THIS STORY is a hoot on just too many levels to innumerate. But the importance of Ms. Mensch’s bolting from Parliament is given gravitas by Iain Martin of the Telegraph, because he refuses to give the “Twitter queen,” as she’s known in Britain, any room on her excuses. It’s so unlike the typical American angst.
Mensch’s defenders will say that her decision to stand-down is a brave one. In putting family first hasn’t she demonstrated that she has the right priorities and proved that modern politics is insufficiently family-friendly?
There is a good deal of rubbish talked about this. Being a good MP, woman or man, and representing a constituency will always involve considerable time spent away from family. Complaining about it is like a long-distance lorry-driver moaning that work seems to require a lot of driving.
Anyone who signs up to be an MP knows that Parliament is in London. There must be one place where MPs meet and the nation’s capital is as good as any. Obsess about making the institution family-friendly ? so that it fits in with the school-run ? and you weaken parliament. It suits the Executive to not have MPs around too much, as that way they can avoid scrutiny.
Some of those attracted to the Tory party by David Cameron’s modernising mission do not seem to have realised what a Westminster career involves. Some seem to have been given the impression that politics would work around their needs and that their ascent up the ministerial ladder would be rapid, with no need for any of that awkward business of mastering the Commons or honing a worldview. When reality intervened some resentment was inevitable.
With the American fetish these days of professional female stars whining we can’t have it all as they run for the exits, see Ann-Marie Slaughter, this is the type of media reaction that is worthy of notice.
Even more hilarious is The Week’s “Twitter queen Louise Mensch MP: five memorable moments.” Hmmm… shall I excerpt the Piers Morgan “catfight,” which you can see in the video at top and over which she was forced to apologize, the drug years she wouldn’t cop to, or deferring to her husband’s approval? None of the above.
The Twitter censorship row
During the London riots last August, Mensch called for Twitter and Facebook to be shut down during the disturbances. An avid tweeter herself, Mensch said a blackout would stop false rumours from spreading and help prevent police resources being wasted. She insisted it was the same as authorities interrupting road or rail services briefly during emergencies. But critics compared her suggestion to the sort of online censorship seen in Iran and China, while Sussex police insisted Twitter had been a helpful tool for them to quash rumours.