Nadine Dorries, MP: Making stuff up

In Scandals on October 10, 2010 at 22:34

Nadine Dorries is the Conservative MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, a post she has held since her election in 2005.

That was the least damning introduction that Ms. Dorries is likely to receive this week, particularly from the mainstream media, as she continues her descent into political self-destruction.

In her latest peculiar blog tirade – ostensibly an accompaniment to the rather friendly Bedfordshire on Sunday story, from today – she continues her assault on constituent Sue Cullen (@humphreycushion on Twitter).

Cullen is a care worker, presently on sick leave awaiting surgery on her feet for severe complications from arthritis.  She had the audacity to challenge Dorries (no virgin to controversy) on her apparently “disablist” views.

But, that’s not where the story lies, now. The MP for Mid-Beds has seen well to that. In her latest polemic against Cullen, she accuses her of being a “con” because Cullen has spread the word far and wide that she is a journalist.

The argument goes that since Cullen mentions she has written pieces for the Guardian and a women’s magazine, she implies she is a journalist – and therefore is soliciting votes under false pretence.

Further to this, Dorries attempts to take a swing at a sitting Labour MP (Kerry McCarthy). She writes that Cullen “attends meetings in the Jubilee room in the House of Commons with Kerry McCarthy MP, the Labour party Twitter Tsar.”

That being the case, one wonders why McCarthy would take Cullen along. Company, presumably. Regardless of why she frequents the Jubilee Room – the only distinction of which is that you don’t have to use Commons refreshments staff in it – one must ask the question of why that is relevant in the first place?

So, the two major objections that Dorries raises – which may very well be valid – are that:

  1. Cullen lied about being a journalist to procure votes in her local election.
  2. Cullen regularly attends meetings at the Jubilee Room at the House of Commons, with Kerry McCarthy, MP.

The first is a very serious allegation indeed, though the second is rather questionable.

There is, however, a problem with Nadine Dorries’ allegations against Sue Cullen: they are bold-faced, pure, unadulterated untruths. They are not true, almost to the letter.

The Jubilee Room? Cullen has never set foot (pardon the pun) inside the House of Commons in her life, let alone the Jubilee Room.

The journalist story? That’s not true, either. Cullen never claimed to be a journalist, which is something that is readily apparent upon even a cursory glance at the website Dorries cited as her source.

The local election? Cullen hasn’t even been selected, let alone announced her intentions.

Dorries uses her straw men as a springboard into accusations of foul-play, deceit, and personal attacks against her. But, the problem with straw men, is they tend to wilt under the light of day.

Dorries released the name of one of her constituents to the press. Dorries handed Cullen’s personal details over to at least one publication without her permission. Dorries printed false claims on her blog – many of which are clearly libellous – about a private resident in her constituency.

There is the matter of the erotic fiction, though. This is something that I don’t particularly find appealing, and apparently neither does Dorries, as she uses it as another tool to go after her favourite whipping boy, Sue Cullen.

I don’t think the House of Commons will agree with either Nadine, or I, particularly given that the first House of Commons Erotic Dinner Party was hosted there, during the Conservative party conference. I hear it was a blast. So much for that, Nadine.

The resulting chaos has been difficult to ignore. With sentiment both within Tory ranks and at the popular level listing heavily toward Dorries’ removal, there can be but one way out for the beleaguered MP:

A full and frank public apology, followed by her resignation from her seat, her resignation from the Conservative party, and her removal from public life for the time being.

MPs simply do not, and should not carry on so irresponsibly, freely sharing the private details of constituents with publications – without the explicit or implied permission of constituency members – nor launching into unbecoming and frankly sadistic attacks in a very public venue.

A cursory glance at popular sentiment this evening bears this out quite clearly.

From fiddling her expenses, to waging public war with disabled constituents, to a plethora of public embarassment for the Conservative party, Dorries has distinguished herself not only as a poor politican, but also a poor person.

The party wants it, the country wants it, and the opposition wants it.  Nadine, it’s time to give it up, and go.

– This blogpost is my own opinion

  1. First: it is unacceptable that a person in Dorries’ position of authority and public responsibility would not only release private data, without permission, to a third party – but that she named her in the first place. And an accusation that someone who mentions they have had a couple of articles published is therefore presenting themselves as a journalist, is equally ludicrous. Using that logic, if I said three people have told me I’m attractive, would I be inferring that I am a supermodel?!

    MPs are visible, accountable and meant to be people worthy of respect, admiration and trust. They are elected into positions of power to represent the people of this country and make what can be crucial decisions that affect the lives of millions. Dorries’s pathetic, ungracious behaviour is demeaning to all MPs, not just her party. Her credibility must surely be under question.

    That she has not been censured, publicly, is an affront to the general public.


  2. I read Mrs Dorries’ latest ‘blog’ entry and thought it one of the worst hatchet jobs in political history. When I say that, I mean that it was so inept I just wanted to cry. She can’t even stitch up an opponent properly. Does nobody teach candidates the subtle art of spin any more? The electors of Mid Bedfordshire deserve better than this half-arsed excuse for a political operator.

  3. An excellent and brave post on this saga. Dorries is an embarrassment to the body politic in this country and is unsuited to represent the people of Mid Bedfordshire.

  4. I hate sue Cullen!

  5. Dorries’ mud-slinging and general flailing-about is undignified and embarrassing. I have never come across such appalling behaviour by a professional British politician. They say we get the politicians we deserve; well God only knows what the poor tormented souls of Mid-Bedfordshire have done to deserve this crazy, bullying thug of a woman.

  6. “id she know Ms Cullen was the Labour candidate who writes sexually graphic literature and posts hard porn images, easily viewed by children with access to a computer, in her spare time? Or was she conned too?”

    Says the woman who linked to it on the same blog she’s writing on!

    But then, she has history of hypocrisy:

  7. “The resulting chaos has been difficult to ignore.”

    And yet, the mainstream media seem to be doing spectacularly well at doing exactly that.

  8. […] I understand that Ms Cushion has never been to the House of Commons or the Jubilee Room. The reference to McCarthy is presumably an attempt to muster support from other right-leaning bloggers: McCarthy was the focus of a weirdly vitriolic campaign against her prior to the election, led by Iain Dale. Dorries has already co-opted the pseudo-libertarian blogger Paul Staines into her attack on Ms Cushion; Dorries intitially pretended that her initial attack on Ms Cushion was only prompted because Staines had “found” her. […]

  9. From her site

    “As a young nurse living on a council estate, I learnt to communicate with people from all walks of life. After all, you never knew who was going to arrive in Casualty next, the homeless drug addict or a barrister. This is a skill which served me well every day in my role as an MP.”

    I’m so glad she’s on their side.

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