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UK Politics: Striking at the heart of the nation


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Imagine it’s a Tory MP with a wife and 5 kids who was caught messaging young girls and was sending them money and trying to hook up with them for sex and it was in the Guardian.

Do you think the likes of Alastair Campbell, Owen Jones and Ian Dunt would be out in force defending him and saying he’s a lovely man and ‘look what the nasty papers have done’

No of course not. The state of factionalism these days is grim, these people who purport to be sensible,and on the side of good have no standards at all. 

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11 hours ago, Heartofice said:

This reaction is curious, it’s all over the usual suspects on Twitter and I find the double standards just bizarre.

We are only a few years post Me Too and here is a 60 year old man with a wife and 5 children, contacting men / boys 40 years younger and less powerful than him, some while they were still at school for sex, paying them money for photographs and occasionally being threatening and harassing, allegedly one of which becomes a crack addict.

And the reaction from some is ‘ man’s life destroyed!’

I’d bet my life they wouldn’t have said the same thing if this was a couple of years ago and it wasn’t a story revealed by the Sun. I also wonder if because it’s males he’s harassing that there is another double standard going on, is that seen as more permissible because it’s not girls? 

None of this as you describe it is synonymous with the me too movement. It never said you can’t have a relationship with a power imbalance. Just the question at work and related spheres. 
 

You’re also the only one talking about sex, the link you gave doesn’t make that claim. Frankly, without more information it seems a hatchet job. 
 

now, the claims about harassment by BBC staff is absolutely Me Too, and if shown to be factual he should have the book thrown at him. 

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Just now, ants said:

None of this as you describe it is synonymous with the me too movement. It never said you can’t have a relationship with a power imbalance. Just the question at work and related spheres.

Feels like you haven’t been online the past 5 years 

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2 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Feels like you haven’t been online the past 5 years 

I’m not sure if this is a reflection of how much I post, that I missed something in the Me Too comparison, or something else! :laugh:

But taking it as the first, I usually post a little in the UK politics thread, 1-3 times per 20 pages? So, been around but post less. 

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4 minutes ago, ants said:

I’m not sure if this is a reflection of how much I post, that I missed something in the Me Too comparison, or something else! :laugh:

But taking it as the first, I usually post a little in the UK politics thread, 1-3 times per 20 pages? So, been around but post less. 

Feels like you missed my point. 
 

The internet is bigger than this forum, go check it out.

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4 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Thank God we’ve got thr Sun and it’s crusading journalists to protect the morals of the country, absent hypocrisy 

 

Right so if Rod Liddell makes a joke about it, it’s bad, but if Huw Edwards does it.. it’s good??? What are the rules any more?!

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Yeah I've got to say I'm mostly with HoI on this one. It's possible for him to have done nothing illegal and still have been incredibly inappropriate and creepy. It's also possible for the Sun to be incredible scumbags who went about this in the wrong way and still for him to have been incredibly inappropriate and creepy.

And the fact that he's now apparently had a mental breakdown over it, while sad and it should definitely be considered whether there's a way to report this kind of thing without causing that, also doesn't mean he didn't do anything wrong. It's like with Caroline Flack (who is suddenly being brought up in defence of him here). It's awful that she killed herself but it's now being made out as if the papers had started chasing after her for no good reason, when actually she was in the news for smashing her sleeping boyfriend over the head with a lamp.

 

It's also worth noting that not all the complaints are coming via the Sun. At least one of the sources - the one who says they felt threatened- went directly via BBC News. So even if you (quite understandably) see no reason to place any merit in anything the Sun says, it's not just them seeing claims of him doing wrong.

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Yeah, gross, creepy a bit of a bully and cheating on your missus, while not illegal  (though i have a feeling its not illegal as the victim does not wish to substantiate and hence there is insufficient evidence, not that he didn't commit the offence) kind of deserves what he gets.  

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It’s like all these conversations about the press, it doesn’t have to be a binary decision. The Sun can be shit and evil and someone like Huw Edwards can be a creepy piece of crap at the same time.

I think you just tend to see where people really stand at times like this, if your first thought is to try and defend Edwards or give him sympathy after what he has done, mostly to his own family, then that is a problem. There has been a lot of that from people on Twitter these last couple of days, and it’s purely because they don’t like the Sun and Edwards is someone they see as being on ‘their side’

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That said, there is the weird business that it it the parents of the (alleged) first victim who complained, while they themselves seem to be fine with it, which is not really from the metoo playbook.

However allegations that there were other victims as well has definitely tipped the balance for me.

(Disclaimer: I may be biased by anecdotal experience of the parents of young adults claiming that the sexual decisions of young adults "is not them" and that some form of coercion must be going on.)

