Sometimes people are not fit for work, and that includes MPs, Mr Jackson.

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Stewart Jackson, the Conservative MP for Peterborough, has claimed that Labour MP Simon Danczuk has been “stitched up” by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn within the Labour Party. He commented after Mr Danczuk was suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation into allegations that he sent sexually explicit text messages to a 17-year-old girl.

Posting on Twitter, Jackson said: “Simon Danczuk has obviously been foolish but he’s also been stitched up like a kipper by the Corbyn cronies in UK Labour.” 

Asked why he believed this to be the case, Mr Jackson replied: “Maybe the haste with which he’s been suspended for what appears to be something that is not a criminal offence if stupid.”

“Given he’s had some mental health issues, [the] more compassionate thing would be to have given him space and return to the issue next week.”

It is a serious cause for concern that this MP doesn’t know that it IS a criminal offence for an adult to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 18, if the older person holds a position of trust and power, as such sexual activity is an abuse of the position of trust. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides this specific legal protection.

Danczuk allegedly exchanged a number of sexually explicit text messages with a 17-year-old girl, it has been reported.

Mr Danczuk, who is 49, sent the messages to Sophena Houlihan after she asked him for a job.

She said: “At the time I played along with it, but now I feel like he duped me. I was keen for a career in politics and he is a very high-profile MP and I was in awe of him.”

Mr Danczuk allegedly asked Miss Houlihan to meet at the Labour Party conference and reportedly suggested that she join him on a trip to Spain. He told her that he was “horny”.

It’s absolutely disgraceful that MPs, regardless of their party politics, think it is in any way acceptable to use their position of trust and power to attempt to justify exploitative or sexually predatory behaviours.

However , a lifelong Conservative supporter, felt that it is Mr Danczuk who is the victim of impropriety, and all because of his mere “foolishness.” She overlooked his serial objectification of women and sexist tendencies, then. She tweeted: “Ironic when we were supposed to be introduced to “kinder” politics! Hypocrites. JC et al dangerous.”

Sure. Some people will go to any lengths to divert attention and discredit the opposition leader, no matter how dogmatic, incoherent and ridiculous this shows them up to be. Or misogynistic, for that matter.

I can just see the headlines in the Sun now: Dangerous Jeremy Corbyn supporters made me become a stalking horse and then they turned me into a disgraceful, stalking sexual predator.

If Mr Danczuk is experiencing mental health problems, he deserves support and has my sympathies. However, the situation that has arisen doesn’t just raise issues that are simply about how “kindly” he is treated: it is also important to establish whether or not he is fit for his post and to ensure that he does not pose a risk to members of the public, as well as himself. Suspending Mr Danczuk is not “dangerous” at all, in fact it is the only reasonable and compassionate thing to do.

Last year, Danczuk saidWhen it comes to Mental Health Problems, being in work can be something that really helps. I know that keeping busy and being motivated certainly works for me.”

However, sometimes, people are simply too ill to work. We have an unhealthy political culture and a government that has persistently refused to accept that sometimes, people are very ill and severely incapacitated. We have witnessed an extended, perpetuated, prejudice-driven political moralising and vicious stigmatisation of people who are ill and out of work, presumably so that the unprecedented, uncivilised cuts to essential support for disabled people have a façade of political justification, at least. But certainly not a respectable, legitimate one.

In fact this government have rather horribly and deceitfully normalised coercing people to work, regardless of their physical or mental illness, and regardless of the extent to which a person is disabled. Furthermore, it is regardless of the potentially devastating consequences for the person who is ill, AND the people that they work with or come into contact with.

Sometimes people need to take time out to recover, and should feel that they are permitted to do so without being judged and punished by the state. And sometimes, people are too ill, and no longer fit for their role. Consideration of these issues is compassionate and kind.

