Feb 25, 2010


After expecting to find a promised post about her appearance on the Channel 4 show Tower Block of Commons we are treated to a more serious piece about assisted suicide.

I'm not going to knock Nadine for her actual views on assisted suicide, everyone has their own and they're welcome to it. How good of me, eh?

But, and there is always a but, there are some things that are not quite right with her post.

Tomorrow the DPP, Kier Starmer will publish a new guidance regarding policy on prosecuting assisted suicide cases.

The report follows a period of consultation, which was apparently nudged into action by the Debbie Purdy case.

'Apparently'? The consultation was forced on the Director of Public Prosecutions by the Law Lords ruling on the case involving Debbie Purdy who wanted to know if her husband would face prosecution if he helped her to kill herself.

The inclusion of the word 'apparently' implies that the Debbie Purdy case was used as an excuse. It wasn't. The DPP had no choice. The Law Lords made him. Without the Debbie Purdy case, Kier Starmer would not have had to issue guidelines about the the prosecution of people that help others to take their own life. There is no 'apparently' about it.

Prior to the consultation process, Kier Starmer said,

‘Assessing the public interest is not simply a matter of adding up the number of factors on each side and seeing which side of the scales has the greater number. Each case must be considered on its own facts and its own merits. Prosecutors must decide the importance of each public interest factor in the circumstances of each case and go on to make an overall assessment.

In that one paragraph, Kier Starmer has implied that the law is no longer relevant and if Parliament refuses to change the law, he will make it up himself.

OMG! People not being prosecuted for committing crimes!

People are not prosecuted all the time. The police have something that is called 'using their judgement'. The Crown Prosecution Service can decide not to prosecute because of something called 'not in the public interest'. There is nothing new happening here at all.

After that Nadine goes on to have a pop at the one of the Tories favourite punchbags, the BBC...

The BBC has possibly been one of the worst offenders in terms of pushing an agenda of ‘normalising' attitudes towards assisted suicide.

Has it? Is there an example given? I'm not asking for pages and pages. Just the one will do. But no.

It sounds to me like reality didn't quite go the right way for Nadine so she is reduced to throwing in uncertainties and unfounded accusations in the hope that they will stick and gain some traction in the hope of removing autonomy of people over their own bodies... again.

BTW, the DPP press release is here and contains the public interest factors for and against prosecution.

Feb 16, 2010

Do tell, Nadine

"In my experience as an MP, tensions begin when one particular group of people or another feel that they can behave differently or not adhere to the laws that oether people have to adhere to."

Nadine Dorries MP, lecturing the owner of a mosque about illegal parking (on behalf of a sweet old dear who is more concerned that "on Friday, it's like 'spot the white person'..."), in Tower Block of Commons, Episode 3

Feb 15, 2010

Did Nadine Dorries dish out free dope?

A potentially career-ending allegation was published by a Sunday newspaper yesterday:


A pair of single mums have told how Tory MP Nadine Dorries offered them the prescription drug temazepam when she lived with them for a reality TV show.

Sisters Rena Spain and Nisha Young - who took "Mad Nad" into their council flat to experience life on benefits - says she waited until the cameras were off, and then offered the tranquillisers around. Mum-of-five Rena, 40, said: "She went into her suitcase and pulled out this big plastic bag with all different types of pills in it. She asked, 'Does anyone want one of these?' She said they were temazepam and were really good to help you sleep. I said, 'You can't just hand them out like Smarties'."

The sisters say mum-of-three Dorries, 52, offered them the pills on the first night of her stay on the South Acton estate in West London. The controversial Mid-Beds MP was there as part of the C4 show Tower Block of Commons, and last week we revealed how she stuffed £50 into her bra when she was supposed to be living on benefits. Yesterday the MP denied the allegations.

1. Until she's clinically diagnosed, can we lay off the 'Mad Nad' crap please?

2. Unusually, Nadine Dorries has decided against getting her retaliation in first this time. Normally, when she has advance notice of a damaging story, Nadine will play the victim while smearing her accuser(s)/critic(s), as she did most recently by lashing out at the director of the second episode of Tower Block of Commons (1, 2). This time, we haven't heard anything from her. In fact, the last time she published anything on her not-a-blog was last Monday, when she none-too-convincingly pretended that she forgot she was on telly that night.

