It was the late Denis Thatcher to whom the advice “Better to be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt” is attributed. Denis was the kind of right-leaning bloke anyone could admire: he was the one who always urged Mrs T to shy away from returning Capital Punishment to the statute books. Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries should take note.
She should also consider just who she is going to pick a scrap with, as today brings yet another of her unpleasant smear efforts, aimed at Maily Telegraph chief political commentator Peter Oborne. Here is another right-leaning bloke who commands respect across the political spectrum, including among those he criticises most trenchantly. Not, however, with the fragrant Nadine.
Oborne yesterday picked up on the coincidence between Ms Dorries ceasing her attacks on Commons Speaker John Bercow and his wife Sally, and her appointment to the Chairman’s Panel. This had been examined at the time by the serially tenacious Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads fame, along with the less than convincing explanations for her appointment.
No thanks, I don't want to look over there
Ms Dorries starts her attack by restricting it to the Telegraph, and it being owned by the Barclay Brothers: it’s a “look over there” to try and get attention on to the paper’s tax affairs and off her. Then, curiously, we get “Someone need [sic] to educate @OborneTweets and tell him that how the PM and every PM manages gov is to keep friends close, but enemies closer”.
What on earth is she going on about?
That’s a very strange one: the Chairman’s Panel is in the gift solely of the Speaker. And that is what Oborne is talking about. Is Nadine Dorries suggesting that John Bercow is being influenced by Young Dave? Because if she is, that would be a truly breathtaking level of corruption – the idea that Cameron could have an unruly back-bencher bought off with a quiet word in the Speaker’s ear.
No excuse - this is bang out of order
But the nastiest part of the attack is where she follows up with “I say educate, moving the bottle a bit further down the desk and out of reach might also help”. Peter Oborne is shown in his Twitter profile at the bar with pint in hand, but to suggest that makes him a lush is ridiculous. Had he been swigging from an open bottle of Russian Standard, she might have had a point. He isn’t, so she doesn’t.
And this is just bizarre
Following the defamatory smear, she then attacks Allister Heath for having got an article into the Telegraph. Heath may be a stooge of the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, but to go after him for what the Tel’s owners get up to is truly desperate. The thought enters that Nadine Dorries is finding it difficult to keep her personal show on the road right now. But that is not Peter Oborne’s fault.
The only person to blame for that is Herself Personally Now. No change there, then.