The Conservative party has reason to worry about its image. The extent to which the Left controls the cultural narrative, and various black marks on the party’s past record on some social issues, led David Cameron to modernise the Party and attempt to detoxify its image. He had some success but long term his legacy relies on the party’s dinosaurs leaving office and a younger generation of forward thinking MPs re-shaping the Party.
Speaking of dinosaurs, Christopher Chope MP has today taken a sledgehammer to the party’s image by making it national news that a grey haired old Conservative politician prevented a legal ban on taking photographs up women’s skirts. The optics being that the Conservatives think it’s okay for perverts to photograph women’s crotches. What possible good reason can there be for this? With this piece of repugnant and appallingly bad politics, Chope has done his Party a great disservice, not to mention the victims of this act of sexual assault.
At the moment, the law is not specific enough to provide women with sufficient protection and perpetrators with a reasonable deterrent and punishment. There have been cases in which police have had to deem photographs ‘not graphic’ enough to be classes as outraging public decency or voyeurism, this is why new legislation was required to make “upskirting” a specific sexual offence.
The government supports the bill but today its progress was stopped in its tracks. Cretinous boor Philip Davies MP teamed up with Chope to filibuster for hours to talk out the bill, with Chope shouting ‘object’ to kill it off (for now). They have previously worked together to block legislation to give free hospital parking to carers and to protect tenants from being unfairly evicted. They are not a credit to their Party or politics in general.
Chope has a proclivity for opposing Private Members Bills, but this latest move is particularly toxic for the party and his actions are inexcusable. There have been some objections to the bill, such as that the potential punishments– a two-year prison sentence or placement on the sex offenders’ list – are too severe. Putting aside that this criticism is very weak indeed (if you take photos of women’s crotches you are a sex offender, and if you don’t want to go to prison, don’t do it) this isn’t going to get any argument against the legislation as it is currently formulated a decent hearing.
Chope and Davies should be ashamed, but on the evidence of today they have no shame.
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