3. The first reference to 'temazepam' in reference to Dorries was made by one of the sisters who opened a Twitter account during filming and published this among a short series of tweets on the evening of Nadine's second day on the estate:

4. Temazepam is a prescription drug that appears to have a... recreational following:

Tems, Temazzies, Eggs, Green Eggs, Jellies, Norries, Rugby balls (more)

Temazepam is a short-acting Benzodiazepine. It is normally prescribed to people who have difficulty sleeping, or occasionally to reduce anxiety.

Temazepam is produced as a gel-filled capsule, designed to be taken orally. A normal therapeutic dose of temazepam would be 10mg-30mg. If you have a normal dose of Temazepam you may feel less anxious and start to feel relaxed and sleepy. At higher doses the effects are similar to alcohol - you may feel less inhibited towards other people. Your behaviour may be exaggerated (people who are using Temazepam are often very talkative or over-excited, sometimes even hostile or aggressive) and judgement is impaired. You may have a false sense of confidence, or even believe you are invincible or invisible.

Recognising that we only have an allegation so far; Dorries being hepped up on goofballs most of the time would explain a lot, wouldn't it?

5. Looking past the possibility that Dorries spends her life on a rollercoaster of prescription pills, here's what else makes this such a serious allegation

Supply of the drug by an unauthorised person is an offence for which the maximum sentence is five years imprisonment and an unlimited fine. A charge of possession of a drug with intent to supply can be brought by the police. This includes giving a substance away for free, and can be for any amount of Temazepam that the court feels is too unreasonably large to be for personal use only. (source)

Episode 3 of Tower Block of Commons airs tonight, 9pm Monday 15 February.

Feb 12, 2010

Nadine's latest attack on the Speaker

I heartily recommend this post written by Kerry McCarthy Sally Bercow's evil minions space aliens Bryony Victoria King, who looks at the pathetic front of Nadine Dorries' latest attack on the Speaker and the vast field of nothingness behind it.

Bryony Victoria King - Nadine Dorries stars in V for Vacuous Vendetta

The short answer, ‘Well John won’t wear the flowing robe so I won’t put my back against a wall, why should I follow the rules if he doesn’t wah wah’. An excuse worthy of a school child trying to get their way out of trouble, ‘Well John pinched me first so I didn’t think it was wrong to pinch him back’. Her argument quickly falls down with her lines on tourism. If she so badly wants to keep the authority of Parliament and keep the traditions that she feels fuel tourism then why is she, herself, dropping traditions on a whim? That hardly bolsters her argument. Besides I don’t think the nations tourism takings are going to be alarmingly down because the Speaker has a slightly modern robe (it’s still a robe after all, it’s not like he’s addressing the house in a track suit and trainers).

Of course her sudden concern for the traditions of Parliament would seem more sincere if it wasn’t for the fact that Nadine has regularly spouted forth her dislike for the Speaker through various media organs (and the fact she happily sacrificed a tradition just to annoy the Speaker). Nadine has ardently campaigned against John Bercow since Michael Martin was unceremoniously ousted after his failures in dealing with the expenses scandal. Nadine declared last year,

"I shall make my commitment to guarantee, by any means at my disposal, that should John Bercow become Speaker, I will do my best to make sure that it is the one of the shortest served appointments in the grand, and glorious history of that coveted chair." [source]

Nadine’s ‘commitment’ to her hate campaign, designed to assure ‘one of the shortest served appointments’ seems to be mainly spouting forth blogs (such as the one discussed) and Tweets against the Speaker, his wife and his decision-making. The best/worst outburst so far was when she criticised John Bercow for “ALLOWING” his wife to do an interview she objected to. That’s “allowing” if you missed it. In Nadine’s feminism the wife has to ask the husband before she is allowed to do something like give an interview.

