Audio: Tory front-bencher’s #Weinstein rape joke on BBC. Spot difference?

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Michael Gove: ‘clumsy’?

Michael Gove appeared on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning – and made a joke comparing being interviewed by John Humphrys being like entering the bedroom of alleged rapist Harvey Weinstein:

Gove later apologised for his ‘clumsy’ remark:

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There has been criticism this morning of Gove’s ‘inappropriate’ comment. Some has been strong criticism – although it’s noteworthy that there are several female Labour MPs whose comments about Gove’s ‘poor taste’, ‘crass’ joke and a ‘poor look’ are of a completely different tone than their outrage over Clive Lewis’ ill-advised choice of words in a Brighton on-stage game at a Novara end-of-conference bash.

However, the main difference is in the way that the Establishment media are handling the Gove issue.

The focus is on Gove’s personal behaviour, whether it’s minimised as a ‘slip’ or ‘poor taste’, or revelling a little more in his ‘grovelling’ apology, as the Telegraph does.

But completely absent, at least so far, appears to be the rush to turn a piece of poor personal behaviour into a party attack.

When Lewis made his bad decision, the media were immediately postulating – either rhetorically or directly to Jeremy Corbyn – about Labour’s ‘misogyny problem’. So far, there seem to have been no headlines about a Tory party misogyny problem.

Two weeks ago, when the Weinstein allegations were still new, a Tory MP made a similar Weinstein ‘joke‘ at a Parliamentary awards night that was attended by journalists and a wide range of political and academic figures.

When the SKWAWKBOX ran it, it was an exclusive – and it still appears to be. While a SKWAWKBOX interview with Laura Pidcock went viral and was used by the ‘MSM’ in the UK and globally for months and Lewis’ poor choice at a party sparked a torrent of media outrage, the revelation that a Tory MP had made a rape joke at an official event was ignored – and Gove is merely criticised personally, with a focus on his ‘clumsy’ joke.

You’d almost think there was an agenda at play.

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  1. There has been a natural sexual tension between men and women since Adam and Eve. The idea that a boy flirting with a girl is necessarily “inappropriate/vile/disgusting” etc is plainly hysterical.

    1. Erm, have you read any of the actor’s accounts of Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour?
      You describe this as “flirting”.

      No one’s complaining about flirting; courtship; humour.

      People are complaining about sexual harassment and coercion.

      The distinction is easy. The former is enjoyed and appreciated by both parties involved.

      The latter is enjoyed by only one of the parties involved.

      Remember if you are “flirting” or “hitting on ” someone, you are supposedly hoping to impress them, and hoping they will think spending more time in your company will be something they would like to do.

      So if you overstepped the mark you would be immediately remorseful and apologetic.

      Those who try to pretend there is some overlap between “flirting” and harassment are merely bemoaning that they have to consider how someone else feels about being on the receiving end of their “humour” or sexual comments

  2. This is the problem with mud slinging. Eventually some of it will land on you. Yet again the Tories show that they are suffering with a bad case of foot in mouth disease

  3. I agree with the general point you’re making about the failure to conflate Gove’s typically foul comments with a more general Tory-misogyny issue. But, also noticeable has been the lack of overt criticism of Kinnock, whose follow-up comments were just as foul, & also betrayed an underlying chumminess with both Gove & Humphrys which is thoroughly dispiriting.

    Kinnock was a liability as a party leader, & has been serially undermined any attempts by Miliband in the first place, & Corbyn especially, to try to create a genuine left-wing space from which to challenge the neoliberal hegemony.

  4. can somebody please tell me what mps do all day? there’s little/no legislative work so what the f*** do they do???

  5. I hope this has been brought to the attention (via social media) of those who are making the complaints against weinstein.

    Let’s hear their thoughts on gove’s ‘joke’.

    By the way – was that neil kinnock adding the: ‘John goes WAY past groping’ quote** ??

    How amusing – I’m bereft of ribs, honestly :/

    **I dunno what a more fitting word would be – Ditty? Quip? No, those words have inferences of humour. I mean something that’s meant to be funny but falls flat on it’s arse… I know – ‘Tory’!!

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