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Coffee House

Dealing with ‘inappropriate behaviour’

28 February 2013

2:05 PM

28 February 2013

2:05 PM

How should you deal with lechery? In this week’s Spectator, Rod Liddle and Hugo Rifkind detail two instances of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ they either watched or, in Hugo’s case, personally encountered. Rod describes the vocal response of one BBC production assistant to the appearance of a ‘well-lubricated’ reporter’s hand on her inner thigh. He argues that what the women allegedly inappropriately touched by Lib Dem peer Lord Rennard should have done was give him a swift kick in the shins:

‘I was reminded of this incident by the recent hilarious revelations of apparent sexual misconduct in the Liberal Democrat party, and in particular the forlorn efforts of that blubber-mountain Lord Rennard to cop off with seemingly any lithesome and progressive bint who hove into view; or maybe not so lithesome — all she needed, to be of interest to Rennard, was a party card and a pulse. His noble lordship’s approach was, by all reports, a little less objectionable than that I described above: his hand rested only on the knee, it seems. He did not stampede towards the vagina like a bull at a gate. But it was still most unwelcome all the same. I suppose saying: ‘Touch my knee once more and I’ll tell Ming’ (or whatever poor sap was leading the epicene opportunistic rabble at the time) lacks a little force, is a bit short in the threat department.

‘But a quick retort of ‘In your dreams, you repellent centre-left garden slug’ should have put a swift end to the knee-patting business and doused Rennard’s corpulent ardour. Or perhaps a swift kick to whatever Rennard possesses in lieu of a shin. Or a glass of house chablis thrown in the face. Or semi-voluntary projectile vomiting. But instead, this being the Liberal Democrats, they have twisted themselves into paroxysms and built it up into a real crisis; the transgressed women find themselves, all these years later, full of outrage, and the leadership has resorted to that thing it does habitually, lying about stuff.’

Meanwhile Hugo fell prey to the ‘drunken vigour’ of a Young Conservative female member, whose attempt at groping him culminated in this:

‘Thanks to a combination of my fashion choices (baggy, hippyish) and her drunken vigour (considerable), her middle finger went somewhere no other finger would go until I had that slight bowel issue in my mid-twenties. And while I played it quite cool, once I’d, you know, squeezed it out again, it was frankly quite a humiliating experience. If it’s your boss, if you’re a woman, if there’s nobody else around… no, I get it. Bad.’

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But Hugo is still cynical about the Rennard scandal, and outlines what he thinks will happen next. You can read his column here, and Rod’s piece on Rennard here.

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