I could tell from the way my after-work drinking chum necked his first beer that he'd had a tough day. He'd spent another hour being lectured by a locally prominent Union boss on his management shortcomings. These verbal assaults would be delivered regularly by the little man - barely 5'6", well into his 60s and who dyed his hair black and slicked it with Brylcream. Hence the nickname of Billy the Fish (after the Viz character). He would taunt managers to lamp him, or at least lose their cool and rant back at him - the only way to cope was to keep quiet, endure it and give him and his professional witness no excuse.
Imagine the rejoicing when a case came to the Tribunal brought by two of the ladies who had resigned from the Union office because Billy the Fish was a serial groper. Others who had left previously gave evidence. One had caught him in an Onanistic act in the office. Billy the Fish was a broken man. The local paper carried full and explicit reports. Everyone took the piss out of him. Any attempts at bluster were met by grinning managers making groping moves or worse with their hands. He was destroyed, abandoned by the small pond of the local Labour Party and by his own Union.
Their own hypocrisy has delivered two Labour scalps in the past few days. Clive Lewis for shouting out "On yo' knees, bitch" and the vile Jared O'Mara for a series of even more vile homophobic expressions. The latter, until yesterday, sat on the Equalities select committee. The former was pulled up for blatent lying on election literature. Even more MPs are fearful of disclosures to come as women politicians scrape their recall to recount every inappropriate touch, every invitation 'for a drink', every hot breath in the lift. They all want to be a part of #MeToo #bandwagon.
And, oh frabjous move, female staff in the European Parliament for whom being groped must have seemed an essential employment requirement are now starting to speak out - not to internal EU processes that buy their silence but to the press. Unelected officials are rapidly working out how to hush it all up.
Let me be clear; I do find this both satisfying and amusing, but also deadly serious. No-one, man or woman, should have to endure unwanted sexual behaviour in the workplace. I'm not talking about workplace banter or healthy flirtatious behaviour but dark, unpleasant episodes.
When I was young chap in my 20s I worked in a temp job for a blue-rinsed female supervisor with a full set of dentures. It took me a week to work out why the other guys in the office had arranged their desks so their backs were hard against the walls. The first time she leaned over me from behind pressing her withered dugs into my shoulders I thought it was a mistake. By week two I would dread her approach and cringed and leaned sideways to try to avoid the loathsome rubbing. No it's not funny. It was deeply unpleasant and I still feel the full unpleasantness. There you are. #MeToo.