Nigel Evans MP was accused of rape and sexual assault. There was a trial, and he was acquitted of all charges. End of story, you'd think? He walks free, with his name cleared? Not so fast.When the allegations first emerged he resigned the Tory whip. At the time of writing it has not been restored to him. Why not?
One of the key witnesses for the prosecution was one Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes, a person I do not know, unlike Nigel Evans, whom I count as a friend. Sarah decided not only to support the allegations made against Nigel, without evidence (and yes I know evidence is difficult in cases of rape and sexual assault) but to be a witness for the prosecution and to call him a drunk and a debaucher of young men. I think this is a disgrace, to her personally, to the office of MP, and to the polity of England. Fortunately the judge and jury rejected this poison. Now Sarah has been given a big piece in The Times (£), with a nice blonde smiley photo of her above it, in which she complains about "male blogger bullies" who were HOWWID to her about her hate-filled outpourings. Well, diddums, Sairs. In fact the remarks made were rather mild, though of course "blogger bullies" do exist. I should know. Well, I'm not male, and I used to be an MP, but some years ago when the online climate was rather different from now, and I'm having my say. You want some, Sarah, you can have some.
A prominent Tory backbencher has hit out at “aggressive male bloggers” who, she claims, target female MPs.
Sarah Wollaston said that certain parts of the political blogosphere were “quite aggressive in their approach towards women”, particularly when discussing sexual violence or gender. “If you stick your head above the parapet you can expect some quarters of the aggressive blogging community to go for you,” she said. Yes, Sarah. It's called having your say, and other people having theirs too. Freedom of speech, dontcha know.
Dr Wollaston, the Totnes MP, faced a barrage of criticism last week after Nigel Evans, the deputy speaker, was cleared of a string of sex charges. One of the alleged victims was in a Westminster bar with the former GP Like a drink do you Sarah? If not, what were you doing in the bar? when an “off-the-cuff” remark about an alleged assault triggered a sequence of events that led to the court case. Dr Wollaston was contacted by a second man — a friend of the first — who alleged that he had been raped. Ah I see, you were drinking with the alleged victims and winding them up to make police complaints.
The MP listened to their complaints and took them to John Bercow, the Speaker, who said that he could not help. She then passed on police contact details to the alleged victims, who contacted the officers, prompting the arrest last year of Mr Evans...
In an interview with The Times, Dr Wollaston was keen to stress that she was in no way challenging the verdict in the case, adding that she empathised with Mr Evans and his ordeal. Oh yeah?
She confessed, however, that the fallout from the case had been “very difficult”, particularly in the online sphere. Did you CWY, Sarah? Did you THCWEAM and THCWEAM till you were THICK? Nigel's life and career have been ruined. Nothing will ever be the same again for him, personally or politically. And he is innocent. How do you sleep, Sarah?
She singled out The Daily Telegraph writer Dan Hodges, the libertarian blog Guido Fawkes, and the Tory publisher and writer Iain Dale, saying that she had been reading their “really quite aggressive attacks” about her handling of the allegations...
Wollaston said that it was striking that much of the criticism of her had come from male bloggers. “I haven’t had any women writing critical articles and I do think that’s very interesting,” she said. You have now, Ms Wollaston. “I think there are some very aggressive male bloggers out there and they target women MPs.”...
Well, I hope you're happy now, Sarah Wollaston. I hope your constituents are happy with your spending your time and your MP's salary trashing a colleague's life and career. Wetting your knickers now because not everyone likes your pretty blonde hair and sweetie campaigns against booze and fags? It could get worse. And if you think that's a threat, it is. Oh, not from me, you understand. From the nasty horrid "male bloggers" who have been so BEASTLY to the lovely Sarah. But still, Ms Wollaston, next time you are in Strasbourg, do come and say hello. Perhaps we can have a refreshing glass of mineral water together.