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Police are currently saying that there's no criminal case to answer. While it sounds as if Huw Edwards's behaviour has been lousy, if it's been so only in his use of dating apps and faithlessness then it was none of the public's business and the Sun should never have run the story. 

But there are complications: 

  • if he's been bullying subordinates and if the accusations of bullying are substantiated and go further than him being a bit grumpy because of broadcast pressures, the BBC needs to act. Unfortunately I suspect that without the huge wave of media attention, the BBC like other big organisations would sweep the allegations under the carpet. 
  • if he broke a Covid lockdown to pursue an affair. That was a criminal offence, and is rather worse for him than for others in that he was on TV every night telling the public to stay at home. 

The context and extent of the kind of abusive/threatening language he's said to have used in his dating app activity is also important. If it was part of an argument with the other party giving as good as they got, that's one thing. If it was extreme and used plausible threats, that's another. 

From what we know so far, I don't think the Sun should have run the story. If they'd had any sense of ethics or the bomb they were sticking under Edwards's career when he has no legal case to answer, they could have waited, worked with the police, pressured the BBC behind-the-scenes. They've easily got the clout for it. But as we learn more, I expect I may need to revise that opinion. 

I was sorry to hear it was him because I like him as a journalist and enjoyed the bits of his History of Wales series that I've seen. He also seemed to be one of the few senior journalists left at the BBC who wasn't by instinct a Tory. 

I'm also sorry that he's been hospitalised and is apparently suffering very much from his mental health troubles. At the same time, plenty of people with depression and anxiety managed not to break lockdown and don't make a habit of bullying those lower down the pecking order. 

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1 hour ago, dog-days said:

Police are currently saying that there's no criminal case to answer. While it sounds as if Huw Edwards's behaviour has been lousy, if it's been so only in his use of dating apps and faithlessness then it was none of the public's business and the Sun should never have run the story. 

But there are complications: 

A lot of people are making sensible points about how his behavior was inappropriate and it probably was. 

But what it really strikes me about the fair-minded post above is the number of statements that have to be predicated by 'if...'.  There has been no neutral, balanced, fair-minded investigation of facts that has allowed Edwards a fair opportunity to tell his side of the story.  And while the BBC undertakes that investigation a combination of circumstances (including his wife's words) has revealed: (i) his identity; (ii) the most salacious allegations. 

It seems like everything but the kitchen sink has been thrown at him. If he broke COVID lockdown rules then that was wrong, but also, let us acknowledge, unremarkable.  

At this point everyone knows he's never going to walk into the BBC building again.  His journalistic career is over. And if there was even a 1% chance that he was being wronged here then what we've lost is that fairness and due process.  Even if the investigation largely concludes what happened here is prominent, lonely man struggles with his sexual identity and makes a fool of himself chasing after young 'uns.  And yes, the 99% chance is that more and more damning words can be added.  But 99% is not 100%.  

Maybe I'm a bit biased because I saw him on WILTY and liked him.  Dunno.  But I remember when Liz Truss became PM and the media raised for no reason at all a decade-old story about her affair with Mark Field.  I felt desperately sorry for her husband and young kids.  

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Something tells me that if Spocky had instead praised the Sun’s intrepid journalism, HoI would have come in bemoaning the wokist absolutism that hospitalised a respectable father of five.

I’m not sure who you’re supposed to feel sorry for in this story if not Edwards. The apparent victim has literally instructed a lawyer to inform the world that they’re not bothered. The only tragedy in this thing that’s actually verified is that a couple of parents don’t get on with their child.

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Did he break the law? No.

Did he make some inappropriate comments to colleagues? Yes, perhaps. And that should be investigated.

Did he break lockdown to get his leg over? Maybe. But he certainly wouldn't be the only one, would he. And do we really want to start whatabouting on this particular point?

At the end of the day, The Sun broke this story with the implication that Edwards had broken obscenity laws with a minor. That is not true, and The Sun are backing away from this angle.

And please spare us the crocodile tears for Edwards' wife. Nobody knows the circumstances of their relationship. She seems to still love and want to protect her husband.

So, essentially, what we have is a man whose life has been destroyed for getting carried away on OnlyFans.

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I wonder how many other middle-aged men have OnlyFans accounts. Someone should hack their membership database.

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14 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

Did he break the law? No.

.

Is there enough evidence to show he broke the law? No! would be more accurate.  As is often the case. 

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45 minutes ago, john said:

The apparent victim has literally instructed a lawyer to inform the world that they’re not bothered. 

Well that is a not a defence that i'm remotely interested in, at all.  You know how many victims are so in thrall to their abusers (i'm not saying he is an abuser FYI) that they defend them to the hilt? 

Edited by BigFatCoward
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