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United Kingdom: The machismo of an MP and the porn on the mobile of another outraged the British Parliament | International

British politics orbits around a powerful magnet that makes it go from the sublime to the petty at the hit of the headlines of any tabloid newspaper. Especially if it is the dailymail, or his Sunday version of Mail on Sunday. What is sublime, for weeks now, is the way in which the United Kingdom has carved a niche for itself in the great international theater with its determined support for Ukraine. The petty is divided between the prohibited parties of Downing Street during confinement, with its corresponding fine to Boris Johnson, or the anonymous episodes of machismo or public indecency in the conservative and labor parliamentary groups reported in recent days.

The political information correspondent of the Mail, Glen Owen, published this weekend a chronicle that bordered on the ridiculous, with the suggestive title of The Tories accuse Rayner of using the ‘Basic Instinct’ strategy to distract Boris. The Tories is the term by which the members or deputies of the Conservative Party are known. Rayner is Angela Rayner (42 years old), the number two of the Labor Party. A woman who was the mother of the first of her three children at the age of 16, of humble origins, a social worker and trade unionist, with an overwhelming political charisma and a strong sense of belonging to the left. The current leader of the opposition, Keir Starmer, inherited her from the team of her predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, and did not hesitate to keep her by her side despite the difference in character that exists between them. The strategy of Basic Instinct it’s Sharon Stone’s legendary uncrossing and leg-crossing that probably holds the record for the slowest moment in movie history. Boris is Boris Johnson.

“He knows that he will never be able to compete with the oratorical skills that Boris acquired in the university debate club of oxford union, but she has other skills that he lacks”, assured the journalist from anonymity a conservative deputy, who achieved the triple feat, in a single sentence, of presenting the environment of the prime minister as a group of school kids and elite university; show off an outdated machismo; and question Johnson’s ability to concentrate in front of his legs. The phrase in question rather brings to mind the lela expression and the crossed eyes of the overweight policeman who interrogated Stone in the famous thriller than the supposed malice of the female character. “Women who enter politics face machismo and misogyny every day. I am no different from the rest, ”Rayner replied the same Sunday through her Twitter account. “This morning we have had the last dose of sewer journalism, courtesy of the Mail on Sunday”, he added.

The issue has outraged politicians from both sides, men and women, to the point of starring in part of the control session to the prime minister on Wednesdays. Johnson himself, who misses no opportunity to display his erudition even when he does the right thing, vowed to “unleash the terrors of the earth,” like Shakespeare’s King Lear, against the anonymous deputy who had made the macho comment. “I immediately thought that this was the most macho and misogynistic stupidity I had ever heard, and I immediately contacted Angela [Rayner] to have a friendly exchange”, explained the prime minister, who wrote to the deputy to express his rejection of what happened.

The same rejection that the speaker (Speaker) of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, who however fell into the novice trap of trying to force the paper to reveal its sources and unmask the dissenting MP. The director of Mail on Sunday, David Dillon, anticipated his refusal to go to Westminster to meet with Hoyle, because journalists “should not take instructions from the authorities of the House of Commons, however august they may be.” And in that line he found the complicity of former journalist Johnson. A Downing Street spokesman went on to suggest that “the Prime Minister is not at all comfortable with the idea of ​​politicians calling on journalists to explain themselves.”

act of contrition

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The week began with a collective act of contrition among British deputies for the machismo that still exists in the culture of Westminster, and raised the tone with the accusation against a party colleague by two conservative parliamentarians. Both had witnessed how the colleague deputy was dedicated to watching porn on his mobile phone during the debate sessions in the House of Commons. They denounced him last Tuesday, during a meeting of the so-called Group 2022, which brings together the representatives who sit in the two Houses of Parliament to promote a greater gender balance in Parliament. “After receiving accusations about inappropriate behavior in the Chamber, the head of the parliamentary group has demanded that the matter be taken to the Claims and Complaints Commission [ICGS, en sus siglas en inglés] for it to be investigated. Any response will be adopted after knowing the conclusions of that investigation, ”said a spokesman for the conservatives.

The ICGS was established three years ago in response to the movement metoo against sexual harassment and abuse. 56 deputies have been denounced since then. The Solicitor General of the United Kingdom, Suella Braverman, the main legal adviser to the Government, defended this Thursday on the BBC that the figure represented a minority among the 650 deputies (425 men, 225 women). “There are some bad apples that are out of tune, behaving like animals and tarnishing Parliament’s reputation,” she continued.

And the debate did not exclusively splash conservatives. A Welsh Labor Party MP, again anonymous, has accused one of the party’s leadership of describing her as a “secret weapon” and telling her that her success in politics was due to the fact that “all men They wanted to sleep with her.” The main opposition party has also opened a formal investigation to find the deputy.

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