A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is a humorous novel by Marina Lewycka, first published in 2005, which went on to win the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize at the Hay literary festival, the Waverton Good Read Award 2005/6 and was shortlisted for the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction, Over one million copies of the novel have been sold in the UK.

Official portrait of Neil ParishOn the other hand, A short history of tractors in Tiverton and Honiton is a sordid, grubby little tale of unacceptable behaviour in the workplace, plus the lies proffered as explanations of such conduct, which first came to light in late April 2020.

The main protagonist of the more recent tale is the now disgraced former so-called Honourable Member of Parliament for the constituency of Tiverton and Honiton (up to now a safe Conservative seat. Ed.), one Neil Quentin Gordon Parish.

Our tale starts in the final week of April 2020 when the media reported that an unnamed Tory MP was accused of watching pornography in the chamber of the House of Commons.

The allegation was made at a meeting of Conservative MPs at which attendees shared stories of sexism and sexual harassment at Westminster, including the claim that one MP had watched sexually explicit material in the chamber and was spotted doing so by two female colleagues, one of whom is a government minister.

This prompted an investigation being launched by the Tory Chief Whip with the outcome of Parish being suspended from the party.

Before he was revealed as the guilty party, Parish even had the nerve to appear on right-wing “news” channel GB News (aka GBeebies, Ed.) to remark that when discovered, the accused MP should be “dealt with and dealt with seriously

As pressure mounted, Parish referred himself to parliament’s Standards Commissioner, who likewise initiated an investigation.

By this point any reasonable and rational human being would have realised that their position was untenable and written a resignation letter. Not Parish. He dug his heels in.

As reported by The Guardian, Parish gave the BBC’s Politics South West programme the following totally lame excuse:

The situation was that – funnily enough it was tractors I was looking at. I did get into another website that had a very similar name and I watched it for a bit which I shouldn’t have done.
But my crime – biggest crime – is that on another occasion I went in a second time.

It’s the kind of mistake any can make isn’t it: looking for tractors online when one encounters pr0n, especially with all those closely related domain names?

Well; actually, Mr Parish it is not.

Parish was rightly ridiculed for this pathetic excuse, including by Deputy Labour Party leader, Angela Rayner, a frequent target for Conservative sexism and misogyny.

Tweet reads He was looking for tractors but ended up with porn actors? Neil Parish must think you were all born yesterday. Boris Johnson’s Conservatives are a national embarrassment.

Yesterday, Parish resigned as an MP and the Liberal Democrats are once again looking to overturn a 20,000-plus parliamentary majority, as they did in December 2020 in North Shropshire (which had been a de facto Conservative one party state since 1832. Ed.) when the disgraced grifter Owen Paterson resigned after being caught breaching advocacy rules.

Time to get comfy with a big bowl of popcorn, politics fans… 😀