28th Jan 2013
The late Barry Smith was a tireless preacher of evangelist/conspiracy rhetoric, and I can tell you now that he sure knew how to spin a yarn and hold an audience.
I have here a special treat for Barry Smith enthusiasts; a 2 hour lecture by Barry that was unavailable online until today:
You may think that you don’t have the patience to listen to over 120 minutes of fire, brimstone and assorted argle-bargle, but I can assure you there will be plenty of envelope-pushing to pique your interest, pretty much from the outset.
The audio is a bit shaky (the volume was very high and muddy on the VHS source) but from about 90 seconds in you’re going to start to forget about all of that, and be transported by Barry’s many insights and certainties about signs of the Occult, and indications that the End Times are upon us. Enjoy.
13th Sep 2012
There is a major discussion pending about collusion between police/authorities and the tabloid element that brazenly exploits and corrupts them. I speak not just of Hillsborough but a variety of instances in recent times (example). However, today you will have to settle for some mere fact-checking from this little black duck.
Last night, hundreds of people were on Twitter discussing the merits (or otherwise) of Kelvin MacKenzie, and this graphic turned up of an editorial allegedly penned by MacKenzie in his capacity as editor of The Sun in 1988*:
One might simply ask Kelvin MacKenzie and/or someone at The Sun but I expect they’re all very busy hiding under the bed at the moment, so please drop me a line (email), tweet at me (@bloggerheads) or comment (below/reddit) if you think you can help me to determine the authenticity of this editorial.
(Also, drop me a line if you’ve any word on the alleged second coming of Jesus of Nazareth, especially if you know the venue, as I want to book early for a good seat. If I’m going to heckle, I want to do it from the front row.)
[*In October 1984 the IRA bombed the Grand Hotel in Brighton during the Tory conference with the intention of assassinating then-PM Margaret Thatcher and/or members of her cabinet. The Tory conference returned to Brighton in 1988.]
[Psst! If you're not in a position to help today, you can still do something nifty on Twitter. Drop @kelvinmackenzie a friendly word; the poor chap's been widely mistaken for a former editor of a certain barrel-scraping tabloid.]
9th Aug 2012
As a public service during the Olympics I am publishing the lyrics that I use each time the band plays ‘God Save the Queen’; it is suitable for agnostics, atheists, and even people of alternative faiths (i.e. so they can call on their alleged god to save our glorious Queen for the very first time ever).
For spontaneity, ask every deity;
‘God(s) save the Queen’.
Brahma & Ek Onkar,
Odin & Zeus & Ra,
Yahweh, Baal, Arinna;
God(s) Save the Queen!
(Obviously, there are other deities not listed here that are alleged to have the same magic-monkey superpowers from which all authority stems, but they just weren’t omnipotent enough to direct my mind to include them.)
14th Nov 2011
“Do not spread false rumours, and do not help a guilty person by giving false testimony.” – Exodus 23:1
For several years now, Nadine Dorries has been using invented and distorted accounts of her circumstances both publicly and privately to mask her corruption to and make false allegations of harassment/stalking to discredit and frustrate those who dared to investigate it.
To get the meatiest fuss out of the way first, two of the bigger secrets she tries to hide with these lies are as follows…
:: A series of increasingly desperate obfuscations about her expenses, primarily to do with claims made against her constituency property and payments made to a close friend & neighbour.
:: Repeated attempts over the years to mask the involvement of Christian fundamentalists* in her anti-abortion campaigns – that she now pretends are ‘pro choice’ campaigns – in an ongoing mission to help this religious group lobby secretly for changes to the law that suit their agenda.
When pressed for details at about this time last year, Nadine Dorries claimed to have reported four stalkers** to police and eventually named me as the ‘worst’ stalker, if not the ‘leader’ of a gang of stalkers (sometimes extending to all of Twitter).
Now, this is not an easy or pleasant accusation to endure in the best of circumstances, and I’ve experienced the added joy of having to deal with a vigilante element that Dorries was knowingly stirring up, but this situation has put me in a unique position that allows me to establish the truth, and clear everyone who has been accused of stalking this MP.
Onwards to that detail…
In October 2010 Nadine Dorries told the public that she lied on her blog about the amount of time she had spent in her constituency not in order to deceive her constituents/association about her level of commitment to the area (as she told the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards) but instead because – she claims – she was specifically advised by police to tell little white lies about her whereabouts in order to throw physical stalkers off the scent (more).
