R.E.S.P.E.C.T. - Find Out What It Means To-ry
So Brandon Lewis launched The Tories' 'Respect' pledge this week. It's not going well. Trouble is, his colleagues haven't quite grasped the concept...
Writ large upon his slightly dated looking graphic were exhortations to treat people with courtesy, refrain from attacking or abusing them on social media, and condemn those who do.
And bless him, he must have felt sure these behaviours would be enthusiastically be enacted across the party - instead, it seems to have initiated a collective outbreak of what might best be described as Tory Tourettes.
Scarcely were the words out of his mouth than Tory MP Philip Davies hit the headlines after his astonishing attack on comedian Luisa Omielan during an interview. His verbal and physical intimidation, captured on film, left her shaken and upset.
Of course, Phil's got form in the offensive remarks field, for example his comments:
Hot on his heels came the less than delightful Andrew Percy, 'welcoming' one of the parliamentary lobby's newest journalists, from Evolve Politics, with what clearly passes for courtesy in the Percy household - rudeness and abuse, in response to a polite request for comment.
Evolve submitted a complaint following his first email (below, top) and showed him the courtesy of informing him, eliciting the second response (below, bottom).
Then another frontrunner in the rudeness stakes, the less than erudite James Cleverly, chimed in with an infantile tweet seeming to accuse Jeremy Corbyn of collusion in electoral fraud. Which, coming from a Tory, is frankly a bit rich....
Surprisingly, this abusive attack was not met with the condemnation of his parliamentary colleagues, who rather chose to add their voices to his by gleefully sharing it.
And further down the party ranks, we have the former Conservative candidate for Westborough, Daryl Peagram. Styling himself Blue Panther, he took a novel approach to reach voters in the area by describing them as 'scumbags'
The lack of any discernible respect wasn't restricted to actual party officers, for example 'journalist' Andrew Pierce, who clearly hadn't read the bit where Brandon asked supporters to be courteous on social media.
On the back of the ongoing story of the apparent poisoning of a Russian spy and his daughter, Andrew felt it appropriate to take a cheap shot at Salisbury police - whilst one of their number lay critical in hospital - to defend an alleged Tory paedophile.
Still further down the pecking order, if that's even possible, we have the online ranks of Conservative party members. There are a fair few to choose from, but one particularly toxic example stands out for the sheer spite and venom of his/her/its daily attacks. The account, which seems to spend the majority of each day actively targeting and attacking Labour MPs and harassing supporters, has been reported both to Twitter and to Brandon Lewis. Twitter, at least, responded........
Tory MPs complained last year that new behaviour guidelines were too strict as they would stop them being allowed to be rude to constituents, and succeeded in having the rules watered down to allow them this treasured privilege
However, it speaks of a pervading attitude within the Conservative party that so many of its MPs, councillors and adherents seem to have rudeness and abuse as their default 'go to' response. We are forced to conclude that they actually do not know the meaning of the word 'respect'.
Eager to help them tackle the problem, the Prole Star undertook some research (that's OK, no need to thank us) and has come across the excellent advice offered by High Speed Training on how to create and sustain a civil environment 'The Importance of Respect in the Workplace'
We commend it to them, and respectfully suggest it would be a good thing for all their MPs and staff to read and digest, so that they can properly understand what they actually signed up to do - and behave accordingly.