The practice of taking photographs of female celebrities’ private parts by pointing a camera up their skirts or dresses has won a ringing endorsement from Conservative backbencher Sir Christopher Chope and his ever-willing henchman Phillip Davies.
Mr Chope filibustered a private members’ bill calling for upskirting to be criminalised. Along with his supporters, he spoke for a total of four hours in order to prevent the legislation from progressing through Parliament.
He has defended this indefensible behaviour by saying he hates private members’ bills – shurely shome mishtake as he has tabled dozens of them himself:
We're being lied to. Again.
The press is claiming Chope blocked the upskirting bill because he's against private members' bills in principle.
But Chope has sponsored 47 private members' bills himself – including one to make NHS patients pay for treatment:https://t.co/KGmEOBsPLE pic.twitter.com/0DKkjc6kEn
— Tom Pride (@ThomasPride) June 16, 2018
Mr Davies is on the record as a supporter of men’s rights, which he believes are being eroded by feminists. Does he believe men have a right to examine the quality of a lady’s underwear if she doesn’t agree to it?
Prime minister Theresa May has expressed her own dissatisfaction with the outcome:
Upskirting is an invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed. I am disappointed the Bill didn't make progress in the Commons today, and I want to see these measures pass through Parliament – with government support – soon.
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) June 15, 2018
But she was lying again, I expect. If Mrs May was all that upset about it, she would have punished her errant MPs, perhaps by withdrawing the Tory whip from them.
But that would mean losing her majority in Parliament.
So her hands are tied.
And for all her fine words, her actions show tacit support for what her MPs did.
The official Conservative Party twitter feed also tried to de-legitimise the backbenchers’ point of view as an expression of Tory taste…
We’re absolutely determined to make it illegal to photograph people under their clothes without consent.
— Conservatives (@Conservatives) June 15, 2018
… and failed:
— Susan (@marthasydenham) June 15, 2018
On Twitter, some of the usual suspects have been having a fine time satirising the sexists on the Tory benches:
— The Agitator (@UKDemockery) June 15, 2018
One has to ask, though – why defend this intrusive and demeaning behaviour?
Other than perversion for its own sake, what exactly is the point of upskirting?
What do the paps who profane themselves with this practice possibly hope to find?
A long-lost masterpiece by Van Gogh?
The Titanic sailing back into harbour at long last?
The best they can hope to see, no matter how many such photos they take…
… is what Christopher Chope sees every time he looks in a mirror.