Nobody would expect a person who suffers blackouts to drive a bus or bin waggon if they thought through the potentially devastating consequences. But political, cultural, psychological and financial coercion is being used to force people to work – the government continues to cut welfare, which was calculated to cover only the costs of meeting basic needs. Cruel sanctions and strict, inflexible, often unreasonable behavioural conditions are being imposed on lifeline benefit receipt, adversely affecting some of our poorest and most vulnerable citizens; unemployed and disabled people are stigmatised in the media – all of this is done with an utterly callous disregard of a person’s capacity to work, or the availabilty of appropriate and suitable employment opportunities, and this can have tragic consequences.

This is a government that champions outgrouping and scapegoating already socially marginalised groups. It isn’t likely that they will listen to reason, because traditional Tory prejudices concerning minoritized groups are historically established and deeply embedded in Conservative ideological grammar.

The Conservatives value the use of lies and deceit to get their own way. How fitting that the man who brought truly democratic and liberal values into Conservative electioneering, fostering a respect for diversity and championing equal opportunities, (stop laughing) has finally been awarded a knighthood for his highly salaried dastardy. The lizard of Oz, the kidder for kidders that kidded thousands, did declare war on the Scottish, he is very well known for his dogwhistle racism, but surely divided and prejudiced nations and ever-sinking standards of living are a price well worth paying when we have another Tory government. Hurrah!

The cult of Lyntonism is a by-product of the micro-managerialism, totalitarian tendencies and the widespread use of techniques of persuasion usually reserved for the advertising industry, that has infected the New Right, “libertarian paternalist” Conservative Party. You know, I always thought there is something very pre-war Berlin about the Crosby crocodile smile.

I keep forgeting that this is 2016, and that we live in a first-world liberal democracy. Don’t we?


Happy New year all.

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Pictures courtesy of Robert Livingstone

Update: Mr Stewart Jackson has blocked my Twitter account, surprisingly. It’s good to know how much Tory MPs value democratic exchange, reasoned discussion, transparency and accountability…

Blocked


Further news: Simon Danczuk Investigated Over Historic Rape Allegation By Lancashire Police


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27 thoughts on “Sometimes people are not fit for work, and that includes MPs, Mr Jackson.

  1. I believe that Tories think if Labour starts setting higher standards in public life, a large number of Conservative MPs would be under the spotlight for dodgy behavior. In recent years so much unacceptable behavior has been ‘overlooked’ by a colluding media.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on wgrovedotnet and commented:
    Stewart Jackson may also have a predilection for young girls for all I know but just in case I sent him an email asking him to recant his statement. Not suspending Danczuk is akin to condoning such behaviour and “mental health problems” is even greater cause to have him on suspension.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just to clarify, I don’t think all people with mental health problems should be suspended from their post. However, I do think that anyone who is ill, because of either mental or physical conditions, should be assessed and should also responsibly self monitor, to ensure that they are fit for their post, especially when they work with the public.

      I had to leave a job I loved, working with vulnerable young people, because I became seriously ill in 2010 (I have lupus). My deterioration meant that I was not only risking my own wellbeing by continuing to work (my eyesight deteriorated so much that I could no longer drive, or adequately supervise group activities, I developed a bleeding disorder, joint and tendon damage that reduced my mobility, susceptibility to infections, for example), I also became a potential risk to others, in my supervisory role. I made the difficult decision to leave my professional post. But it was the right thing to do.

      Since then a tribunal agreed with the conclusion I had drawn, too. After I had outlined the extent of my illness and its impact on my day to day activities and capability for work, it was agreed that had I continued in my professional role, my disabilities and increasing, unpredicatable health deterioration may place others as well as myself at risk. I miss my work very much, but don’t regret my decision.

