BBC News – Michael Fabricant apologises for Yasmin Alibhai-Brown ‘joke’.

Conservative MP’s are often accused of being out of touch with the people, yet rather than trying to disprove the sentiment they seem to view it as a challenge to be even more removed.

Mike Fabricant, who already has something of a Middle Earth aura about him, has this week shown himself to be something of a troll by saying he’d probably punch a female journalist in the throat. Now I don’t believe he would actually do it, but it’s hardly a subject that anyone in his position should be ‘joking’ about. I use the term joking advisedly because although I don’t believe he would do it, I think he probably longs for the days when giving the little woman a slap was just ‘normal’.

It seems to me that he is of a time when women were supposed to know their place, which was probably in the kitchen or the nursery with the children. There are plenty like Mike in the Conservative Party who despite their leadership’s attempts to move into the 21st century, will always drag them back to darker days. Indeed, when David Cameron championed the rights of gay people to get married, many of his back benchers were horrified at the prospect and fought him. Again, this tells us that while a few try to garner the populist votes, the majority either keep quiet or display breathtakingly backwards thinking.

Of course, Mike did tweet a general apology…of sorts:

If anyone believes I would seriously threaten someone with violence, I of course withdraw and apologise.”

So he’s only really apologising if you or I are the sort of people who believe he would punch a woman, rather than being sorry for what he said. The implication being that you or I, simply overreacted to his comments. 

Addressing Yasmin Alibhai-Brown directly, he then tweeted:

Sorry @y_alibhai if you actually thought I would punch you. I actually don’t do that sort of thing. But you are utterly infuriating! xx

Once again, he wasn’t apologising for what he said as such. He apologised if Yasmin actually thought he would punch her, which means she would have to feel personally threatened by him in order for the apology to be meaningful. As for the kisses at the end of it, well that was just plain sarcasm!

In the style of any true politician, Mike has not only offended women by joking about violence towards them, but he makes an apology which ridicules Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and anyone who accepts it. That to my mind, is no apology at all.