This was a complete lie. Nadine Dorries has no history of being physically or even electronically stalked, ever. Instead, it has been confirmed by Bedfordshire Police that Dorries uses the word ‘stalker’ to describe bloggers and other critics. And from here, I’m going to let Dorries herself repeatedly confirm that same point for me.
The following is an extract from what appears to be the first complaint by Dorries to local police about any stalking threat; a letter Nadine Dorries hand-addressed to the Chief Constable (!) of Bedfordshire Police in July 2010, a couple of months after the hustings meeting at Flitwick where she told the audience an investigation into her stalker(s) was already in progress.
I have obtained this letter and other documentation from Bedfordshire Police through a subject access request under the Data Protection Act. There is further data to come from the London Metropolitan Police. I made a similar request to the Parliamentary office of Nadine Dorries, but she has defied the ICO on the matter, and portrayed my data request as vexatious and a waste of time. She does this while claiming to hold “vile, abusive messages” from me that she won’t show anyone, not even me.
There are only a few documents of key relevance, but there’s a lot in them, so please excuse my addressing some if not all of these documents in parts.
(Tomorrow: Dorries’ take on the Flitwick event and her accusations against blogger humphreycushion.)
1. It is true that Dorries first earned my attention while expressing her opinion on abortion. I watched her make a false accusation against a critic right before she claimed a 21-week-old foetus had punched its way out of a womb and misled Parliament alongside her secretive associate Andrea Williams. I dared to blog about such events. Shocking, isn’t it?
2. I have ONE account in the name of ‘Nadine Dorries’, and Dorries knows this. She has also seen this confirmed by authors of the other accounts using her name for a range of satirical vehicles. She also knows my and their use of this account name (and her name) is entirely legitimate. Even today she pretends it’s something it isn’t so she can present it as something that is not legitimate, and perhaps illegal.
3. I will write about the other ‘Vitim’ at a later date, but Dorries is having herself on here.
4. Having been accused of stalking by Dorries at a public event, I blogged about it and tried to get to the bottom of her claims that I had stalked others, that I had sent her “vile, abusive messages”, and that a police investigation was in progress. Even then my blog was not ‘dedicated’ to her and I invite you to judge this for yourself; May 2010, June 2010, July 2010. Sadly, this letter is not an isolated example of Dorries misrepresenting a reaction to an accusation of stalking as evidence of stalking.
5. I reject any suggestion that what I write is “almost 100% lies” or lies in any way. Dorries is playing the same tired old game used by Iain Dale; accuse your opponent of lying/libel, and when asked for evidence, wave a hand in the general direction of their website. I work assiduously to be accurate, and even if you want to cast me as unfair or incorrect, at least you have the opportunity to inspect the evidence and subject it (and me) to scrutiny. Not so with Dorries. She rarely portrays evidence accurately on the odd occasions she relies on any, and she shuns scrutiny to such an extent that she’s left Twitter in a huff twice now, and disallowed comments on her ‘blog’ since 2008. The accusation of lying is especially insulting from someone who admits to using “70% fiction” on her ‘blog’ before changing her story and claiming she meant 30% fiction, and then changing her story again to say that she really meant no fiction at all, if one didn’t count the special lies she says the police advised her to publish to avoid the imaginary stalkers. FFS, even at this relatively early stage she was already telling lies to cover up the lies about the lies she told.
6. It is clear from this letter that Nadine Dorries defines my conduct towards her from March 2008 up until May 2010 as a criminal act she describes as “internet stalking”. I not only reject this, I can easily show that the police rejected it, and that Dorries doesn’t have a leg to stand on legally or morally. I can’t say more than ‘more to come’ right now without ruining any of the lovely surprises in store.
7. Let us assume for a brief moment that Dorries has a point about my not being a constituent; she has endorsed a harsher web campaign against a personal/political opponent based on little besides malice and run by an associate of hers who was not a constituent of the MP concerned. “He’s not a constituent” doesn’t hold water even if you accept the weak argument behind it.
8. Who does she think she’s kidding with this ‘not a constituent’ nonsense anyway? All MPs are answerable to the electorate as a whole, especially when it comes to issues of conduct, and definitely when they campaign on the national stage and lobby to change laws as Dorries does.
