So what has Lembit Opik been talking about recently? Is it the NHS contraversary? Is it parliamentary reform? Is it the Megrahi? Is it Afghanistan? No, it is the so called 'silly season'. He uses the example of news coverage of the La Tomatina festival in a small Spanish Town, where they throw tomatoes at each other, as an example of the 'silly season', and how journalists need politicians to survive. In attempt of creating his own sort of news story, his sexist, misogynistic views come into play, as he sets out his desire for Nicole Ford to be dressed in only fruit and veg, whilst overseeing politicians throwing tomatoes at journalists on their first day back at Parliament. Does he really have anything serious to say? I mean politicians rely on journalists too, it is a symbiotic relationship. Furthermore, how the hell can a Liberal Democrat MP write these degrading comments about women and not be called up for it?
Expounding off the last point, there has been quite a lot of talk about political figures standing up for what they believe in and going against the party line, such as Dan Hannan and Frank Field. I think that principled politics is a must, and that politics should not always be dictated by a consensual style. However, there is not taking the party line, and then there is going completely against the core beliefs. Opik does the latter, as his views and attitudes towards women go completely against the Lib Dem's stance on equal opportunity for women. How can we seriously advocate a 'Real Women' campaign whilst having Opik write the rubbish he does in the porn obsessed Daily Sport?
You look at the other two parties and how the MPs who have columns in newspapers write about serious issues. For example, whilst Opik is busy fantasying about fruit and veg, Boris Johnson was writing about transport, and Alan Johnson was writing about alcohol ASBO's. How the hell are we ever going to be a serious party if we have MPs such as Opik writing this sort of rubbish? This sort of laid back attitude has been so clearly reflected this summer, as we have failed to get our views across in so many important debates, such as the NHS.
You may agree, you may disagree, but my own personal preference is for Opik to have the whip removed. He undermines the seriousness of our party, and conflicts so abruptly with our aims and beliefs of equality. The way he talks about women and the degrading images of women in the so called newspaper, The Daily Sport, is embarrassing to our party. I feel we should have a more credible candidate put in place for next election.
Charles Taylor on Explaining Society
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