Take your pick – the unfortunate Olivia is a ‘sex-worker’ in the Guardian; a ‘professional dominatrix and escort’ in the Socialist Worker; and ‘a prostitute’ in the Independent; nowhere have I seen her described as she is – a young single woman who signed up to Match.com in an effort to find a partner outside of her work circle, and who had a few dates before disclosing her entire previous sex life to a new man.
There is only one reason for this continual harping on about an alleged occupation which ended any relationship with John Whittingdale as soon as it was disclosed – and that is that political commentators appear to believe that Olivia’s occupation is derogatory and thus shows John Whittingdale in a poor light. If they believe that, then what is their justification for exposing Olivia to such comment? Is this ‘fallen women’ syndrome we see before us?
Not only has Olivia been publicly pilloried for behaving as many young single women do in London – availing herself of a match-making service – but even the owners, lessees, and managers of premises that she was stalked to, and photographed visiting, have been labelled as criminally liable ‘brothels’. Would someone please remind the Guardian that technically a brothel doesn’t even have to contain any women, nor does any payment have to change hands – but is merely premises ‘where people resort to lewd acts’ which is as neat a description of the Guardian’s annual Xmas party as ever I heard?
I want to know why this young woman has been exposed to prurient interest, stalked, harrassed, held up to scorn and ridicule, when she has done nothing illegal, nothing morally wrong, nothing of the remotest public interest?
Brian Cathcart, founder of ‘Hacked Off’ the organisation which seeks to curb the intrusion of the press into the ordinary lives of ordinary people – just like Olivia! – claims that it was justified on the following grounds. Nay, that they had an obligation to treat her in this way.
1. One of the young men she met through Match.com, although single, belonged to an organisation that stresses ‘its commitment to traditional marriage’.
Presumably she was hoping to meet someone of the opposite sex who was potentially interested in a ‘traditional marriage’? Is that so unusual these days that she should be ridiculed on the nation’s front pages for so hoping?
2. One of the young men she met through Match.com, although single, was strongly opposed to ‘gay marriage’ in all its threesome forms.
…Presumably why he belonged to an organisation that stressed its commitment to ‘traditional marriage’. So the justification for pillorying her is that she was matched by a dating service with someone who opposed gay marriage? What proportion of the dates so arranged for her were with men who opposed gay marriage?
3. One of the young men she met through Match.com, had once warned Max Mosely that ‘the press has an appetite for this sort of thing’.
What has this got to do with Olivia? You see for all the left-wing desire to take down John Whittingdale, people seem to be forgetting that although he is a public figure – Olivia King was not. What precisely had she done that justifies the intrusion into her private life?
Even the Independent was trying to insinuate that it was Olivia herself who tried to sell the story of their liaison to the news media, two years ago, when Whittingdale wasn’t even in the cabinet.
Mr Whittingdale, who is single, said in a statement that he had been unaware of the woman’s occupation and had broken off the relationship when he discovered she was trying to sell the story to the press.
Actually what Mr Whittingdale said was this:
I was made aware that someone was trying to sell a story about me to tabloid newspapers.
Let’s hope that Olivia has the wit to sue the Independent for the defamatory slur that it was she who tried to sell the story, along with all the other slurs.
As I said the other day, it was Nathalie Rowe who had been pushing this story for some time, following her success with the ‘George Osborne snorted cocaine when he was a student’ story.
Even Tom Watson shied away from inflicting media intrusion on Olivia.
tom_watson Why are you not using your Parliamentary Privilege in relation to John Whittingdale, we spoke in detail on the phone – USE IT
— Natalie Rowe (@RealNatalieRowe) July 11, 2014
Olivia seems to be the forgotten victim in this story. Match.com have a section of their website – ‘How to recover from a disastrous date’. I hope she reads it.
What she needs then, is the services of some sort of Independent Press Standards Organisation that could curb the instincts of the likes of ‘Hacked Off’ to throw young women to the media wolves merely to make a political point.
I hope she sues the backsides off them all.