You know things aren't going too well if even the House of Commons is laughing at you.
American Roosh V, the reviled “pro-rape" campaigner who had planned 43 'neo-masculinist' meetings worldwide on Saturday, may have been staging the events to compensate for the size of his small “following”, MPs have joked.
In an innuendo-laden discussion in the Commons Labour MP Chi Onwurah suggested that V, real name Daryush Valizadeh, might be trying to "augment the size of his following".
The North East MP suggested the campaigner might be doing so because he was “insecure in his own masculinity”.
Onwurah’s suggestion was met with approval by Conservative Home Office minister Karen Bradley, who was answering questions.
The minister suggested V might have “other reasons” for drumming up publicity but was coy on exactly what they were.
I join [Onwurah] in her comments about perhaps the reasons why this individual is doing what he is doing, ensuring he is getting publicity, in a way perhaps he needs for other reasons. I'll say no more.
V, a self-styled 'neo-masculinist', has previously promoted the idea of legalising rape if the crime was committed on “private property”.
He also holds workshops to teach men 'pick up artistry', generally derided as promoting rape culture and adversarial gender roles.
Around 80,000 people have signed a petition condemning the campaigner’s planned visit to Britain and his group 'Return of Kings', which advocates for women to lose the vote, and has described women's value as dependent on “fertility and beauty”.
Police chiefs across the country had expressed concern at the motivations behind the meetings, and some MPs have called for V to be banned from the country.
This morning he cancelled his tour – which was set to visit London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds and Shrewsbury – citing concerns for "the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend”.
Protesters were intending to target the events.