There are few Tory MPs more prone to passing adverse comment on every party’s leadership than Mid Bedfordshire’s representative (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries - and at times the adverse comment, as it was when Young Dave was PM, can be directed at her own side. So can the hypocrisy: Cameron was denounced as a “Posh Boy”, but she is a fan of London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.
The fragrant Nadine is also prone to rebelling against that leadership, and so it should be no surprise at all that she condemns anything that smacks of coercion, intolerance, telling people “do as I say, not as I do”, or any kind of controlling behaviour. Putting the arm on MPs to have them bent to someone else’s will was a no-no.
Labour’s campaigning group Momentum was a case in point: “So, Corbyn sends a coded message to momentum (grassroots)to put pressure on Labour MPs over the weekend Threats of deselection? #nastyparty” she railed. Only last month she confirmed her stance: “It’s not democracy, it’s a cult. A frightening, brainwashing, only think like we think and do as we say, cult. Momentum, an opinion free principle free zone”.
But then came last night’s Brexit vote and all was miraculously changed. Remain supporters celebrating? “The real party was taking place in Corbyn’s office where the celebrations could be heard outside the building”. It got worse: “When Dominic Rabb [sic] offered to give the rebels their amendment as a concession from the front bench, before the vote took place, the rebels shouted ‘too late.’ That moment captured their true motivation. High as kites on the vapour of their own self importance”.
Had the rebels undermined Theresa May? “That was their intention”. Should they be punished? “Tonight, the Tory rebels have put a spring in Labours step, given them a taste of winning, guaranteed the party a weekend of bad press, undermined the PM and devalued her impact in Brussels. They should be deselected and never allowed to stand as a Tory MP, ever again”. Rebellion was A Very Bad Thing. Deselection was now OK.
Suddenly, it occurred to Ms Dorries that she might be accused of hypocrisy (again). So out came the lame excuse: “I’ve been a rebel myself, but never when a Marxist government was knocking at the door”. They’re coming to get her too! And the rebels had been disloyal: “The Govt recently nominated Grieve to be Chairman (paid) of the Intelligence and Security Committee. He has repaid that by his treachery. We’re [sic] there no loyal MPs for the job? You know, like the way Labour do it when they are in government”.
Dominic Grieve has to vote a certain way because he chairs a Commons committee? Yet Ms Dorries is on the Speaker’s Panel of Chairs, and it doesn’t seem to have restrained her in any way. But there was no consoling her, even Tim Shipman suggesting that everyone calm down as it wasn’t such a big deal. “Which is exactly the point and why last night was so self indulgent in terms of the boost it gave to Labour”. Wibble.
Nadine Dorries hates democracy when Labour do it. She hates it even more when her fellow Tories do it. Anyone might think she wasn’t a fan of the idea.