WHEN are conservatives not really that conservative? When it comes to pornography. The mildly interesting story yesterday was that former Labour DfID minister Sally Keeble allegedly retweeted a picture of a generously-sized male anatomy from the account @DickPicsCams as she prepared for Labour’s East Midlands conference in the morning. It was a pornographic picture.

The former Northampton North MP, who is still Labour’s prospective candidate for the seat, blamed the incident on a ‘hack’ and removed the picture.

Tory chairman Brandon Lewis attempted to start a pile-on by asking if Labour would comment on it and if she would resign. Unsurprisingly Leftie Twitter managed to flip this very quickly by telling us all that it was 2019, we should lighten up and that Brandon Lewis was ‘shaming’ a female politician. 

Then, true to form, various conservative commentators began falling over themselves to tell us how we should all relax, this was mildly amusing and it was essentially 2019, nothing to see here and we should all move on.

Now first of all I’ll tell you what I don’t want to talk about, and that is Brandon Lewis and what political capital he attempted to make out of this. Nor do I believe Sally Keeble should be run out of town, Labour or indeed Twitter.

Interestingly, Ms Keeble never defended the photo, she never tweeted that we should all lighten up, that it was 2019 and if a former MPs wanted to like a pornographic picture on her public Twitter account that she uses for her political career that we should all just get with the program. No indeed, Ms Keeble said again that her account was hacked and I take her at her word on this.

In fact, it seems that Ms Keeble is more conservative than many a conservative out there, who told us this was no big deal. The idea that it would be perfectly fine for an MP or former MP or someone who wanted to be an MP to like or retweet pornographic pictures on their Twitter account in amongst their policy positions is obviously ludicrous. It would be completely inappropriate for a Twitter account to be used in this way.

There is nothing funny about the public use (or private use IMHO) of pornography. Pornography degrades the human body, is an insult to human dignity and depersonalises and dehumanises those people who perform in it. The idea that we should all expect, say, the Foreign Secretary to tweet out his favourite sexual position along with his position on Yemen in a Twitter feed is utterly ridiculous.

So let’s conserve, shall we, the cultural norm that politicians should not as a rule use their Twitter feed to promote pornographic pictures? Are we at the TCW the only people left – along with Ms Keeble, it seems – to believe that this is a norm worth conserving? Are we the only ones left defending basic decency?

And yes, I am clutching my pearls while typing this and if you have a problem with that you know what you can do.

If you appreciated this article, perhaps you might consider making a donation to The Conservative Woman. Our contributors and editors are unpaid but there are inevitable costs associated with running a website. We receive no independent funding and depend on our readers to help us, either with regular or one-off payments. You can donate here. Thank you.