Read more.

Feb 9, 2010

Tower Block of Commons (episode 2): Twitter digest

Now, I know this episode of Tower Block of Commons contained more than one MP, but this is a blog about Nadine Dorries, so those with a broader interest will have to make do with the following summary:
bloggerheads: Mitchell's lost in time. Oaten's out of his depth. Dorries is off with the pixies. Tim Laughton? Find it hard to fault him in that lot #tboc

I was neck deep in the Twitter chat at the time and busily re-tweeted what I regarded to be a representative sample of reactions (i.e. I didn't just RT Nadine-related tweets or the stuff I agreed with). This post is primarily a digest of some typical reactions to Nadine's 'highlights'.

Knowing what Dorries is like, I feel I should point out there was very little in the way of outright abuse. In fact, there was about as much abuse as there was support for Nadine Dorries (each group would be lucky to get a 4% share) and I saw very little that would rival this reaction, published at the time of filming by one of Nadine's hosts:
ihatemps: nadine dorries is a lying two faced bitch........i no first hand

Note the account name ('ihatemps') and the way that all MPs have been judged by the actions of Nadine Dorries. Food for thought, especially after Nadine's notorious "witch hunt" and "'suicide watch" remarks over expenses and how well that went down with the public.

After the programme aired last night, Nadine herself found solace in the fact that a lot of people were talking about her, but - as when she brags on her website that she's been "featured in Private Eye" - she neatly glosses over the fact that she got a monstering:
nadine4mp: OMG, I'm trending in the UK , I'm Twitter famous> wish I knew what that meant :)

Earlier the evening, real casual like, Nadine published on her weblog a claim that she'd almost forgotten she was on TV that night. Odd that she would claim this after all that effort to peddle her excuses and slag off the director ahead of time, but there you go.

On with the main tweets, presented in rough order of appearance (and/or grouped by relevance)...

Nadine Dorries arrives on the estate and it is noticed (not for the first time) that she feigns/adopts an odd regional accent when talking about poverty:
_jock: #tboc 11 mins in and Dorries is on her 3rd accent.

seanbeynon: I love Nadine Dorries 'scouse' accent but tower block of commons is awful. if this is the impression people get of MPs, we're in trouble.

Nadine also relied on some rather bold fibs here, but we'll leave those to one side for now and instead look at the reaction to her overall attempt to convince her hosts that she actually had it quite hard, too, and were all working class, like:
brokenbottleboy: Nadine Dorries trying to explain how having a £65,000 salary and expenses is worse than living in a council flat on benefits. Smooth. #tboc

rad6380: Is Nadine Dorries REALLY trying to make a badly-paid working mother feel sorry for the financial woes of MPs? #tboc

chrisspann87: #TBOC Check out Dorries slummin' it wid da po'. Is she really arguing with these people?

Later, we're in the bathroom, Nadine is graciously allowing her (now weeping) host to speak, and putting on her best show of compassion;
chrisspann87: #TBOC Dorries seems to be having trouble doing a caring face.

c_m_carter: Nadine and a shit impression of listening with compassion #tboc Time to whip out the fiddies?

brokenbottleboy: Nadine Dorries looks like a robot saying "What is love?" when she tries her empathetic face. #tboc

And before you know it, the revelation is upon us, as Nadine's host angrily reveals that this MP has met the challenge of living on just over £60* a week by stuffing an extra £50 down her bra. The rest is a spectacular car crash that's a match for any disaster manufactured by Ricky Gervais or Larry David:

(*£64.30 = a week's job seekers' allowance)
geospiza_fortis: "she put her hand in her bra and pulled out 50 quid. That pissed me right off". #tboc

therealsim_o: is this what's called in the trade, 'the money shot'? #tboc

clawedfrogs: Haha I did, I did, I took money out my bra! I brought it for the kids though. Errrrr #tboc

annaturley: Dorries caught in 50 quid stuffed down bra cheat. Oh no - don't say it's for the kids nooooooo! #tboc

tomcallow: @Nadine4MP "money's not for me, it's for the kids" do you not see how patronising that is?! "You can't provide for your kids. I can" #tboc

bevaniteellie: The "money was for the kids". Dorries not just lying, but patronising her hosts too. Nice. #tboc

brokenbottleboy: "I bought it to get things for the kids…" Nadine Dorries is starring in her own version of Secret Millionaire. The Patronising Cheater. #tboc

bookdrunk: "I brought the money to buy your love.. uh.. something for the kids." #dorriesfail #tboc

jdc325: Hm. Which was the bigger mistake? Smuggling the £50 or claiming it was "for the kids"? #tboc Ppl seem unimpressed by both.

There's a further blogged summary of this moment here:
politicalhackuk: Nadine Dorries this week assumed the role abandoned last week by Iain Duncan Smith - he left the series for understandable reasons - and quickly displayed her publicity skills. Required to present herself on a council estate with nothing but her clothes - no credit cards or cash - she secreted a small stash of cash in her bra. When this was discovered - the cash, not her bra - she claimed that it had been brought to allow her to buy presents for the children. Her claim would have been helped if it wasn't for the shifty glance into the camera as she 'explained' the discovery.

As the challenge moved on to supermarket shopping on a tight budget (and Austin Mitchell continued to cover himself in glory), the bra/money jokes started to emerge:
ahmnohere: It's ok Nadine, you probably have some caviar in your pants #tboc

bloggerheads: I once bet Nadine Dorries £5 I could make her boobs move without touching them. Walked away with £45. #tboc

nibus: Only £50 in her bra? The kids should take up PR, they might get an extra £34,950**. #tboc

(**Recently, it was revealed that Nadine Dorries paid $35,0000 of taxpayers' money to a close friend in PR.)

And before we knew it, the flaming wreckage was taking one final tumble before rolling off the nearest cliff:
frankiedav: "All I've learnt is life is remarkedly better on a council estate' #tboc what a dick

salihughes: Tory Nadine has declared life in a council block to be dramatically improved because people in them now have mobile phones. #wankers #tboc

arwenfolkes: Of course there weren't laptops and mobiles Nadine Dorries; they didn't exist. (And that's not me being bitchy, just factual) #tboc

nicholasmilton: Dorries said life much better than when she lived on council estate with computers, mobiles etc. How dare poor communicate with each other.

bookdrunk: I see Dorries' memory of her supposed past trumps actual lives of people in present. How charmingly selfish. #tboc

chrisspann87: #tboc Dorries is just doing a one woman re-enactment of the Three Yorkshiremen - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo

_jock: #tboc Dorries had it worse, what a fuckin' surprise.

chrisspann87: #tboc To be fair, Nad's life in a council house probably was easier - She never had to put with patronising twats like her coming round.

We were also treated to an eye-catching glimpse of Nadine visiting a mosque with her hair covered in black cloth. I guess time will tell if this description of events from one of her council estate hosts is in any way accurate:
ihatemps: nadine dorries has upset the muslim community by ranting and raving in a mosque on behalf of a racist oap on the estate

I've no doubt that supporters of Nadine Dorries will be desperate to play the sexism/misogyny card in response to much of this, but the brutal fact is that Nadine did not hide the money in a Yorkie bar. And on that note, I leave you with this:
steveshark: I bet when she pulled that £50 out of her bra, Nadine felt a right tit #tboc

Roll on, Episode 3 (C4 at 9pm, Mon 15 Feb).


UPDATE - My estimation of support for Nadine at somewhere near 4% is supported by the current results of this poll on the Channel 4 website. Austin Micthell shares a place with Nadine in the reputation basement:

Feb 8, 2010

Tower Block of Commons (Ep 2)

You are cordially invited to join the editors, our readers, fellow Dorries-watchers and (potentially) millions of innocent bystanders as we watch Nadine Dorries bravely facing the reality of poverty with nothing more than an armed guard, a television crew, and £50 stuffed in her bra:

Channel 4
9pm, Monday
08 February 2010
Tower Block of Commons
(Episode 2)

If you want to track any chat about the show before, during and after broadcast, just watch out for the #TBOC hashtag in Twitter (and do use it yourself if you plan to chip in).

