A piece in today’s Times by Charlie Parker, the emphases are ours:
Hostesses working at a men-only charity event in London last week suffered an evening of groping, sexual harassment and propositioning, it has been claimed. [J4MB: CLAIMED – by Madison Marriage, an FT ‘journalist’ who appeared on last night’s Newsnight. Evan Davis, a gay man, interviewed her, and pretended to be shocked, whilst clearly bemused by the silly woman’s claims.]
More than 100 women were employed to entertain figures from business, politics and finance at the annual Presidents Club Charity Dinner. They were ordered [J4MB: by the Chief Patriarch himself?] to wear skimpy black outfits with underwear to match and high heels, according to the Financial Times. [J4MB: Given the dress code, and (presumably) good remuneration – tellingly, we’re not told what it was – for tottering about on heels for a few hours, the women naturally concluded they were being employed to express their views on the progress of the Brexit negotiations, HS2, and the North Korean nuclear weapon crisis. The FT has become a joke, for its pandering to feminist narratives. You’ll look in the paper in vain for criticism of the government’s bullying of FTSE350 companies into increasing the proportion of women on their boards.]
The secretive black-tie event was attended by 360 men [J4MB: Oh no – men! Most of them probably white and heterosexual, too!!!] and featured a charity auction offering items including lunch with Boris Johnson and afternoon tea with Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England. [J4MB: Afternoon tea with Mark Carney, the worst Canadian mangina after Justin Trudeau? We’d pay money NOT to have tea with him.]
The gathering, at the Dorchester Hotel, raises money for good causes such as Great Ormond Street Hospital.
However, two undercover reporters who gained access to the event claimed [J4MB: CLAIMED] to have witnessed an evening of sexual objectification and harassment. [Oh no! Did the gazes of the straight white men fall upon the Special Snowflakes wearing “skimpy black outfits with underwear to match and high heels”? The ANIMALS!!!]
They alleged [J4MB: ALLEGED] that over six hours many of the hostesses, some of them students earning extra cash, were subjected to lewd comments, repeated requests to join diners in bedrooms and were even groped.
Some claimed [J4MB: CLAIMED] that guests repeatedly put hands up their skirts and one said a man exposed himself to her [J4MB: A totally uncorroborated claim, needless to say]. The newspaper reported that one unnamed guest [ALLEGEDLY] grabbed a hostess and said: “I want you to down that glass, rip off your knickers and dance on that table.”
Madison Marriage, one of the undercover reporters, said the hostesses were mostly young, ambitious women including aspiring lawyers, film producers and actresses. “There were a lot of women in there who had no idea what they were letting themselves in for,” she told BBC Newsnight. [J4MB: Which all goes to show how naive “young, ambitious women including aspiring lawyers, film producers and actresses” can be. They clearly shouldn’t be allowed out of their houses without chaperones.]
Tables at the event were sponsored by big businesses including WPP, the FTSE 100 advertising conglomerate, CMC Markets, the UK-listed spread betting company, and Frogmore, the land investment business.
A seating plan obtained by the Financial Times listed names such as the Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones, Sir Philip Green, the owner of Topshop, and the Ocado boss Tim Steiner. Political figures were also believed to be invited, including Nadhim Zahawi, the new under-secretary of state for children and families, and the Labour peer and fundraiser Lord Mendelsohn. It is not clear whether all those on the list turned up on the night.
Celebrities were also present, including David Walliams, the comedian, who hosted the evening.
The fundraiser has been running in the capital for 33 years during which time it has raised more than £20 million for charity. Thursday’s event raised more than £2 million.
Written in the event’s glossy brochure was an unusual waiver stating: “The club shall accept no responsibility and shall not be held liable for any actions of its members, staff or event attendees that amount to harassment.”
Caroline Dandridge from Artista, the events company that provided the hostesses, said: “This is a really important charity fundraising event that has been running for 33 years and raises huge amounts of money for disadvantaged and underprivileged children’s charities.
“There is a code of conduct that we follow, I am not aware of any reports of sexual harassment and with the calibre of guest, I would be astonished.”
The Dorchester said that it had a zero-tolerance policy regarding harassment of guests or employees: “We are unaware of any allegations and should we be contacted we will work with the relevant authorities as necessary.”
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