What’s the story? Boris Johnson was accused of inappropriately groping a female journalist while he was the editor of The Spectator.
Reasonable take: Groping is bad.
Brain rot: Actually, groping doesn't matter because I want hard Brexit.
This week, journalist Charlotte Edwardes accused the Prime Minister of touching her thigh – and the thigh of another woman – at a private lunch in 1999, describing the alleged incident in a column in the Sunday Times. Johnson has since denied the incident and insisted that allegations about his personal conduct were not overshadowing the Tory conference, where he wanted to tell people about his plans to "improve their lives".
The allegation was met with immense cynicism by political commentators like Allison Pearson, who took to the headlines of the Telegraph to speak up for “normal people” everywhere, who don’t care about alleged sexual assault – or “gropegate” as she called it – and simply won’t watch or listen to the news any more because of all this "Boris-bashing" distracting us from Brexit.
Needless to say, suffixing ‘–gate’ onto something in a quippy manor, like it’s a joke at the office where some dickhead has stolen your isotonic drink from the communal fridge and every cunt is jibing you with “Lucozadegate!!” as you attempt to identify the culprit, works less banterously when added onto the end of a sexual assault term in a national publication.
What defines "normal people", I wonder? because I have a suspicious feeling that, in this context, it means people who seriously could not give a fuck about anything other than a Machiavellian Brexit. I also wonder at what point our press decided that "normal people" have become unconcerned with the actions of our politicians, considering they're printed on the front pages of our papers every single day. Finally, I wonder whether a Cambridge-educated journalist is best placed to define "normal people" when the second sentence of an op-ed penned on their behalf is simply: "Humbug!"
Throughout her article, Pearson questions Edwardes being described as a “highly respected journalist” since she waited “20 years to make her complaint”, suggesting the allegation was made purely to “inflict maximum damage”. The Assistant Editor of the Daily Telegraph, Christopher Hope, then exemplified his own highly respected journalistic credentials by posting Pearson’s article with the added mocking caption: “BREAKING Boris Johnson's dog Dilyn has been trying to have sex with Sajid Javid's dog Bailey in the Downing St Garden”.
Just normal journalists, at a normal newspaper, taking accusations of sexual misconduct very seriously and unironically featuring the article under the ‘/women/politics’ section of their website. Happy #MeToo anniversary everyone!
Pearson even asks us to spare a thought for the “human piñata” Boris, who is being “treated like a cartoon character incapable of feeling pain”. God, imagine being beaten down and pushed around all the time and told your feelings don’t matter? Must be like being signing up for Universal Credit, only instead of getting 50 quid a month and being unable to feed your family, you get to cosplay Rich Uncle Pennybags traipsing around Whitehall radically unaffected by anything. I bet the dole scum have never considered how tough that must be!
The most lamentable ramification of the EU referendum has been how it's allowed this circus of a government to get away with their erosion of public services and conscious lowering of our quality of life because, for over three entire years since, everyone has been transfixed on Brexit like it’s a hypnotist's crystal pendulum being hung in front of our eyes while his assistant picks our fucking pockets.
Other politicos like Janet Street-Porter in the Daily Mail played the same brain-dead thumping drum you’d usually find in a Berlin warehouse basement, saying the groping isn’t issue for “most voters” because Johnson is “living their dream”. As for Johnson’s potential conflict of interests while Mayor of London and misuse of public funds with Jennifer Arcuri, she suggests, “many men will be feeling slightly jealous”.
Elsewhere Katie Hopkins, human limpet on the rocks of scandal, took horny-on-main to levels previously unseen, tweeting that: “if Boris had squeezed my upper thigh 20 years ago I still wouldn’t have showered. Better to be grabbed by the pussy than have a pussy as Prime Minister."
That ear-splitting metal crunch we can all hear is the British commentariat scrapping the dregs of the opinions barrel as they make light of serious accusations because it could interfere with a no-deal Brexit. So many prominent figures in the media treat everything legitimately levelled at the Prime Minister, regardless of the overwhelming evidence in confirmation, as incredulous propaganda and only apply their ardent scrutiny to those who make allegations against Johnson’s actions – whether it's the "Labour activist dad" taking him to task over the NHS, the infamous "nosey neighbours" or now a groped journalist.
Don’t get me wrong, we're all gagging for Brexit to be over and done with. It’s simply the turd that will not flush at your girlfriend’s parent’s house and the Toilet Duck is scarcely covering the sour odour of yesterday’s bhuna jhinga. But that shouldn’t mean the Prime Minister gets carte blanche to do whatever the fuck he wants without scrutiny or consequence simply because a bunch of hacks and landlords are plagued by Boris-inspired daydream fantasies of being shaggable to younger women.