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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at
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Right, I’ve just run out of patience with Forsaken (in Taunton), the Christian, pro-life organisation cited by Nadine Dorries in the House of Commons as if they were an established ‘pro-women’ charity (more).
Dorries accused me of harassing the good people at Forsaken after I dared to ask them about their status as a charity and how long they had been running (key passage in bold):
(Posted Thursday, 4 November 2010 at 16:40)
Following my debate the other evening to introduce informed consent and the subsequent final statement from the Minister which was;
Having in place informed consent, appropriate counselling and the right support for women at this vulnerable time will ensure that we do not fail them for the future.
The sharks are already circling.
The purpose of the debate was to keep very firmly away from the ideological positions of pro-choice and pro-life. I made a point in the debate of stating that in the process of establishing informed consent, women should be given information which is, clear, accurate, void of political ideology and provides options underpinned by a network of support. I stated that both pro-choice and pro-life campaigners should have input and be in agreement. My debate was pro-women.
I very clearly state that one of those options should be adoption and how that can be achieved and how women can be supported through. I make no apology for this. There are many fantastic people who have been through the adoption process, who would have been aborted had their birth mother been pregnant today.
I mentioned in the speech the charity ‘Forsaken’. I didn’t say registered charity. I would imagine it is too new to have reached those dizzy heights. It is a pro- women charity, not pro-choice or pro-life.
Already, Forsaken have had the infamous Bloggerheads, Tim Ireland, on the phone this morning. Probing, asking questions about their status, amking the usual inappropriate comments etc. Usual Tim Ireland, agressive ‘I have a right to know all about you’ style.
I am an elected member Tim. You harass me on an almost daily basis, including my staff and my Chairman. I am expected, even though you aren’t one of my constituents, to take it. I am expected to tolerate your inappropriate level of intense attention, as were the MPs you harassed before me.
Members of the public are not.
If you put into place your usual method of operation of continuous telephone calls, blogging, blitz emailing thousands of ranting words etc to people going about their daily business, I am sure the Police may take a strong view.
You have been warned. I will not tolerate anyone else being subjected to your intense, inappropriate, abusive behaviour, simply because they have some, even the most distant, association to me.
Especially good people, who are simply trying to help others.
(Psst! For those who are new to all of this, I deny stalking anyone, and Dorries is having a LOT of difficulty coming up with ANY evidence to support her case.)
I have dared to ask Forsaken a series of further questions about these accusations, knowing that every email I send risks playing into Dorries’ hands (it’s an old trick Dorries has used before; accuse someone of stalking, and when they contact you to object – bingo! – there’s your evidence).
Forsaken have replied to a limited extent, but have not given me permission to quote them or publish the relevant correspondence in its entirety.
So, instead of any formal statement from Forsaken about what really happened, here are the two email messages I sent them before Nadine’s accusatory outburst:
On 03 November 2010 at 15:26 bloggerheads.com [AT] gmail.com wrote:
] You just received a message via the contact form of your website.
] The message was sent from http://www.forsaken-taunton.org.uk/contact/.
] You can change the e-mail address form messages are sent to. Just log in
] to your website, click on the form and change the e-mail address in the
] text box “Send message to the following e-mail address”.
] Your message:
] Name: Tim Ireland
] E_mail: bloggerheads.com [AT] gmail.com
] Question: Nadine Dorries described you in the House of Commons as a
] charity. You are not registered with the Charity Commission. Was Dorries
] mistaken, perhaps? Would be grateful if you could clear this up for me.
[reply from Forsaken, basically saying they were under the turnover threshold that would require them to register]
from Tim Ireland
to “info [AT] forsaken-taunton.org.uk”
date Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 8:24 AM
subject Re: Message via www.forsaken-taunton.org.uk
Nadine Dorries spoke of you in the House of Commons as if you were an established institution. How long have you been operating? Is this your first financial year?
Does it match the description Dorries gives of the exchange and/or what she portrays as the style of my email correspondence? No.
(Psst! It does include the type of unforgivable behaviour that Nadine’s mate Iain Dale cites when he defends junking my correspondence instead of reading it; I dared to ask what he would describe as a ‘barrage’ of questions in response to an initial answer. In the case of Dale and Dorries, the initial answer is usually a lie, or at least incomplete/misleading. That’s why they get upset when you ask further questions; it is not about harassment, it’s about someone threatening their precious house of cards. It is in this deceit that they graduate from ‘liar’ to ‘lying scoundrel’.)