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      1. Sorry for your dilemma KS but Danczuk is perfectly functioning and is not looking to make any adjustment of self assessment after being “found out”. Instead he has made an apology which suggests by intimation that he was in part seduced by a girl of 17.(On reading the apology that is exactly what a lot of people inferred, it was no accident he added the comment “there’s no fool” ).She was a minor being under 18 at the time and he must have known his behaviour was not so much foolish as being that of a dirty old (lecherous) man. Were he not an MP with people to protect him, but a private citizen in a position of power, he would rightly have been looking at charges of one kind or another, either from the plaintiff or the cps. What we see though, is other MP’s closing ranks . This is a fine time in view of the many allegations of paedophile activity for certain MP’s to say his contravention of Law regarding a “bit of skirt” was nothing to take too seriously. It won’t and doesn’t wash and he must be investigated but not in his current capacity. If he is found blameless, he can be re-instated, but at least he won’t be so keen to chase down a girl with “pretty ankles” in future. Why should the girl of 18 be expected to prove she did not lead him on when the law is there to protect her from men who would disregard it(the law) and blame a girl for their lascivious desires when they know they are wrong to pursue those desires in the first place.

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      2. It’s not really a dilemma. I didn’t feel I had a choice. Danczuk reported earlier this year that he was seeing a psychologist and suffering from depression, following the breakdown of his marriage. It’s not the place of people who are unqualified strangers to another person to decide whether or not they are “functioning.” And most of the evidence of this past 12 months indicates he is in fact unstable. His conduct in this instance is probably a seperate issue as he does has previous form. However, his judgement may have been impaired further because he is ill.

        The point I raised in the article about ensuring that others are not put at risk because of someone’s illness was illustrated by reference to the Glasgow bin waggon driver, who killed 6 people because he suffered blackouts. He knew he was a risk to others, he knew he suffered blackouts and he lied to his employers. He should not have been working. But we live in a culture where people find it difficult to admit they cannot or should not work, because the government refuse to accept that this can be so. Danczuk said himself, in the article I linked on the blog, that he needed permission from his psychologist to “step back” from work, indicating that his judgement is impaired and he doesn’t trust his own perceptions, despite the fact he recognises he is ill.

        That doesn’t excuse his conduct, by the way. But it was an important point to raise, especially given the government’s current plans to push more sick and disabled people into work – it raises ethical problems and health and safety risks for disabled people and also, potentially, for those who work with them, or in close contact with them in the workplace(s).

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  3. Danczuk is sadly is suffering from a mental disorder namely narcissism, Danczuk claimed there was a plot to kill him by members of Rochdale CLP prior to his selection as the Labour candidate for Rochdale, Greater Manchester Police (GMP), investigated and found no evidence.

    Whilst with his first wife he cheated on her with Karen getting her pregnant, when members of Rochdale CLP raised concerns about Danczuk’s behaviour alleged domestic abuse towards Karen, Danczuk managed to purge Rochdale CLP of his critics.

    Danczuk is fond of the limelight so long as it boosts his ego and propaganda, he’s a fantasist, uses women to boost his credibility and to achieve his aims.

    He’s worse than Cyril Smith, a man who attacks his own party leaders, party members who don’t share his ultra Blairite neo-librral beliefs.

    His first wife says Danczuk is only interested in himself, likely to use the media for sympathy, he doesn’t care about Rochdale. Rochdale deserves much better than Simon Danczuk.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, while narcisdim is not a mental disorder, he recently revealed he he is suffering from depression and being treated by a psychiatrist.

    I left nursing due to the increbile stress particularly mental heath was effecting my eyesight, I had three retinal detachments, two cataract operations. I have decided not to return. My decision has been vindicated, my eyesight has fully recovered.

