Nadine Dorries complains about…well…what, really? “Lower life”. Another term for scum? Uncomfortably close to “plebs”? For someone so keen to distance herself from the “posh boys” and who is in the very same tweet criticising how others express themselves, it’s a downright strange choice of language. What baffles me is how a woman who went on a ridiculous reality tv show hoping to push her personal political agenda feels she has the right to judge anyone as “lower life” much less people using a medium which only allows them 140 characters to express themselves. She said she wanted people to get to know her through an unstuffy medium. Does she only feel that way about tv, a medium which is a one way street? I can’t take her complaint even slightly seriously for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I have no respect for her. You can dismiss that as lefty grumbling but the thing is that it’s really not a party political thing. If she’d been in a different party, on a different crusade, I would still have no respect for her. It’s her behaviour, not her opinions, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Dorries isn’t the only MP I would say this of but she does feminism no favours as a public figure. She is the only one about whom I would say, she’s an absolute joke. Parliament is sadly lacking in gravitas these days but when an MP chooses to go on national tv and eat animal genitals because the public wants her to, I believe she loses all dignity and all right to ask anyone else to take her seriously.
Furthermore, the public disdain in which she holds her party leader reeks of grandstanding. From the perspective of someone who loathes this Government, I do enjoy watching Cameron and his cabinet squirm but I get plenty of opportunities to do so without needing the waspish Dorries to stab him in the back. It’s just the kind of move which lends credence to the idea that women are a bit too shrewish, not dignified enough to be credible in politics. And, based on her performance in interviews and on panel shows, she doesn’t strike me as a well informed intellectual powerhouse. Just that blonde one who gets squawky, gets up Cameron’s nose and will eat anything if it means being in the spotlight.
Moving on from Dorries’ own behaviour, it’s rather stunning to see a complaint from a Tory MP which appears to be suggesting others have poor debating skills on Twitter. We’ve watched her party quoting the Old Testament in their opposition to equal marriage. We’ve watched them guffaw as they make cuts which literally put lives at risk. We’ve watched MPs demand enormous pay rises while cutting (in real terms – do I really need to say it?) benefits to the poorest. We’ve watched MPs on both sides incoherently jearing at one another, trading insults and spiteful barbs as our country has fallen to its knees. We’ve watched policy announcements made without communication between PM and ministers, seen policies having to be urgently revised or revoked because either they hadn’t been internally agreed or hadn’t been sufficiently thought through before being made public, tainting everything that follows.
You bet your ass the Left is angry. We’ve got every right to be. Even the Right has cause to wonder if the Government is asleep at the wheel. Twitter gives everyone a voice (seriously has Nadine read the things the Right say on Twitter about things like equal marriage?). We all have a twitter bubble. Mine’s full of funny compassionate political cat lovers. They are often ranty and sweary. They’re passionate in their contempt for the Coalition and they fear for the future. We have a voice and we have each other and that makes an enormous difference and makes me confident that we have a future. Sometimes, depending on exactly what’s going on in the world, they are absolutely apoplectic with rage because they care. Who is Dorries, a woman apparently so passionate in her beliefs she was willing to eat anything some tatty tv show told her to, to criticise them for that?
Of course. I shouldn’t be baffled. Her tweet ticks a lot of the boxes I’ve come to expect. It guaranteed her attention and guaranteed that attention would be largely negative. Poor persecuted Nadine. If she doesn’t want to hear what people think about her, maybe she could try a little less grandstanding, approach her job with dignity and with a little humility. Afterall, she wouldn’t want to lose her safe Bedfordshire seat. If the Selection Committee has any sense she will and she’ll be able to do and say anything she wants in 2015.