There is no better characterisation of the way many in the right leaning political arena, media and blogosphere behave than that defined by Keith Olbermann, in a “Special Comment” soon after the Arizona shootings in January: “The right exists in a perpetual state of victimhood”. And there is no-one who personifies this characterisation better than Nadine Dorries.
Dorries, Tory MP for Mid-Bedfordshire since 2005, remains a controversial figure: firmly “pro-life”, she has told how a 21 week old foetus “thrust out” its hand through the wall of the uterus and “grabbed the surgeon’s finger” during an operation, despite the surgeon concerned dismissing the claim. She has campaigned obsessively – and unsuccessfully – against the election and subsequent confirmation of John Bercow as Commons Speaker. And she enjoyed a less than totally favourable reaction to her participation in the reality show Tower Block of Commons.
Dorries does not readily brook dissent: he who is not for her is against her. This has been exemplified by the variety of claims she has made about the motives and behaviour of the serially tenacious Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads fame. Ireland is an investigative blogger par excellence: he thus gets under the skin of those, usually on the right, who would rather he run along and investigate something else.
Frequently egged on by a variety of those in the right leaning part of the blogosphere, many of whom ought to know better, Dorries has continued to claim that Ireland is “stalking” her, when all that Ireland is doing is to keep looking for answers to questions that Dorries would rather not address, while exposing her frequently uneasy relationship with factual accuracy.
This arena, however, is one that I had previously merely observed, rather than being a participant – until yesterday. At 1231 hours, Nadine Dorries decided to involve me – and thousands of others – in her latest outburst which, although no names are named, is clearly about Tim Ireland. The blogpost, by turns rambling, accusatory and threatening, tells that “The majority of his followers on Twitter either aren’t very bright, or they are as disturbed as he is”.
So now the smearing of Tim Ireland has been extended to the 4,000 plus who follow him on Twitter. But at least there appears to be some point to this tiresome business, as Dorries tells menacingly that “I may just have my own day in court”. Well, Ms D., if you intend to take Tim Ireland to court, let’s see you go right ahead and do it.
Because this charade of victimhood is becoming ridiculous, and in smearing those whose only crime is to follow someone on Twitter, Nadine Dorries has ventured beyond the pale. As “Shagger” Major once said, it is time to put up, or shut up.
[I’ll consider the motives of those egging on Nadine Dorries later]