Finally Brooks Newmark MP resigns as civil society minister after a series of cock ups. Culminating in a literal one sent over the Internet.
The one which finally did for the married father of five children, was apparently exposing himself in a series of explicit photos to an undercover male reporter, acting as a female activist. The story was about to break over the Conservative Party Conference. Where the minister had promised his sex text lover:
“Afternoons fairly full with speaking engagements but around late evenings. Promise we’ll meet up though. X.”
This matters because he was in charge of increasing the role of women in politics. Looking to have an affair with a female political activist would be a clear abuse of privilege and position. This is not a private matter, but an abuse of public office. There was no option but to resign.
Anyone that sees no conflict of interest in his portfolio, frankly is wrong and politically naive. Unless you believe that the best way to advance the position of female activism is in a sexual one. Frankly, it’s not about saying this is the 21st century sex is not a resigning matter. Probity in public office is timeless and not one to be bent over.
It’s not about the sex – it is about the abuse of public office. Yes a media entrapment sting. Though considering the set up, one a minister should remember his brief and most certainly not let his briefs down.
You may remember this minister for some other moments in his political career. Some quotes to illustrate.
Here is one on charities (my emphasis):
“We really want to try and keep charities and voluntary groups out of the realms of politics. 99.9 per cent do exactly that. When they stray into the realm of politics that is not what they are about and that is not why people give them money. The important thing charities should be doing is sticking to their knitting and doing the best they can to promote their agenda, which should be about helping others.”
As if politics was not part of civic activism, something which the charity commission explicitly states is legal when supporting the charity’s agenda.
The multi millionaire former banker on hardship in austere times:
“We have to thank the rich for the contribution they make to our country… My own perspective on the argument is the top 1% of the country are bearing the biggest burden.”
A one man mission on Syrian foreign policy :
‘Diplomacy becomes a little lazy if all you do is talk to your friends’.
Which presumably was why he was so keen to talk to Assad several times in a personal capacity. A move ex Foreign Secretary William Hague was criticised for allowing, in case it undermined international efforts on Syria.
So goodbye and good riddance to you Brooks. I do feel sorry for your family being dragged through all this. Do not try to hide behind them. Women need to know that political parties are taking seriously involving more female activists in politics.
Sexual favours is not the message any political party should tolerate.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog