When it comes to putting the boot in on the Labour Party over claims of anti-Semitism, there is no Tory back bencher more fervent that Mid Bedfordshire’s MP (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries. This week, she has been letting everyone know how The Red Team is overrun with it. What she has seemingly forgotten, though, is her own less than distinguished - and unrepentant - record on the subject.
Seizing on the claims made against Labour, the fragrant Nadine lost no time in claiming the moral high ground. “Read this powerful thread if you want to understand Labour antisemitism and just how deep it runs in the Labour Party” she told her followers. Soon after, she berated Chuka Umunna “As testified by your own members, anti-semitism runs deep in the veins of @UKLabour and it always has”.
Would Madam care to pony up the occasional shred of evidence for this claim? But then, it would not be Ms Dorries if she were to concern herself with mere facts. Best stick to the attack line. So she did with another snark at the opposition: “Anti semitism runs deep in Labour and it always has, a nasty truth at the core. Time it was exposed”.
Time it was exposed, indeed. So as that time has come, let us expose the reality of Ms Dorries’ lamentable record on the subject. Here, we have to go back a few years, but not many: to the General Election campaign of 2010.
A leaflet - not from the Tories - circulating in the Oxford West and Abingdon constituency claimed “The press has reported that Dr Evan Harris has been given the nickname ‘Dr Death’ in the corridors of Westminister [sic] because of his enthusiasm for abortion and voluntary euthanasia”. Evan Harris was the sitting MP.
Cherwell told readers “It does seem that the nickname was at least somewhat widespread, and it was a particular favourite of Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, as well as Conservative Party activist and columnist Tim Montgomerie”. So what was the problem?
Total Politics spelled it out. “Writing in the Sunday Telegraph Tim Montgomerie, and Nadine Dorries on her blog, both saw fit to label Dr Evan Harris - who has been a continual critic of both Dorries and her motion - 'Dr Death’ … Neither Tim nor Nadine are known for their tact but by stoking the flames of an emotive issue and comparing one of their opponents to a Nazi concentration camp Doctor they’ve lost all rationality. The fact that Dr Harris is Jewish … such disgraceful and loaded name calling has no place in civilised debate. An apology will not be sufficient, nor I fear, forthcoming”.
Evan Harris - viciously smeared for opposing Ms Dorries
This was not an isolated occurrence: Ms Dorries Tweeted on election night “Do my eyes and ears deceive me? Has Dr Death really lost his seat?”
Nadine Dorries is now telling anyone who will listen that “Anti-Semitism runs deep in Labour” and has “a nasty truth at the core”. But she manages not to tell that anti-Semitism runs deep in her own recent past. That’s the “nasty truth at the core”.
But on one thing we can both agree: “Time it was exposed”. So it has been.