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Saturday 22 December 2012

Nadine’s Selective Christmas Cheer

As Christmas approaches, we are reminded that not everyone out there is as fortunate as those of us with houses, cars, well stocked fridges and freezers, up-to-date white goods, and the full range of consumer electronics. And yet more folks are less able to get out and about than the majority: these, too, are among those we are told should be in our thoughts this festive season.

So it is good to see our elected representatives taking time out to remind us of those little things that we can do to help those in need, including MPs like (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries, who has taken to Twitter with “a plea to buy a homeless person a sandwich and a coffee”. So fair play to the fragrant Nadine, and perhaps some of her usually less charitable friends will take note.

Ms Dorries is also showing her appreciation at being invited along to another of what must be an increasingly tedious succession of pre-Christmas bashes, the latest being the folks at ConservativeHome, which of course includes our old friend Tim Montgomerie. And very sound advice from the Member for Mid Bedfordshire to take the train when you’re out celebrating.

Sadly, though, Ms Dorries’ spreading of seasonal cheer is not universally given, as the disability awareness group Able2UK discovered recently. Who they? Well, it’s a source of free advice for potential employers, it aims to motivate those with disabilities and to show their able bodied peers just what they are capable of, and has even organised a disabled awareness concert.

Part of this is, inevitably, fundraising: getting those in the public eye to give something, maybe an exclusive interview or quote rather than money. So the Able2UK Twitter feed twelve days ago came up with “RT if you think it would be nice if @NadineDorriesMP donated £1K out of her £40K payment from I’m A Celebrity to a disabled charity”, which hardly looks unreasonable.

But the Able2UK people were in for a shock: not only did it take the Dorries Twitter feed eleven days to respond, but when that response came, it was simply “There was nothing like 40k and she has done. If it wasn’t Christmas – I would call you a moron. Blocked”. Some may be shocked to read that: sadly I am not one of them, having never had a Twitter discussion with Ms Dorries, yet being blocked anyway.

Nor, I suspect, will those who she has smeared as “Stalkers, which even includes Linda Jack, her Lib Dem opponent at the last General Election. Nadine Dorries has a worrying habit of coming over all sweetness and light to those she deems worthy, while being thoroughly nasty to others, especially if they disagree with her views or otherwise criticise her. It is not the kind of behaviour becoming of an MP.

Something George Young and his boss might bear in mind during their deliberations.

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