Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The day satire died

Just when you thought Nadine Dorries (currently Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire and now a nose ahead in the race to the bottom to be Britain's most ridiculous MP) could not delight us more, she plumbs new depths.

Nadine, you will recall, used her position and her website to attack a constituent for being off work as a result of a long term physical illness, for having the nerve to have political opinions in opposition to Nadine and the sheer temerity to put them on Twitter. Nadine appeared on 'Tower Block of Commons' and, while she was supposed to be living on the same amount available to benefit claimants, hid a wad of cash about her person. And most recently, it was Nadine who claimed - in evidence to the Parliamentary Commissioner in defence against an allegation of abusing her housing allowance - that her 'blog' was 70% fiction, although she has since retracted that, claiming that only 30% of her blog is the product of her fertile imagination. Another product of the septic think tank of her mind is the oft repeated allegation that Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads is known to the police and has been reported to the police on at least two occasions for stalking the blameless Ms Dorries - even going so far as to publicly warn him off a few days ago.

Tim is quite clear on this. He has never even been spoken to by the police in relation to harassing or stalking Nadine Dorries. I find it hard to believe that if the police in Bedfordshire (actually, the Chief Constable, no less) and the Metropolitan Police have both failed to follow up on the allegations made by an MP that she is being stalked by at least interviewing the accused person. Given that Nadine has misunderstood the law and repeatedly failed to produce the crime number in support of her claim and her tangential relationship with the truth, it seems rather apparent that this is part of the 70% or 30% that she is making up.

She's also used her position to support a 'charity' - Forsaken - which is not registered with the Charities Commission and does not appear to have a charity registration number issued by HMRC, the alternative available to small charities. This charity is apparently carrying out work on post-abortion syndrome, as Nadine returns to mount her anti-abortion bandwagon, which she has now rebranded pro-woman in a US-influenced attempt to frame the argument with her language. She even claimed that the abortion business is profitable for those involved - a claim debunked by Unity (really, Nadine - you don't want to take his forensic mind on in a battle of wits).

And did I point out that she is actually a member of parliament? A legislator elected by the good people of mid-Bedfordshire to serve them all, although she appears to have difficulty with the concept that a political opponent might also be a constituent.

You see, Nadine has a problem with being held to account, scrutinised or even having her views challenged by anyone. What she calls her 'blog' is nothing of the sort - aside from the hideous pinkness, she has steadfastly declined to enable comments to allow the interaction between the blogger and the reading public. Her behaviour on Twitter is ludicrous - rather than seeking a large audience for her views, which have significance well beyond the boundaries of her constituency, she assiduously blocks those whose opinions she finds to be different from hers, as if her opinions and beliefs are so shallowly grounded that they might be shaken by the injection of any alternative view or even facts. Being blocked by Nadine has become something of a badge of honour - one I have finally attained.

A few days ago, David Allen Green, a well-respected blogger, wrote a piece for the New Statesman, which he concluded
These are not trivial matters: using any publication to mislead constituents and to make unsubstantiated allegations is possibly as serious an abuse of any medium – social or mainstream – as it can get for a politician. Even partisan Conservatives must regard this as unacceptable and, indeed, off the record many do so. For many, sadly, a once-excellent blogger has become an embarrassment and a disgrace.

His arguments are cogent and sourced, his politics are close to that of the coalition, but Nadine has dismissed him as verbally aggressive and accused him of lying - apparently a
'uniting, unique attribute of the left.'

Has she never heard of Richard Nixon or watched Fox News?

This from a woman who has admitted that some 30-70% of her blog is a lie. Someone who has consistently made unfounded allegations of criminal behaviour against others.

Let me offer you a comparison. My constituency MP is John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat, who is consistently wrong on many issues and a man who I have worked against in two elections and fully intend to help defeat in 2015. Along the way, I've been a candidate for Labour in local elections and I've challenged him here, on his blog and on other websites, as well as in person in public forums. To his absolute credit, John has always been prepared to engage with those who happen to hold different opinions and has never shied away from the rough and tumble of political interaction.

Scrutiny and accountability are part of political life. If you cannot accept that as a fact, then you have no place in elected politics - you just aren't suited to it. I agree with David - Nadine Dorries' behaviour has become an embarassment to the body politic and she should be excised by her own party.

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