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.