Dec 18, 2009

Why I Write About Nadine Dorries

Well, for one thing there was the uncritical promotion of misinformation (that happened to fit her agenda), for example this hoax: 'hand of hope'. Then there was the ridiculous demand for an enquiry into how written evidence published openly and in full during a select committee hearing "got into the public domain" ( The silliness of the demand for an enquiry into how openly-published information got into the public domain, and the uncritical promotion of a hoax, got my attention.

What really piqued my interest, though, was the perceived censorship in respect of Nadine's blog. Detailed here, Dorries decided to close blog comments (claiming she didn't have time for them, despite still finding time to blog). I made reference to Dorries in this general post about a failure to engage and a commenter pointed out that: "Lack of openness to public critical appraisal is a bad sign, whether in scientific or any other media format."

Nadine's Twitter account has provided further examples of silliness and censorship. I wrote about Nadine Dorries on drugs* recently and used comments made by Dorries on Twitter as the basis of my post. Her responses to comments made by others (using evidence to back up their points) were illogical in the extreme, as I detail in the blog post linked to above.

Having blogged about Dorries and mentioned my post on Twitter, I soon found that I had been blocked by Dorries.** Nadine later posted a tweet claiming: "I block people who are rude and offensive. kerry blocks people who are right." I've looked through my tweets mentioning Dorries and cannot find any that I would consider to be rude and offensive.

A later tweet from Dorries was this one: "Anyone who Tweets has the right to block or not who they wish without criticism. Its called freedom of Tweet and I'll fight for it!" Nadine seems to have approached Twitter the way that many people approach debate in general - they conflate the important and valuable right to free speech with the right to say (and do) what I like without being criticised for it - which, far from being a fundamental human right, is a made-up 'right' presumably invented by someone who did not wish to face up to criticism.

I'm not sure whether Nadine's wrongness or her inability to countenance being wrong is more worrying, but a combination of the two has certainly encouraged me to write about her.

*Blogs such as sim-o and markreckons also tackled the statements Dorries made about drugs.

**There is a list of 25 people who have been blocked by Nadine Dorries on Twitter, several of whom have asked Dorries to point out where they have been "rude and offensive" - apparently with no answer forthcoming from Dorries. I was one of them, and I certainly did not receive an answer.

Dec 17, 2009

We're already kicking arse in Google (and Yahoo)

Google loves new data, and a fresh post on a blog often enjoys (and/or contributes to) a temporary boost in search results.

With that in mind, this is just a quick note to say that this site was left coasting unmanned* for over a year before winding up at 7th place for searches for 'nadine dorries', and only three fresh posts later it has just outperformed Nadine's Wikipedia entry for the first time, appearing in 3rd place this afternoon:

Yahoo has yet to see the new version, but we already place 4th in that search engine for Nadine's name:

Now, this placement is not permanent/established and is not visible in all search databases (we appear to bounce between 3rd and 4th place in most variations of Google today) but it's an important landmark, especially now that this site is powered by not one but four contributors: me, Dave, JDC and Sim-O.

In short, this site is now a shared editorial space, and can by used by any of us at any time to make a note of Nadine's latest outrageous claim or shameless attack.

Plus, unlike 'blogger' Nadine, we will (gasp!) allow you to COMMENT** on any of it.

The higher we place for searches for Nadine's name (and other queries relating to her and/or her latest nonsense), the more useful and relevant this exercise becomes.

If you would like to be part of The Nadine Dorries Project and help us maintain a highly visible counter-measure to the many lies and delusions of one of our most self-centred MPs, simply join us for a chat under comments, and maybe link to us from your website/weblog.

Cheers all.


(*Not much of an obsession, is it?)

(**Comment Moderation Policy: There is a low tolerance for needless abuse and off-topic comments, and zero tolerance for outright libel and sock-puppetry. You must be a registered user of Google/OpenID/etc. to comment.)

Psst! If Twitter (or satire) is more your thing, you may instead wish to check out the fun going on at

Nadine Dorries claims satire to be an obstacle to democracy

What a load of unmitigated bullshit from Nadine Dorries this morning:

Nadine Dorries is spreading outright falsehoods in a pathetic attempt to mobilise pro-democracy forces in her favour.

1. No, she's not allowed to pass herself off as an MP during the election, so she probably will have to change her current URL of if she seriously wants to engage via Twitter during an election (which I consider to be unlikely, as she is already notorious for failing to engage on Twitter on a day-to-day basis). At any time she can keep the same account and simply switch her URL to '' or something similar, just as Kerry McCarthy and other less-hysterical MPs have decided to do.

