Strange days indeed

Panacea comment for Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

2 Nov 2017

Strange days indeed

The last couple of weeks since Harvey W got into trouble has seen an extraordinary meltdown in the retrospective world of #metoo

I have taken inspiration from Martin Niemoller, a protestant pastor, who became famous as an outspoken critic of Adolf Hitler. He spent some seven years in various concentration camps for his trouble.

In today’s climate Niemöller best-remembered quote could be re-worded:

First they came for the 60’s celebrity entertainers, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a celebrity.

Then they came for the social media internet trolls, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a troll.

Then they came for the studio bosses and actors and I did not speak out—
Because I was neither.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

What is going on out there?

It seems that the latest to find themselves in the firing line for what I think the ‘Donald haters’ would call ‘misogyny’ are some high profile politicians.

I have taken notice of this because I have met some of them in the course of my Panacea work on regulation concerns of smaller IFAs.

First up is Mark ‘Sugar Tits’ Garnier. His Wiki page is worth a read.

Panacea has form with Mark and after providing him with a lot of research data to fight the IFAs corner via his TSC position we were rewarded with a brusque ‘sex and travel suggestion.

He is in the frame for getting his PA, Caroline, to buy vibrators for his wife and a friend, hopefully not on expenses. I have met both the Caroline’s in his life, his wife and ‘sugar tits’ too and I had held Mark in high regard until the greasy pole was mounted then climbed. He had been what seemed an IFA champion until he got bored with it and moved on from the TSC to his current role of International Trade Minister.

As they say, be careful who you upset on the way up Mark, in this case his PA, Caroline.

He is facing an investigation into whether he broke ministerial rules after he admitted asking his secretary to buy sex toys but at the time of writing has not resigned as an MP or a minister.

Next is Michael Fallon. His Wiki page is worth a read too.

Alan Lakey and I met with him to discuss longstop concerns in March 2010. He had no idea of the impact the longstop has and promised he would do what he could. That lasted until the 16th April 2010 when he washed his hands of it as being too busy.

He was, until this week, the Minister of Defence. And some hands on action on his part back in 2002 has landed him in trouble with journalist Julia Hartley Brewer. She dealt with the matter by saying “I calmly and politely explained to him that, if he did it again, I would ‘punch him in the face’. He withdrew his hand and that was the end of the matter”. 

His resignation speech and letter would suggest that there is more to this than just the casual touch of a ladies knee at a dinner party or a lothario joke about how best to warm up cold hands.

However, there is a bonus, he will no doubt, understand better about IFA longstop issues after this fall from grace as the JHB incident was 15 years ago.

These guys were TSC members overseeing financial services regulators. Both MP’s should resign, how can any MP look a colleague or constituent in the eye at their next surgery and maintain their respect after this.

The damage is enormous. When searcing for a story image with the key words ‘soho sex toys shops’ the images of Mr Garnier were all over the page.

As with everything in being involved in public life, it is the cover ups that cause the problems.

I suspect the #metoo moniker has some way to go. More will no doubt follow with accusations include groping, harassment and paying women to stay quiet. And it will not stop in the UK.

In fact we will see a reversal of that old adage that when America sneezes we get the flu. Look out, the #metoo’s are coming to Capitol Hill.

At least the politicians are not using this to attack each other, as this would appear to be a non-party issue.

And to think that so many of the newly discovered gropers and misogynists out there wanted to ban Trump from coming to the UK.

Makes you proud to be British.

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