There are many phrases to describe what is currently happening in the world of Parliament and Hollywood, from "well isn't it obvious that this would be the case", to 'media frenzy', 'witch-hunt' and 'it's about time'. What worries me about this surge in both 'let's talk about it we'll all feel better', #metoo and the bandwagon jumpers who issued a list of parliamentary offenders without a shred of evidence against some people, is that the current employment protections that are provided by the law are being abused and overlooked by people using the press and social media to air views that may, or may not, be true.

Everyone who is in work (even in those workplaces without formal policies) is subject to a minimum set of standards on how to operate set down by ACAS. There is no excuse for employees and workers to say 'I did not know who to complain to' or that they did not know what their rights were. The minimum standard is clearly stated and conversely there is no right for employers to ignore those minimum guidelines as the very least they should offer.

The insistence by the media that all of these cases somehow amount to sexual harassment is just not true. Without wishing to undermine those cases where there has been a criminal assault that was reported, a one-off incident will (unless extreme) almost never count as sexual harassment. The word harassment, by its very nature, suggests that this could be prolonged, ongoing and persistent in nature. Perhaps it started innocently but then the events got out of hand? Perhaps the person on the receiving end of the treatment had no idea how to handle themselves?

Harassment is a form of discrimination. Harassment is described as "unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual". This applies equally to any kind of harassment. Where someone is genuinely subject to harassment it really does cause deep distress and can lead to ill-health.

The authorities do need to take a long hard look at their working practices, that is without doubt, but there also needs to be a proper objective assessment of the size and scale of the problem without influence from the press and self-interest groups who promote a view that all women are somehow defenceless and vulnerable. The best approach by far is to take the advice of Julia Hartley-Brewer in dealing with Michael Fallon. "Take your hand off my knee or I will punch you in the face" is surely the most direct and best approach to take to deal with the issue.