Further, Forsaken have confirmed that NO PHONE CALLS were made to their office by me, so where Dorries gets this from is anybody’s guess. Perhaps she’s making it up. Perhaps someone gave her false information. Perhaps she has a very active imagination. (Do note the trouble I am going to here to not make assumptions when operating with limited evidence.)
As for whether I had good cause to suspect Forsaken (and/or those championing them) of being less-than-accurate about their status as a charity, I present to you a partial scan of Page 2 of their book that arrived the other day:
Here I will remind you that Forsaken are at a stage where they are (in their words) “making contingency plans for completing the registration process”.
If the erased word before ‘charity’ is ‘registered’, I think that warrants some serious questions about when this book was printed, and how many copies went out without this clumsy, white-out correction that so neatly sums up their two-bit operation.
Why don’t you try asking them about that? I’ve had it with Forsaken; their charitable instincts appear restricted to those who support their clouded agenda, and I shan’t be bothering with any further correspondence.
Similarly, I’ll be passing on my copy of their self-published book of five anecdotes for someone else to review.
If Forsaken can’t be bothered to give me the time of day when I’m falsely accused of harassing them and they know how further attempts to contact them will be portrayed (see also: Nadine’s fellow Conservative MPs Anne Milton and Patrick Mercer), then I really don’t think I can read their publication with any of the objectivity I promised.
Related (earlier) post: Nadine Dorries: the fiction saga continues
NOTE – I really shouldn’t have to publish my correspondence like this; by law, it is up to Dorries to back what she claims with evidence, but the relevant law supports the rich and the powerful, and I’m just some poor shmo who dared to confront an MP who appears to be a congenital liar. One of Nadine’s more virulent supporters (using the nickname ‘Tom Paine’ while using falsified email and IP address details) helpfully suggests that I give everyone blanket permission to publish every scrap of correspondence I ever sent them. While taking the position that I subject an elected representative to undue scrutiny, he (or she) demands that I subject myself to an absurd level of scrutiny. I don’t think I’m wrong to suspect that these messages come from someone who is far closer to Nadine Dorries than they would care to admit.
UPDATE – The following is for the Anglican priest who initially challenged me to publish this correspondence, then ignored that component before issuing this stream of drivel, presenting an entirely new (and equally unfair) challenge:
For those in any doubt, even those who do not know the difference between an absolute statement and a valid question, I present a scan of the page with the white-out scraped off:
The question remains; how many copies of the book went out without this correction? Meanwhile, it is entirely acceptable to ask (as I did); did Forsaken try to pass themselves off as a registered charity?
UPDATE – Meanwhile, further ‘evidence’ bandied about by Dorries in support of her position gets royally fisked here:
UPDATE (19 Nov) – A review of the contents of the book by Cath Elliott:
In the introduction the mystery unnamed editors tell us:
“This book is about the reality of post abortion. The women who suffer in this way tend to feel forsaken, unable to express what they are suffering.“
and the book then continues with the tragic heart-breaking true-life stories of women who’ve had abortions, and who’ve gone on to regret it, but who’ve all then managed to finally find peace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
So basically, in a nutshell, the stories in this book/pamphlet/anti-abortion-religious-tract boil down to: ‘I was young. I didn’t know what I was doing. I had an abortion. I lived to regret it. But then I found Jesus. The end.’
And this from Richard Bartholomew:
… the charity has published a book, also called Forsaken, which was referenced by Nadine Dorries in a recent Parliamentary debate:
…I shall finish by mentioning a book which is to be launched this month. It is published by the charity Forsaken, which is neither pro-life nor pro-choice: it is pro-women. For two years, the charity has put together the stories of women suffering from post-abortion syndrome. Reading the book is so heart-wrenching that we just want to reach out and take their pain away, but we cannot. There is no going back. We cannot make it better; abortion is a procedure to end life-it is final.
Having seen the book, there is no way that it can be described as ”neither pro-life nor pro-choice” – it is blatantly anti-abortion, with two very obvious aims: (a) to make women contemplating abortion feel that they shouldn’t do it; and (b) to persuade women who have had abortions to convert to Christianity…
… The book ends with some short Appendices, outlining “Post Abortion Syndrome” and supposed risks to physical health, and giving the contact details for Alternatives, a counselling service linked to the same church as Forsaken (the Living Light Christian Church, a local moderate Charismatic church).
I think it’s fair to say that Dorries has misled the House about more than Forsaken’s status as an established charity.