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This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Nadine Dorries Cries Wolf Once Too Often

One thing this blog is quick to call out is dishonesty. And, for far too many politicians, lobbyists, journalists and pundits, dishonesty is all too often a default response if the only alternative is to admit not knowing what they are talking about, or getting it wrong and not being big enough to ‘fess up. So no-one should be surprised that a blog that looks at politics, and the media, picks up on a lot of dishonesty.
But this kind of criticism is just that, and no more. Except, to at least one MP, it cannot be accepted as just that: step forward Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries, who has taken the shouting of “stalker” at persistent critics to such heights that she has now told the media she has been “stalked” for seven years. Her only problem is that the Police and CPS have concluded otherwise.

This has not deterred the Fragrant Nadine, though, as witness her apoplectic tone at being mentioned in an Independent diary piece by Andy McSmith, where he tells “The Tory MP Nadine Dorries is considered by the Tory whips’ office to be a pest; David Cameron and George Osborne have yet to thank her for calling the pair of them ‘arrogant posh boys’, and some of her Mid-Bedfordshire constituents complain that she is too busy appearing on television and writing books to be an effective member of Parliament” [all true].
There’s more. “But one local man who has received help from her has written to Bedfordshire on Sunday claiming: ‘I am the envy of people throughout the land because I am fortunate enough to have such a determined and supportive MP who is not afraid to speak her mind instead of ignoring certain issues. God bless you Nadine!’ That is at least one satisfied customer”. She has a problem with this?

Clearly so, as the subsequent Twitter outburst confirms: “OMG he’s at it again, my journo stalker, there are 650 MPs, maybe he should write about someone who matters”. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, that comment is defamatory and actionable. And two, good to hear Ms Dorries condemn herself as irrelevant.
McSmith has mentioned her. He mentions lots of other politicians: is he “stalking” all of them? Ms Dorries mentions lots of politicians: is she “stalking” all of them? Well, no and no. What she is really alluding to is that McSmith recently asserted, in the case of her “stalked for seven years” claim that “The harsh truth is that Dorries is not an entirely reliable witness”, which is neither excessive, nor defamatory.

Were Ms Dorries’ claims to come before a real court, rather than the Kangaroo one fashioned by the Mail On Sunday, her claims would be laughed out of it in short order. After all, at the last General Election she claimed to have had four “stalkers”, but when her (suitably redacted) Police statement was released following a Freedom of Information request, it transpired that one of those was her Lib Dem opponent.

Once upon a time, it was a little girl who cried wolf once too often. Now it is a Tory MP.

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