    I know MPs have access to counselling services via their PLPs, however what if an MP becomes seriously mentally unwell, who has the power to take them out of parliament to protect them and others in order to get them the help they need.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I would suggest that all Govt. Ministers be screened for mental illnesses & disorders.
    Not just on entry to office but on a regular basis. The public should not be put in harms way, except that we know it is; there seems a prediliction to put psychopathic MPs in Ministerial posts at the DWP.
    I find this Danzcuk business farcical compared to the greater picture.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very good point – Danzcuk has been an excellent servant of the Conservative Party since the ‘moderates’ lost the election. Not because of mental illness – just the normal ego and greed that so many MPs cannot resist. Its the disloyalty that should lead to his deselection by the local Labour Party.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. But if we boot people from the party because they disagree with the opinions of others, can we continue to claim to be democratic, transparent, accountable or a “broad church”? Don’t we need to ensure that people are deselected when there is good cause or justification for doing so? He probably ought to have stepped down a while ago, that’s my opinion, for what it’s worth. He was just as critical of Miliband as he is of Corbyn, but again, someone being a “Blairite” or less to the left than we are, or other party members, in itself isn’t a sufficient reason to boot someone, regardless of the fact that we may not like it. Socialism isn’t exclusive, anyway. However, conduct issues are another matter entirely, of course. And Danczuk’s conduct IS cause for concern.

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      2. Surely the local Rochdale party must be completely horrified at his contributions to the Sun and Daily Mail. Complete betrayal and an embarrassment.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. In the US the President has to undergo an annual medical by the senior US Navy physician.
      Considering the stress, the demands both psychological and emotional surely its time all Government ministers had mental health assessments upon appointment and regular counselling sessions to ‘offload’ the emotional and psychological bursens . I suspect a good many of the Tory administration would be ringing alarm bells to psychiatrists…namely IDS and Osborne both have a deviousness and enjoy inflicting misery on the poor.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Congratulations on this article.
    Pat’s Petition and CarerWatch are planning to launch the camapign below at the end of January. We wondered if you would like to support it.
    Frances

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  7. This is not the first time Danczuk has skated on thin and dubious ice and also used his position to squirm his way out of trouble:
    It is over six years since Rochdale Labour Party suspended two and expelled five of its members. In the light of the recent actions, comments and newspaper articles by Rochdale’s MP Simon Danczuk, we feel that it is the appropriate time to speak out on events then and now.
    In September 2009 seven members of Rochdale Labour Party (RLP) were brought before the Labour Party National Constitutional Committee (NCC) to be disciplined for breaking party rules. The seven longstanding active members were asked to attend a hearing at the Broadfield Hotel.
    The main charge against all but one member was that they wrote a letter to the Rochdale Observer asking for the Party to investigate a domestic incident in Spain between Simon Danczuk and his then girlfriend Karen Burke. The matter was exposed in two angry emails sent by Karen Burke’s brother, Steven.
    The North West Region of the Labour Party presented the case even though Simon Danczuk was the subject of the incident, which members asked to be properly investigated. At the time Simon Danczuk was on the ruling body of the North West Regional Labour Party.
    The investigation was reported on by Rochdale Online, who had access to the emails and other information from the hearing.
    http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/2/news-headlines/29680/labour-discipline-panel-decides-there-is-a-case-to-answer
    A national newspaper (Mail on Sunday) has since published details of the holiday incident.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3157459/Disturbing-questions-Simon-Danczuk-crusades-against-abuse.html
    The NCC concluded that one member, Maureen Nicholl, with over 60 years membership of the party (joining at the age of 16), should be suspended for two years. The offence under rule 2A.8 was:
    No member of the party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NCC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NCC is grossly detrimental to the party.
    Charge No. 1
    That she signed a letter sent to The Rochdale Observer and subsequently printed on 17 January 2009, which undermines both the Rochdale candidate and the campaign.
    Charge No. 2
    Actions from charge 1 have damaged the CLP (Rochdale Constituency Labour Party) and the campaign work for the next general election.
    These were also the main charges brought against the other members.
    The letter was a calm response to an attack on Rochdale Labour Party made by Mr Danczuk in a newspaper article printed in the Rochdale Observer on 3 January 2009.
    The last sentence of the letter sent by the members who were suspended or expelled reads:
    “It is only fair to all parties, the public, Rochdale Labour Party and Mr Danczuk, that these allegations are cleared up.”

    Is the Labour Party now going to investigate these events, particularly with respect to the recent actions of the current Labour MP, Simon Danczuk?

    Mick Coats

    Like

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