So what actually is the Rennard accusation?

Some of the alleged unwanted advances go back many years, prompting questions about why the party had failed to act earlier.

On Sunday a spokesman for Lord Rennard repeated his denials that he had pestered female staff or offered funding to candidates in return for sexual favours.

Is it:

1) Over the years he said \”Hey Babe, fancy a shag?\” to some of the people he met through his political work?

2) Over the years he said \”Babe, to get on in this party you have to shag me\”?

The point being that 1) is how you get an extra-marital legover. You ask people if they are interested.

2) Is pretty sleazy but no more than that. The trade of a position of power for sex.

I think I\’d agree that if it was 2) then it was \”wrong\” in hte sense that Something Must Be Done. But I am equally sure that if it was 1) then this is just normal life folks.

10 thoughts on “So what actually is the Rennard accusation?”

  1. Its a bit more nuanced than that surely. If a person in a position of power in an organisation propositions a young person starting out in that organisation, and gets rebuffed, its highly unlikely that person will get promoted, by the propositioner certainly. Not necessarily out of spite, but more likely pragmatism – you wouldn’t want to have someone who has reason to dislike you getting higher up the ladder, they might hold it against you in the future. So this behaviour would never be an explicit ‘Shag me and you can go places’ deal, more that the word on the street would become ‘Shag him and you’re more likely to go places’. He would never have had to make the explicit demand – rumour would make it so even if that wasn’t his intention. The only way to prove your ‘good intent’ would be to purposely promote women who had rebuffed you.

  2. In one case, he touched a woman’s knee and suggested they continue things upstairs.

    I’m not saying that’s a professional way to behave. But there is a question of how big a deal it is, and this whole problem of equality in the work place.

    The problem of 3rd phase feminists (dating from around the 90s) is that they talk up being equal to men, but at the same time, will pull the delicate little woman act when it suits them.

  3. Do women get equal rights to proposition men?

    I must have weird hardwiring but I simply can’t imagine, as a married male, doing this. Not to even consider the potential effects on your marriage, if you were successful and got your one-night stand you then have to deal with the person being around for perhaps the rest of your career, if your suggestion of a legover is rejected you likewise, have to cope with that person being around for, perhaps the rest of your (perhaps rather short) career, and in both cases have handed over a lot of that power that politicians so desire.

    So it all fails at the pre-proposition risk/benefit evaluation stage. Clearly there are far hornier and more derring-do gents than me out there.

  4. Well, there’s a hypocrisy issue. The Lib Dems are a middle class politically correct nanny statey party, so this is the same sort of hypocrisy as an anti-gay preacher secretly shagging rent boys.

  5. Ian B is right again! (Must be his birthday.)

    The Tories and Labour are full of people shagging each other silly, especially at conferences. It’s only the LibDems who think that a pass is a matter for hand-wringing.

  6. If making unwanted advances is a crime in Lib Dem circles, then how do they ever mate. I think we need Mr Attenborough to do a documentary.

    As far as I remember from the time when I used to play the field, one doesn’t know whether the advance is unwanted prior to making it.

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