I don’t like Nadine Dorries, there I’ve said it.
I know for some she seems to walk on water – a rational voice in the melee some say, but there’s something fundamentally wrong with her that I can’t put my finger on. I’m not sure whether it’s that almost primal dislike of an operator that triggers something in the back of my head, or whether it’s the disdain of someone who even more than disliking an operator, despises a clumsy one.
There’s just too many stories about her, too many rumours, too many really frayed edges that just suggest that at some point there’s going to be an almighty unravelling – for someone that’s done so little she polarises opinion so very sharply you can’t help but wonder why.
The on-going spat with Tim Ireland seems to be a case in point – I don’t know Tim, I’ve followed his blog and tweets on and off for a while in amongst the hundred or so other political blogs that I read during the course of an average week; and I admit, he’s certainly a chap I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of – his long e-mails would be enough to reduce me to ranting, but he publishes his own stuff, he stands by his views, and that’s fine – that’s the point of having a place where you can air your views. What I don’t understand is this damaging row between him and Ms.Dorries – Both sides would seem to have enough evidence to take each other to the cleaners several times over, but neither moves, and with each encounter it becomes an ever more damaging scandal simmering to the side of the main action. There’s a lot of talk of legal action between the two camps: and it just doesn’t add up: if Nadine was telling the truth Tim would have been arrested by now, and at the very least a restraining order would be in place, if Tim was telling the truth and was willing to do something about it, this would be in the libel courts by now, and if true Nadine’s career would be over.
And then there’s the speaker’s rebellion, as reported here there was a strong rumour immediately after the election that there would be a coup on the speakers chair, and Bercow’s head would roll – but through what seems to be an entirely miscalculated and badly orchestrated campaign the ‘No’ vote was barely a small rabble, certainly not enough to draw from the roaring ‘yes’ that saw John Bercow dragged to the speakers chair for another Parliament. The e-mail that was circulated around the new MPs was feeble, patronising and frankly badly written, and if you believe Alan Haselhurst he wasn’t even asked whether he would be in the running – and after his name was spelt incorrectly in said e-mail, who can really blame him!
Add to that the allegations that came to light during the Daily Telegraph’s superb exposé of expenses where Nadine told Commons authorities that her second home is only a rented house in her constituency where she has claimed more than £18,000 in rent, but then went on to say that she only goes “somewhere else” during free weekends and the parliamentary recess – either to her holiday home in South Africa or the place she claims is her main residence which suggests her constituency house is in fact her main residence, which would mean she wouldn’t be able to claim for it using the £24,222 additional costs allowance meant to cover the cost of running a second property
And then there’s the spat with Damien McBride, the allegations in the Sunday Times that Dorries had commissioned a friend to create a leaflets and reports for her at taxpayers’ expense, and only this month the allegation that she’s facing an investigation into a mysterious £10,000 report that seems to have never been seen by anyone, not least the man alleged to have written it.
So there we are, reasons that I’m uncertain about Nadine Dorries, I’m not going to turn this into an on-going thing – but I felt I had to get it off my chest. I’d love her to properly counter these points with facts, and I’d go as far to actually invite her to do so. I’m never been a voter who considers MPs to be the lowest of the low, nor do I wish that they should be hung high for their peccadillos: I’m always open to having my opinion changed, but right here, right now I’m extremely uneasy with this increasingly prominent backbencher.