On Friday I watched the excruciating display by Quentin Letts and Ian Hislop on Have I Got News for Yo when talking about the harassment and bullying scandal that is sweeping through the House of Commons. They looked just like little naughty prep school boys and displayed not one jot of understanding as to how the world has shifted in the last week. Jo Brand’s timely intervention only served to make them look even more ridiculous. Letts behaviour didn’t come as much of a surprise but Hislop always seemed to have a much more firmer reading of the political runes. I was clearly wrong.
This thought rattled around in the back of my mind when I was reading the Sunday morning opinion pieces written by mostly men. None really seemed to have woken up to the fact that things are changing very very fast at Westminster. Instead they were full of insider knowledge, probably amongst senior male MPs, about how badly the Prime Minister had handled the replacement of the Defence Secretary and dark whispers of “House of Cards’ (The British version rather than the uniquely involved in the maelstrom American version). Cries of weakness and mutterings of rebellion being reported on as if nothing has changed. It is very very early to say whether things have changed but from the outside looking in I believe things have and suddenly a Prime Minister under siege is starting to look like she a Prime Minister with all the power. Forget Brexit sex is far more understandable.
This sounds crazy I know but who else is there on the Conservative side who can take over from her? The first time anyone sticks their head above the parapet their own behaviour to women will become the big issue. If this is the case then this probably only leaves Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May easily defeated her last time around and nothing that has happened since has bolster Leadsom’s reputation. On the Labour benches they are in no better position to attack Theresa May as they are slowly being consumed by the same issues. On Thursday I watched a leading Labour MP turning herself in knots when she realised that the standard Labour attack of posh public school Tories wouldn’t work with all the sexist baggage that Labour have including the only rape allegation to date. In short Labour doesn’t want to face the country anymore than the Conservatives at the moment with all this floating about and so will not be too keen to try and engineer the downfall of the government. Even the most saintly, their view, SNP are starting to be dragged down into this mire. Another nail in the Independence coffin perhaps?
This scandal now has legs and it is likely to destroy as many careers as the expenses scandal did a few years ago. If this is the case the one person who is probably best suited to try and introduce a brave new world is the daughter of a Church of England vicar whose naughtiest secret was that as a child she ran through fields of wheat when she shouldn’t. More tea vicar?