2. Even if this were as big an issue as she makes it out to be, the unavailability of ideal account names is not an impediment to the actual act of tweeting, especially when she can take all of her existing remaining followers with her to any available location she chooses. Nobody has robbed her of the capacity to exercise her democratic anything.

3. There is at present no account live for - there was an account live there at one stage (no, I don't know who was behind it) - but Dorries appears to have taken action that led to its closure, by claiming impersonation (something that Twitter does not allow). She's failed to manage that with, the account under my control, because it is clearly satire.

4. She thinks she can use the old 'no names' trick to avoid a charge of libel, but there's only one 'nadine dorries' account on Twitter at present that uses her name in the URL... mine. I am not a 'Labour supporter' and Nadine is using the 'obsessed' tag after a series of earlier tweets accusing me of being mentally unstable. As for my being 'sad', well that depends on which definition of the word you use, but I can tell you that I'm not happy that an MP would think libel to be an appropriate response to satire.

5. Still, I can understand why she'd want to lash out (again) while avoiding any mention (again) of what's really put the wind up her skirt:

Conservative Change Channel - Rupert Murdoch and other great Australians

Dec 5, 2009

Nadine Dorries attacks John Bercow for not controlling his woman

Let's start with Nadine's original quote about this interview with Sally Bercow (wife of Speaker John Bercow), as published by the Times:

Nadine Dorries, a Tory MP who opposed Mr Bercow’s selection as Speaker, said: “We desperately need to restore authority and respect to Parliament. What this interview has done is remove any painstaking progress Parliament has made and reduced the Speaker and his office to that of a laughing stock. How can we ask the people to trust us, when the man who holds us to account has such poor judgment that he allowed his wife to give such an appalling, self-obsessed interview?” (source)

What Nadine is talking about at the beginning of her attack on Bercow is the fallout from the expenses row, which she shamelessly tars Berkow with by blurring the lines between him and the failures of his predecessor. During the expenses row, Nadine found herself on the wrong side of the rules and squirmed a bit before declaring all MPs to be blameless because they were instructed to help themselves to an open trough. Then, finding this view to be unpopular, she tried to convince us that MPs might commit suicide if we were any meaner to them. Soon after this, she switched to a claim of a large-scale agenda-setting conspiracy, involving the owners of a certain newspaper being in league with UKIP and the BNP.

Basically, she's one to talk.

Also, she seeks to lecture others on the restoration of trust and dignity in politics while using someone's marriage partner to get at them.

But let's hurry along to the part that's causing Nadine the most difficulty, just in case you haven't spotted it:

In this ill-thought-out attack, Nadine was in such a hurry to take her cheap shot at John Bercow that she rather rashly declared that he was unable to control his woman.

Then, to avoid admitting that she had just declared a woman's place to be servile and silent, Nadine skidded out onto some very thin ice, claiming on her not-a-blog that she only meant that John Bercow could instruct his wife on what to say (and what not to say) during interviews conducted at their residence:

The Speaker, the man who holds Parliament and its Members to account, has displayed a serious lack of judgment in allowing his grace-and-favour apartment to be used for such an interview. His future tenure of the historic Chair must now, more than ever, be in question. To have used the Speaker's apartment in the Palace of Westminster to personally attack David Cameron, the man who may be the next Prime Minister...(source)

The ice immediately gave way beneath her when it was revealed that the interview was not conducted at that residence (nice gamble, Nads), and suddenly Nadine was claiming her comments were really about.... a large-scale agenda-setting conspiracy. One of such importance there was absolutely no time to mention where she might have been wrong about anything she had said earlier:

"I think it was a staged interview, managed by those in the shadows of the Labour party, and was a strategic measure in kicking off Labours new ‘class warfare’ campaign. Who cares about Sally Bercow’s past? Do we really believe she was concerned that one of her one-night stands, from a booze fuelled liaison, sometime in her long ago past was going to surface and spill the beans? Really, do we?... The Bercow’s [sic] cannot distance themselves from the harm this interview has done. Whilst in my constituency today, everyone I met, of whatever political persuasion, registered their distaste. People were disgusted. The office of Speaker is now as low as it can go. "(source)

So it's all about dignity. That, and a massive conspiracy, but mostly dignity. Nadine contends that Sally Bercow admitting to binge drinking and casual sex when she was younger (and/or attacking Cameron, it's hard to be sure when she's all over the place) undermines the dignity of all MPs

