Actor turned political activist Laurence Fox has got himself a ‘mask exempt’ badge off Amazon. This has earned him a very unparliamentary rebuke from an obscure but clearly ambitious Conservative MP called Simon Hoare.
I hadn’t realised that being a first class, ocean going, chateau bottled, nuclear powered prick was an exemption from wearing a mask. What a selfish loathsome tool this man is https://t.co/2Kt91SlYVM
— Simon Hoare MP (@Simon4NDorset) January 16, 2021
Looking at Hoare’s profile picture I can see why he might be worried about Chinese coronavirus. My friendly advice is that if he were to lose a little weight, eat more healthily, and take more exercise it might help his immune system and remove him from a potential “at risk” category.
He also needs to work on his intemperate tweets: not only are they bad for the blood pressure, they don’t do much to dispel the increasingly widespread impression that our elected representatives are arrogant, bullying tosspots with zero gravitas, intelligence, or decorum.
“First class, ocean going, chateau bottled, nuclear prick” — is that really an appropriate phrase for an elected politician to use to describe someone who has done something perfectly within his rights and the law? Fox may have very good reasons why he is ‘mask exempt’, and, under the terms of the Disability Act, he is not obliged to disclose them publicly.
“Selfish loathsome tool” — this is nasty bullying. It’s of a piece with the similarly vicious, personal attacks conducted by another obscure but ambitious Conservative MP, one Neil O’Brien, against the sceptical cartoonist Bob Moran and also against the free speech campaigner and creator of the Lockdown Sceptics website, Toby Young.
Young has reproduced a measured rebuttal — too measured, in my view — to O’Brien’s criticisms at Lockdown Sceptics.
Yesterday, I was attacked on Twitter again by the Conservative MP Neil O’Brien – it’s becoming a daily occurrence. This one involved an obsessive degree of offence archaeology. He even listened to last week’s London Calling podcast, carefully noting down any deviations from Covid orthodoxy. [Radio host] Julia Hartley-Brewer had the temerity to ask him why he was trolling people on Twitter instead of looking after his constituents, at which point he immediately started attacking her. All, it seems, to demonstrate his unwavering loyalty to Tory High Command and their forever lockdown policy.
As one regular contributor to Lockdown Sceptics observed:
Whatever the era, whatever the epoch, it seems that the Neil O’Brien’s of this world are forever destined to be the first sent into battle. Stolid, inert, expendable; the mediocre soldier, sacrificed in order that the strength of the enemy’s defences might be tested. If he’d have been at Ypres in 1914 you’d have put money on him being the private who’d have been ordered to stick his head up above the trench line just so the commanding officer could get a sense of where the enemy fire was going to come from. He’d have done it eagerly, too, with real patriotic fervour (“How high, Sir! How high!!”).
I think that “regular contributor” is right. There’s a heroic backbench MP — possibly mythical — who exists in the public imagination, whose job it is to hold the government to account without fear or favour, for even if it means denying himself promotion he would rather speak the truth on behalf of his constituents rather than grovel and abase himself and lie in order to secure the baubles of acceptance and promotion.
Neil O’Brien and Simon Hoare are the very opposite of that heroic backbench MP.