So Bush Sr was merely putting women at their ease. What the fuck is parliaments old dinosaurs come up with, asks the Guardian columnist Marina Hyde

Those of you collecting famous sexuality pests’ condones for their handiwork will have pouched some real keepers this week. Probably my favourite emanated from George Bush Sr, whom confinement to a wheelchair has placed at women’s backside degree for the past five years. While you’re down there, luv … as no female has ever said to the 41 st chairman of the United States.

Still, Bush Sr has espoused the positives of his situation. I guess you could call him an ass half-full human, though that isn’t the line he prefers to go with. According to the accounts of the three women to have emerged so far, his shtick is apparently to inquire of ladies with whom he is momentarily required to pose for photographs:” Do you want to know who my favourite magician is? David Cop-a-feel !“- a molestation technique that couldn’t be more alluring if he followed it up with:” And that, cupcake, is the hand I used to pardon Caspar Weinberger with. Still haven’t cleansed it .”

Having said that, I am somewhat disappointed that Bush Sr didn’t try stimulating awful puns out of some of his own famous output.” Read my lips- no nude taxes !” Some lines he could simply have re-run unedited. Take his observation after losing the 1992 election:” I think in overcome you grope for things that induce you happy, and it’s hard .” Also you fondle dames who have to be in photos with you, and it’s … well. Let’s just not even go there.

And so to the occurrence for the defence, advanced by Bush Sr’s spokesman. Apparently this touching of backsides is just a recent thing, since the wheelchair became a necessity, and is done” to try and put people at ease “. It’s an interesting idea, isn’t it, that wives are made to feel ill at ease by the not unusual vision of a 93 -year-old man in a wheelchair. And not by the fact that he’s just grabbed their buttock flesh. Grabbed it “hard”, according to one of the status of women it has come to.

Apparently under the impression that he is making all this better, the spokesman explicitly states that Bush Sr only does this with women. Honestly, will no one think of the men? George HW must be required to have photos taken with just as many of them, if not more. I don’t know how they would stand the awkwardness, having to be briefly within two feet of a former chairperson without having their butt cheek fondled in such a way that tells them it’s all going to be fine.

Before a loading of bleeding-heart conservatives write in saying he’s 93, I hear ya. I guess he only misread the signals in a way that simply a former administrator of the Central Intelligence Agency could. Frankly, he hasn’t been this” out of the loop” since Iran-Contra. That said, if you have any space on the bedroom wall you’re using to connect photographs of famous sleazeballs with lengths of yarn, you may care to recall that Bush Sr’s campaign director for his successful presidential run was recently deceased Fox News sexuality lawsuit Roger Ailes, and that Bush picked Clarence Thomas for the state supreme court.( Incidentally, we’re only three weeks into this mushrooming series of scandals, and if one thing is increasingly obvious, it’s that you’re going to need a whole lot more yarn .) As Bush Sr stated when Ailes departed for the great frott-for-airtime party in the sky:” He wasn’t perfect, but he was my friend and I enjoyed him. Not sure I would have been president without his great talent. RIP .”

Aw. It’s like the scumbag version of Sliding Doors. Look, I know Michael Dukakis famously told that presidential debate audience he wouldn’t have executed the notional criminal who might notionally have raped and murdered his wife. But I seem quite wistful about the glimpsed parallel world where the alternative 41 isn’t routinely groping actual real women from his wheelchair while his actual real spouse feelings forced to attain embracing jokes for him. Poor Barbara. There’s bleak; and there’s bleak.

Bleakest of all, of course, is the widely alleged- and indeed, self-alleged- sexual assaulter currently residing in the White House, its own position he obtained in spite of a jumble of such allegations. Lawyers for the former Apprentice contestant who has accused the current president of sexual assault recently subpoenaed the Trump campaign for” all documents concerning any woman who asserted that Donald J Trump touched her inappropriately “. It is conceivable the Weinstein contagion will inspire further instances of women coming forward to allege that Trump assaulted or harassed them.

The movement has certainly spread to Britain’s Palace of Westminster, in as ineffably pathetic a behavior as you’d expect. I read lately that parliamentary authorities spent PS130k on pest control, but it turns out to have been the incorrect various kinds of pest. Moths, apparently. Drawn like one of those to a flame came Jared O’Mara to the women and equalities committee- its own position the newbie MP has since had to resign owing to people discovering he dislikes women and allegedly doesn’t commit a whole load of toss about equality( I restate slightly ). He had now been had the Labour whip withdrawn, but before that became a necessity he explained his “journey” to fellow Labour MPs in a speech during which you reportedly “could hear a pin drop”.

I bet you could. A plenty of the women in that chamber will have been thinking:” I’ve heard as bad from other MPs .” They may even have heard even worse from MPs in that very chamber, some of whom might have been allayed that they wouldn’t know an internet messageboard if it grabbed them on the arse. None of which is to suggest that instances of unacceptable workplace behaviour are a Labour problem- far from it. There are, to borrow a euphemism Harvey Weinstein stretched to breaking point,” old dinosaurs” across every divide of the Palace of Westminster. MPs, female foyer journalists and males and researchers all have tales to tell.

Will we hear some of them now? The current exposure of powerful humankinds arguably started with Fox News( via Trump ), then took in Weinstein, then leapt back into news media, where various figures are currently being suspended or relieved of their posts. Where will it go next?

Perhaps the conflagration will somehow jump across parliament and leave the place unscathed, as wildfires sometimes do. But were you a betting person, you might think that a number of Westminster sexual harassment( and maybe worse) scandals are in the post. And be talking about alternative timelines, it’s decidedly odd to think that the electoral maths are currently so precarious that a whole different future could hinge on them.

* Marina Hyde is a Guardian columnist

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