It’s time for Nadine Dorries to stop saying things, in public

In editorial on October 1, 2010 at 13:08

I had promised a post on this, but unfortunately other commitments prevented me from writing it in a more timely fashion.

I’m sure you were all on the edges of your assembled seats, looking forward to every jot and tittle that proceeds forth from my brilliant mind.

More likely – I suspect – you didn’t notice and this will be a surprise – along the line of an extra 50p with your change, or finding that mismatched sock.

Nadine Dorries has written a rather short, rambling diatribe lamenting the very existence of media like blogs and Twitter. In her post, which has been well-fisked by the people over at Liberal Conspiracy, she writes:

Is there such a thing as Twitter addiction? How can anyone live a normal life who can do that? Surely these people cannot be in employment because if they are, how can they work? if they aren’t then it’s time they got a job which involves being sat at a key board because there’s nothing much up with their fingers, brain or attention span!!

We shall set aside the glaring grammatical errors in her post (we all make mistakes, but she seems quite good at them), for the time being, and focus instead on the direction she takes with her now fully-formed Straw Man.

If you are an MP, says Dorries, you should not be on Twitter, and you should not have a blog. This, of course, was written on the Nadine Dorries blog.

The argument seems to go that if you are an MP, and a prolific Tweeter, you obviously have far too much time on your hands, and should probably stop, in the interest of clawing back more public funds.

I believe this to be her argument because she leaps from the “MPs shouldn’t be online” statement right into the “all prolific Tweeters are benefit fraudsters” line. It’s really quite breathtaking.

Needless to say, her remarks prompted not a little backlash in the Twitterverse and Blogosphere, as well as in the Westminster village.

Everyone I spoke to about it asked me if she was, variously, drunk, mentally unstable, dim, suffering a breakdown, “on her way out”, angry at Tom Harris (huh?), and on the list goes. One Whitehall staffer even asked me if one of her children wrote the blog for her.

Not good.

Meanwhile, what has gone unnoticed is the ongoing Tory legacy to make government more accessible to the electorate. Guess what plays a major role in that undertaking?

That’s right. It’s social media. So, what on earth was she thinking? Is Dorries still paranoid because of her £10,000 expenses claim, or does she have an axe to grind with the Cabinet?  Who knows? And, more to the point, who cares?

At the end of the day, her words were irresponsible, contrary to government mandates regarding accessible government, ill-informed, and – frankly – rude.  She needs to apologise, which brings us to this:

…if you claim to work for the Labour party and write porn at the same time as claiming your disability benefit – then don’t expect someone like me not to a) inform the authorities and b) tell you to get of your Twitter and get a job.

Right. But, what about your contention that MPs should stay away from Social Media, Nadine? Though, it would seem that doesn’t apply to you. That isn’t really addressed, and that – as it happens – is the bit I’m most interested in figuring out.

But, let’s put that on the back of the hob, for the time being, shall we?

There is also the niggling matter of language. Nadine, in just these two posts says thusly:

I’m going to have to set up a Twitter account again so that I can check this out for myself!… Not.

Will we hear stories of people who Tweet, oh I don’t know, say 50 times a day and need to go into re-hab? I will put money on that being a Daily Mail story one day.

tell you to get of your Twitter and get a job.

These are not the words of a stateswoman. These are the words of the alleged class of mouth-breathers she is apparently so anxious to protect the public purse from!

In summary, Nadine, you did bad, you said bad. Retract it all – properly – or suffer the consequences of not toeing the party line. Because, at the end of the day, you’ve proven not just your own ignorance (and arrogance), you’ve also illustrated for the electorate the contempt with which you hold the Tory mandate to make government accessible.  That, in my opinion, is reason enough to go.

– This blogpost is my own opinion.

  1. Apparently the person she attacked does not (and never) has claimed disability benefit. But why bother with reality …

  2. […] * New post via @credo “It’s time for Nadine Dorries to stop saying things, in public” […]

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