I have to say that the present febrile hysteria about moral rectitude may have gone quite mad.
The shameful, rush to judgment by the PM, MPs, charities and the Press in the Presidents Club debacle was staggering.
By the scribings of one lowly journalist, posing as a hostess at the Presidents Club function, on a mission to find a story, without any apparent substantiation, has turned into the modern version of a ‘kangaroo court’ and a subsequent ‘lynching’.
I have been to the Presidents Club many times in the past and I have to tell you that contrary to the celluloidal image, willingly painted by the Press, these so called hostesses are hardly scantily clad ‘Pamela Anderson look a-likes’, but more, ‘Brenda from reception’.
It seems that even the researcher from Newsnight did not realise that the contract shown live on television, that the hostesses were required to sign, inadvertently disclosed the image of the required dress code, quite clearly. Frankly, this was akin to something worn at a Women’s Institute Convention, than at a pole-dancing club.
In fact, when I was there, invariably some of the hostesses seemed rather bored by it all and were hardly the victims of drunk, hyper testosteroned male guests, with ‘wandering hands disease’. My apologies if I may have shattered the myth here.
The main point that seems to be lost in the mist of controversy, is that this charity has raised over £20million for good causes and has employed about 4000 hostesses over its 30 year tenure. And, wait for it, most noticeably, no complaints were ever recorded or investigated, to our knowledge, by the Police for sexual harassment – don’t you think that’s odd?
This certainly was not the ‘Roman orgy’ that the Press would have us believe and as for Labour MP, Jess Phillips’ melodramatic tabling of an urgent question in the Commons on this subject, clearly …… she needs to ‘get out more’!
What is so unbelievable is that some of the charities, Great Ormond Street Hospital for example, were quoted, with a ‘drop of the hat’, as willing to give back £530,000 of donations based on the flimsiest of evidence. Common sense dictates that they should have held their counsel, until the matter was properly investigated, after which time they could do as they like and no-one would have critised them.
Lest we forget, the main benefactor, historically, for this charity was the renowned paedophile, author of Peter Pan, JM Barrie; so you could say that the fragrancy of their contributors in the past, has been somewhat suspect.
What should the hospital now say to the mother of the sick child when their treatment is turned down on the basis of lack of funds?
Genuine victims of sexual harassment must be horrified at the trivialisation of this very real crime category, which in today’s modern society should never be tolerated, whilst at the same time, a renowned paedophile, with over a hundred victims to his name, is let out of prison with a soft sentence.
Has the world gone quite mad?
Rather than the present ‘trial by media,’ in the ‘good old days’ of the past, where there was a real complaint to the Police, this was followed by a proper investigation and possibly a conviction and only then were the perpetrators vilified in the Press as pariahs and quite rightly given a custodial sentence.
Turning to Oxfam. This bloated, bureaucratic monolith with its massive overheads has clearly ‘ideas beyond its station’ and goodness knows what secrets must lurk behind its very substantial, closed, doors.
Not content with being an inefficient organisation, dependent on UK State handouts, it even had the temerity to take a forthright, political stance on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict some years ago, which left a number of impartial observers agog with incredulity. ‘Is this a charity or is it a political movement?’ some observers questioned.
Good riddance to the Chief Executive and his cohorts and maybe at last, there could be a unique opportunity to ‘drain the swamp’ of these odious individuals who are on the ‘gravy train’.
The saddest indictment from these two issues is that the poorest and most disadvantaged people have become the real victims.