Will the nation take Nadine to their hearts as they did when Nicholas "Nasty Nick" Bateman passed around little bits of paper with names on them? Or will they buy her story that she planned to use the £50 to play Santa for the kiddies (with Christmas over a fortnight away, when she knew then and knows now that she could've revisited at any time to make the same gesture outside of the 'experiment' and the rules that were clearly explained to her)?

What exactly did Nadine do or say that might warrant this outburst from one of the tower block residents?

What could possibly have driven Nadine to describe the director of this episode as a 'Miss Trunchbull' type and further imply that she was an dishonest and/or incompetent filmmaker who was not respected by her crew?

All this and more may or may not be revealed as 'the media' work their craft and 'the MP' works hers... but together we might just makes some sense of it all.

Comments are welcome under this post, but most of the action will happen via the hashtag #TBOC in Twitter. There's already a bit of light chat going on, but you can expect things to really hot up this evening, especially when Nadine starts reaching for the cash hidden in her underwear.

We'll be presenting a digest of the best relevant tweets here later/tomorrow.

Feb 4, 2010

Monkey see, monkey oops

Nadine Dorries was so impressed by Tom Harris switching his Twitter username to 'tomharris4mp' that she rushed right out and copied him, changing hers to 'nadine4mp'...

... without thinking for a moment about what might happen to the old name - NadineDorriesMP - if she didn't bother securing it:


There are literally thousands of links to @NadineDorriesMP on the internets; this is just one of them.

If the person who grabbed it wants to keep that account name, all they have to do is find a suitable satirical application and avoid outright/undue impersonation.

(For the Record: Personally, I'm not a fan of the 'Mad Nad' tag, and I'd much prefer it if this person revealed their name/ID. It's poor form to take on an elected representative anonymously, and you wouldn't want to be sock-puppeting sad sack like Phil Hendren or Harry Cole, now would you?)

[UPDATE - To avoid a hysterical fit or two, I should specify that Harry Cole praised himself and attacked his opponents with fake online identities in a college election, while Phil Hendren merely threw about false accusations of spamming and other forms of professional misconduct while safely anonymous... and though he clearly did this for political reasons, it's not *quite* the same as diddling democracy with it, and Phil swears that he only ever did it that one time he got caught. And we all believe him.]


UPDATE (05 Feb) - Dorries has blundered into Twitter this morning, oblivious to any error on her part, making dark implications about a website outage, and publishing an entirely false allegation that I hijacked her username. If I had done so, I would have declared it immediately. I even tweeted about the event, making it clear I was speaking from outside of the hijack. Hell, I even blogged about it (and you know that, because you're reading an update on that post now). I tweet satire aimed primarily at Dorries using this account, and I do so openly, justifiably, and entirely legally. There is no harassment or identity hijacking or use of false/mutliple names going on, regardless of what Nadine Dorries might (repeatedly) claim or imply.

Dorries can't possibly prove something that isn't true. She will struggle to do anything but cast doubt. However, judging by past form, she will most likely refuse to enagage, stick to her guns and/or quietly brush over the matter, making it appear as if her allegations stand unchallenged. She does this knowing that her accusations/implications are likely to be picked up and used by other people. I'd say I'm totally amazed that she's being so careless/malicious in the current climate, but that would be a lie. It's more a feeling of mild shock, really.

[Psst! Nadine! There's no grand conspiracy or obsession here. I just think that you're a shameless liar. In many cases, I can prove that you've behaved like one. In fact, the only reason I'm in your face is because you repeatedly drop outright (and often malicious) falsehoods and walk away from them. You either know this and don't care, or you're so delusional as to be unfit for office. If you think I have focused on you without justification, then by all means start here and work your way through. I look forward especially to discussing the Hand of Hope.]


UPDATE (05 Feb 4:30pm) - Whoever took control of the username 'nadinedorriesmp' has now abandoned it:

Updates to follow.