One of the week’s more bizarre stories concerns a six-figure sum said to have been paid by publishers Head Of Zeus to maverick Tory MP (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries, now once again officially the party’s representative for the Mid Bedfordshire constituency, for a trilogy of novels, said to be “autobiographical”, the first of which will be titled The Four Streets.
That Ms Dorries is turning her hand to fiction will bring a wry smile to those who followed the saga of her not-a-blog (closed to comments), which she admitted, at one point, to be “70% fiction”. Peter Oborne, at the time writing in the Maily Telegraph, called her out for dishonesty, asserting that “her blog was, for the most part, a lie”, and advising Young Dave in forthright terms as to his next move.
“This is a wretched state of affairs and if David Cameron were a Tory leader who valued integrity and honesty, he would surely have ordered Miss Dorries to apologise personally to her constituents, and stripped her of the party whip there and then”. So storytelling so good that it’s worth calling for removal of the whip, which of course happened to Ms Dorries more recently.
And this is not the only slice of, for want of a better word, hokum that the fragrant Nadine has cooked up over the years: she has previously asserted that her great-grandfather was one of the founders of Everton FC, and that he played in goal for the team. Verifying this, however, has proved elusive. And her creative recollection of Liverpool’s recent political history has been disproved.
She claimed that she could remember a time when the city had eight Tory MPs, which would have been difficult as there were nine in total when she was born (and until 1974) of which three, in 1957, represented Labour. She talked of Liverpool having an “all-Tory council”, but when she was born, Labour was in control. And this selective retelling has extended to her time as an MP.
During the 2010 General Election campaign, she claimed to have been “stalked” by four people, one of whom, it turned out, after a Freedom of Information request was made to the Police, was her Lib Dem opponent! And now comes her first novel, supposedly autobiographical, but about Irish Catholic families in Liverpool. As far as is known, Nadine Dorries is neither Irish, nor Catholic.
Still, this time it can be the full 100% fiction, and it won’t matter. The publisher seems happy about buying into this new Dorries genre: “Nadine is one of the most naturally gifted storytellers I have ever come across, with a magical ability to create characters you believe in and a heart-stopping way with words”. Some pundits, commentators and fellow MPs may be looking on with jaws dragging on the deck.
Still, fair play to the fragrant Nadine. Which she hasn’t always given to others.