Tag Archives: Ailbhe Rea

Dear BBC: isn’t ‘inappropriate touching’ really ‘SEXUAL ASSAULT’?

Stanley Johnson: in fairness, it doesn’t mean he’s groping someone just because you can’t see his hands.

I wasn’t going to comment on this because it’s only tangentially related to politics.

But the BBC (and other media?) seems determined to reinforce the privilege that high-powered members of the Establishment have over the rest of us, simply in the language that it uses.

So Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley, isn’t accused of sexual assault against Caroline Nokes, and against New Statesman political correspondent Ailbhe Rea – the offences are instead described as “inappropriate touching”.

I think we all know what’s inappropriate here.

It is inappropriate to hide the seriousness of an offence behind alternative wording, simply because the alleged offender is the prime minister’s father.

If he’s guilty of these crimes – and let’s remember that they are crimes, not “innocent fun” or “a bit of slap-and-tickle” – then his privileged position in society should not protect him.

We should expect better behaviour from our news media.

ADDITIONAL: In particular, we should expect better from members of the media who confirm Johnson’s behaviour – but then try to excuse it:

It’s this kind of justification that perpetuates the abuse.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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