What if Penny Mordaunt had been a man? The wimmin would be screaming for her resignation

30 Nov 2014 at 10:36

I have been reading with various degrees of mild irritation and amusement Penny Mordaunt’s now notorious ‘cock’ speech. Her real mistake was not so much making a rather foolish and on the scale of things a rather minor error of judgement, but fessing up to it at a public event.

The usual suspects make the usual allegations. She was trivialising Parliament. Er, yes. She was trivialising poultry care. A little bit. So far nobody has been daft enough asked for her resignation. A grovelling apology to Mr Speaker and it will blow over. No fowl play is expected.

Now I don’t want to appear sexist, but what if a man had made that speech, with mildly amusing vagina references? The Eagle sisters would be spitting venom and Hattie would demanding her resignation. And Ed, if he could get it right would accuse Cameron of demeaning women. The poor male miscreant would be hung out to dry.

And this is what we poor things with penises have to put up with. It’s perfectly acceptable to portray husbands on adverts on the telly as dimwits but a national outrage to portray wives as a bit dopey. Personally provided it is in reasonable taste and quite funny I don’t give a damn about either.

However Parliament has been trivialised for years. Remember that drunken, rambling piss take of women’s rights from Alan Clark at the despatch box?And if enthusiastic journos can be bothered they should scan Hansard and be astounded at how many odd phrases will appear. Most as a result of a bet. I can remember ministers would have competitions about how they could place words or phrases into speeches. One minister astounded civil servants by addressing a meeting with, ‘it all started with a meteorite’.

But this was all a long time ago. Well, ish. Parliament and the horrors of modern technology whereby anybody can suddenly appear on U tube stalks every bar and street. MPs, overworked, stressed and in an insecure job environment now have their every off guarded moment likely to be beamed into our homes and crucified in the local press.

Penny Mordaunt will survive this fairly easily. She is not robotically on message, she seems good fun this was a bet with naval officers. After all she does represent Portsmouth. But best not do it again. Misplaced humour never goes down well if you are in the public eye.