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.

1 comment:

Tim said...

1. Lovely post. Welcome to the clubhouse.


2. I can't help but compare this post to Iain Dale's outburst earlier today when he declared an MP 'unfit for office' and then Faled to produce a single example* to back the assertion up, even when called on it.

(*Beyond implying that all Labour politicians are unfit for office. This is how Total Politics stays balanced, folks.)