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Thursday 24 January 2013

Dorries v Mensch – Seconds Out

Over at ConservativeHome, the thoughtful and mild mannered Tim Montgomerie was on the lookout for someone to provide feedback to Young Dave’s jolly good speech on the EU. He was in luck, too, securing contributions from recent expat Louise Mensch, and (yes, it’s her again) Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries. Moreover, both approved of the Cameron approach.

The fragrant Nadine was particularly effusive: “this speech is audacious and brave. It shines a spotlight on the future under a majority Conservative government” she asserted. Ms Mensch was also happy with what she had heard: “the sound we just heard was Cameron shooting Farage’s fox. This was a very Tory speech. One many in the party have been hoping for years he would make”.

So Monty had the required USP for his “What did you think of David Cameron’s Europe speech?” post, and he duly took to Twitter to proclaim “PM has united @NadineDorriesMP and @LouiseMensch. Both write for @ConHome welcoming his speech”, and signing off with the hashtag “#UnitedConservativeParty”. This was initially well received.

Indeed, Matthew d’Ancona was of pleasant good humour, telling Monty that it was “like a Tory Woodstock out there”. Sadly, though, the mood of peace and love was not to last, as Nadine Dorries was for reasons best known to herself not happy. “If Cameron pledged to kill all firstborns, Mensch would welcome it” she snapped in reply. Monty tried to pass off this singularly unfortunate outburst lightly.

He simply observed “Ouch!” while dodging the thought that Ms Dorries had just alluded to an event recorded in the Old Testament (ie it’s in the Torah) book of Exodus – what is known as Passover, or in Hebrew, Pesach – in order to have a go at someone whose husband is Jewish. The Dorries Tweet has not been deleted, and so it must be assumed that she stands by it.

Fortunately, Louise Mensch took the attack in her stride, administering the economical and pointed pay-off line “Nadine isn’t a Tory”. And this is, strictly speaking, true, as Ms Dorries remains suspended from the Conservative Party. What George Young, charged as Chief Whip with considering the case for re-admitting her to the fold, will make of such behaviour remains to be seen.

After all, perhaps it’s no more than a momentary loss of composure by Ms Dorries. In any case, as Mrs Merton might have asked, why would she be jealous of a successful author and well-paid columnist who is married to a millionaire businessman and inhabits an exclusive address in New York City?

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