Mary Wakefield Mary Wakefield

The #metoo movement has an icy heart

Have mercy for the weakest – or you no longer occupy the moral high ground

On rolls the Harvey Weinstein horror show with no finale in sight. The next episode looks likely to star Uma Thurman, who’s waiting for the right moment, she says, to tell her own Harvey story. Hollywood waits for Uma and I wait for Robert De Niro, who said of Donald Trump: ‘He’s a dog, he’s a pig, a mutt.’ If groping makes you mad, Rob, why so silent about friend Harvey?

Weinstein is clearly a slimeball predator. I hope the great wave of feminist outrage washes all the Harveys clean away, out of Tinseltown, out of Washington, out of Westminster. But running alongside the Weinstein drama is another trickier case — one I think the credibility of the whole #metoo movement rests on.

Four women have now come forward to claim that the nonagenarian George Bush Sr assaulted them. He made a lewd joke, then patted them on the bum, they say. They take this very seriously. Over the past few weeks it has often been pointed out that Bush Sr is 93 and suffers from Parkinson’s and possibly dementia. As far as I can see, this cuts no ice with most of the feminists on social media. There’s no excuse for anyone who perpetuates ‘rape culture’, they say. As Charles Moore wrote last week: ‘The quality of mercy is strained by the age of equality.’

The Bush affair rings an unpleasant little bell with me. Last winter I was helping in a west London day centre, giving out hats and scarves to rough sleepers. One of the centre’s clients was an old man I’ve come across quite often. He’s clearly not all there and he whiles away his days drawing Biro pics of naked cartoon ladies in a notepad he keeps around his neck.

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