
On 22 August 2015, 11 people were killed and 16 injured at the horrific Shoreham Air Show disaster. A few days later, a memorial service was held on a famous old toll bridge close to the crash site. Mr Loughton attended.
And he claimed expenses for the journey there and back:
Mr Loughton was criticised for this and furiously denied it, calling his accusers ‘scumbags’:
He claimed that he had walked to the bridge from his Shoreham office. If this were true and he had other business in Shoreham, making the memorial service irrelevant to the claim, he would not have mentioned it in his expense report.
Not only that, but the distance from Shoreham to Worthing is six miles. Mr Loughton claimed for twelve miles, meaning that he did indeed claim for getting to Shoreham as well as from there back to Worthing. It’s true that his constituency office is in Shoreham – but unfortunately for him, he was seen arriving just before the service and leaving just after it:
So, to attend a memorial service he claimed his expenses – legally allowable, but clearly something he felt was shameful, because when challenged on it, he opted to try to bluff it out rather than apologise.
Contempt for his constituents
When Tim Loughton won the East Worthing and Shoreham seat for the Tories, a constituent wrote to him expressing her dismay. Ungracious in victory, he mockingly suggested he’d help her move away – and when she said she couldn’t afford to, he descended even further into outright insulting behaviour:
Mr Loughton was also lambasted for swearing at one of his constituents who ‘dared’ to criticise his voting record on matters that affect struggling people:
If that’s not enough, Loughton told another constituent who dared to complain that he was talking ‘whingeing, self-serving, poisonous bollocks’ and labelled him ‘unkempt’ – for which Loughton was questioned under caution by police for potential race-hate crimes, as his correspondent is a Romany.
Huge expenses, tiny… heart
Loughton claimed a whopping £188,000 in parliamentary expenses last year – but voted to cut ESA (Employment Support Allowance) for disabled people by £30 a week, as this graphic by the excellent ‘Rachael Swindon’ blog shows. Oh, and made a sexist insult to a then-coalition colleague:
Creating fake ‘antisemitism’
But it gets worse. Tim Loughton is the acting Chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee. One of his first acts as acting Chair was to publish a report into the supposed ‘antisemitism problem’ of the Labour Party.
This report was presented to the public as showing Labour as a ‘safe space’ for antisemites and Mr Loughton appeared prominently on television to reinforce that public perception.
The only thing was, the report did not say that at all. Here’s what it did say:
In other words, Mr Loughton went on national TV to say the report said something it didn’t. Which most of know as lying.
Worse still, he saw fit to exploit an extremely serious issue, one which has cost millions of lives, for cheap political purposes.
There is far more that could be written on the subject of what passes for Tim Loughton’s ‘character’, but readability concerns mean you’ll have to read up on it for yourself.
Suffice to say there is no shortage of material for consideration. So much, in fact, that a Facebook page was set up specifically to expose its abundance, so you may wish to start there if you can stomach more.
The SKWAWKBOX would like to congratulate the admirable Ken Loach for his award and for I, Daniel Blake, which is a searingly realistic and deeply moving film.
But equally, we would like to congratulate him for drawing fire from the loathsome Tim Loughton. As this writer knows from personal experience: when you upset people like that, you’re doing something right – and in Ken’s case, doing a lot right.
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