Here, it is worth pausing for the view of Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes), one of the men this MP chose to (very) publicly hand-deliver some legalish documents in a wholly undignified manner. Today, Paul had this to say in response to the same Sally Bercow interview (and a recently-discovered 1986 article by a young John Bercow):

"Like global warming, the John Bercow Guide’s pick-up strategies are an interesting theory. Guido isn’t entirely sure lines like 'If you’re free later maybe we could go back to your place and name your breasts' ever really work. In fact funnily enough Guido can’t recall Bercow even having a girlfriend back in those days. Anyway he has done well to land an experienced girl like Sally, particularly now she has sobered up. Guido thinks Sally looks vaguely familiar, but it was over a decade ago, Guido was very, very drunk that night and was never good at remembering names..."(source)

I don't know quite what this is, but I'm pretty sure that this isn't dignity.

(I'd ask my wife about it, but I already know what her opinion is... mine. Did you see what I did there?)

Sadly, Nadine was so busy raising doubts and casting shadows that she inadvertently repeated her earlier mistake of asserting that it is Mr Bercow's duty to reign his woman in. In Nadine's head, the only other option is the interview being something he approves of:

"How can we trust the man expected to set the standards in Parliament, the person who holds us to account, to have any sort of judgment when he obviously must have thought this interview was a good idea?"(source)

Nadine has (by now, repeatedly) talked herself into a very difficult position here, and should count herself lucky that she is about to disappear for a week into a mysterious reality TV experiment.

Even if you've just recently joined us from the 50s, you should know that woman < man is a very dangerous thing for any politician to say, but for Nadine it also completely contradicts her entire brand of feisty go-getting empowered-by-the-people female MP.

The way she tells it, Nadine was given an ultimatum by her husband - him or the political career - and she chose the career. And yet she thinks Sally Bercow should surrender to her husband's will (in a scenario that I should stress exists mainly inside Nadine's head).

This morning, Nads is STILL trying to escape the problem she's created by skidding out onto that same thin patch of ice:

Her latest escape plan rests on a false claim that Sally Bercow is somehow formally employed by the taxpayer as wife-of-the-Speaker, and is paid with a roof over her head and some other perks. Knowing what I know, I can completely understand Nadine being confused about the difference between wages and accommodation expenses, but it doesn't get her anywhere when in reality there's no signed contract for Sally Bercow to obey, just a husband (and that's IF she chooses to obey, and IF John Bercow ever seeks to put her in this position).

Nadine's argument rests - again - on her contention that Sally Bercow should do as her husband tells her.

Either Nadine Dorries tellingly speaks against her instincts while mounting/maintaining this latest attack on John Bercow, or The Nadster's whole political position on women's rights - including a big chunk of her back story - is a sham.


Footnote - Paul Staines seems to have blanked most of 1986 from his mind. For some reason. Also, his hilariously uplifting "we've all had your wife" jibe is only rendered classier by this unashamed drunkard sneering once again at those who dare to turn teetotal. Paul is stronger than that, you see. He's not addicted to alcohol, he just really really likes it. In fact, he enjoys his drinking so much, he'll risk 3 months in prison rather than take any verifiable steps to curb it. I think the logic goes like this... They are weak because they gave up. Drinking. He is strong, because he didn't give up. Drinking. He is strong. And smart and big and clever. And probably drunk right now.

Dec 2, 2009

Perhaps you'd like to be part of The Nadine Dorries Project

I started this space the first time Nadine Dorries turned off comments on her 'blog' (i.e. after she lashed out at Dr Ben Goldacre) then allowed it to fall into a state of neglect, despite there being several personal attacks to document and a further period of comment closure (after she made some regrettable admissions about expenses then lashed out at the Barclay Brothers).

But looking now, I see the site has quietly crept into the top 10 for searches for 'Nadine Dorries' (it's currently 7th in Google UK), and it would therefore seem an ideal place to once again host the many discussions that Nadine Dorries seeks to avoid (by refusing to publish negative/contradictory comments, closing down comments altogether, blocking anyone who dares to disagree with her on Twitter, etc. etc.)

The simplest approach would be mirroring her posts (or linking to the originals with minimal/no editorial) and allowing open (yet moderated) conversation here, but I think perhaps the space could also be used to document and discuss her Twitter outbursts (e.g. when she lashed out at Kerry McCarthy last night).

I'm open to ideas and will especially welcome input from potential volunteers*. The project would at least need a resident groundskeeper, who would be charged with keeping the comments honest (and on topic).

Over to you.


(*Be warned that you will most likely be labelled a 'stalker' for your troubles.)