One… no! TWO steps beyond

One moment of madness is how Neil Parish described looking at pornography on his phone in the House of Commons as he announced his resignation after (snigger) having the Tory whip removed (OK, so I’m immature, what can I say?).

Surely he meant two moments. It happened twice, or at least it was witnessed by female MPs twice.

It also suggests that looking up photos of farm machinery when you should be doing the job you were elected to is somehow acceptable behaviour.

It’s not.

If I was one of his constituents I would be every bit as offended by that as by whatever images he was actually ogling at.

Now, because of one.. no, two, it was TWO moments of madness, he, and just as importantly, his family, has to live with the embarrassment of what has happened for the remainder of his life, which is all a bit tragic really, after all, there’s no suggestion he was looking at anything illegal.

But the consequences of being caught in the act must surely have been obvious to him from the moment the images appeared on his screen.

To see how easy it is to make the mistake of landing on porn instead of agriculture equipment on the web, I typed “tractors” into Google. It’s all tractors. Not a trace of any suggestion that it’s also a name for some obscure sexual practice I had not heard of before (which, in fairness, was unlikely at this point in my life).

However, “tractor porn”, while now showing mostly links to stories about the soon to be former member of parliament for Tiverton & Honiton, did reveal a link to Pornhub (so it is actually a thing) which I’m guessing is going to be people doing stuff on, to or at tractors.

Those big, beautiful Massey Fergusons are so irresistible, apparently.

Or maybe his predictive text went to massive…err…

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Obviously, Westminster culture and working practice is in dire need of an overhaul, and a radical one at that, but this has been apparent for some years now.

The behaviour in the House of Commons has been appalling, even thuggish, since the shameful attempts to thwart the democratic process over Brexit. Claims of bullying and sexual impropriety has resulted in 56 members presently under investigation, which exposes a toxic atmosphere of bad behaviour and hypocrisy where some females feel demeaned and threatened.

Of course, not all of these claims will be proven, but those that are need to be dealt with in the same manner as any other place of work.

Meanwhile, in the gladiators’ arena, exchanges across the floor are driven more by personal rancour than political convictions and in the absence of any semblance of original thought, opposition parties, and especially Kier Starmer, just play the same old tune like a stuck record.

How Boris can be to blame for one of his backbenchers having a tractor fetish is beyond me, but I’ve heard Labour MPs suggest that very thing this week, saying it is indicative of everything they see as being wrong with the Tory government.

If that’s the best they can do with this lot things really are desperate.

None of it has anything to do with the cost of living crisis, the war in Ukraine, the way we treat asylum seekers or anything else they should be concerning themselves with during work hours.

They need to save the silliness for the bar or “alone time” and concentrate on the job in hand.

A parliamentary HR department might be a good place to start.

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As grubby as last weekend’s Mail on Sunday article on Angela Rayner was, I can see no reason why editor Ted Verity should have to explain himself to Speaker of the House, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

There is an official complaints procedure in place which all newspapers answer to.

IPSO investigates and editors agree to abide by its findings.

Stupid TV quiz answers of the week

Q: Type 45 Destroyers are ships belonging to which of the armed forces?

A: The Air Force?

Edward Case

Columnist