The accounts of physical stalking I will address in upcoming posts, but the short version should hold you for now; no stalking took place at any time, and Dorries is imagining things where she is not making stuff up.
Dorries isn’t being internet-stalked or huge-attacked or death-threated or anything like that. She is just an extraordinarily self-important liar who has been digging a deeper and deeper hole for herself.
More data tomorrow.
(*Not hyperbole, folks. Genuine fundamentalists. People who describe themselves as fundamentalists.)
(**The four stalkers are three bloggers… and one big surprise. It is not a journalist, as previously thought. Details in an upcoming post. You’re going to love it. The sense of entitlement is off the scale.)
26th May 2011
[Background/details for those who are new to this; the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health (Anne Milton) has surprised many (including me) by inviting a religious pro-abstinence, anti-abortion group (LIFE) to take part in "a new sexual health forum set up to replace the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV" (source). A leading abortion provider that places heavy emphasis on contraception (bpas) was displaced as a result (more). Nadine Dorries is a Tory back-bencher anti-abortion campaigner with a relaxed attitude to facts, science and what have you (example) with a history of broadcasting dark accusations/implications about 'pro abortion' forces, who she claims/implies are so motivated by profit, that they are likely to convince women to have an abortion when it is not the best solution for them example). All emphasis in bold (below) is mine.]
Yesterday, Nadine Dorries published this claim on her site:
The news that the Government has ejected BPAS from the new sexual health forum and replaced them with the charity LIFE is pleasing… – Nadine Dorries
But later, when she was invited on Newsnight to discuss the matter, she put this to Ann Furedi, who appeared on behalf of bpas:
Unfortunately, bpas has taken its bat and ball home and decided that because it can’t sit as well as Marie Stopes that it won’t be involved. Both organisations were offered alternate week sittings and bpas have decided not to be part of the debate. – Nadine Dorries on Newsnight (segment starts 21:49, comment appears at 25:12 onwards)
I sought a statement from bpas in response, and got the following from Clare Murphy:
We note Nadine Dorries’ blog from yesterday stating that bpas was “ejected” from the group and her pleasure at this development. She went on subsequently however to suggest that we had left of our own volition. This is not true.
bpas and Marie Stopes International (MSI) were both invited to the first meeting in January of the Sexual Health Forum but were asked to share membership, alternating attendance. At the meeting the MSI Vice President and the chief executive of bpas both said that this arrangement was problematic: bpas and MSI have quite different structures, values, objectives and approaches, and that the discontinuity inherent in such an arrangement would make it unworkable. The Department of Health seemed sympathetic and said they would reconsider.
On Thursday of last week, Ann Furedi was told by a Department of Health official that the invitation to bpas was withdrawn and that MSI were being asked to represent the independent sector. The justification was that the Minister had insisted that, in the interests of balance, only one abortion provider could attend and that as Ann Furedi had attended the previous sexual health group, SHIAG (a group made up of personal appointments rather than from representatives from each organisation) it was ‘MSI’s turn’. It was also confirmed that, since the founding meeting, the Minister had insisted that Life be invited to join the Sexual Health Forum.
On Newsnight, Dorries claimed that she had spoken to the Department of Health that very afternoon, and (steel yourselves) this does appear to be a carefully spun briefing against bpas from an unnamed source at the Department of Health (i.e. instead of the more frequent occurrence; a lie or distortion devised by Dorries herself).
So far, no-one in the Department for Health is willing to stand behind any assertion that a bpas decision to exclude their organisation from the debate resulted in LIFE being invited in their place.
There is also this, which I will repeat. It’s a matter of interest to anyone surprised by Anne Milton’s stance on this:
It was also confirmed that, since the founding meeting, the Minister had insisted that Life be invited to join the Sexual Health Forum.
On what grounds did Anne Milton specify LIFE for inclusion (or does she perhaps dispute what bpas claim)?
Either way, I think the public have a right to call Milton on this; to ask her to properly explain her thinking/actions, and to take a clear position on what Dorries has claimed on her department’s behalf.
That said, I am not used to straight answers from Anne Milton, and I fear a sense of disappointment looms.
18th May 2011
No names, but at about the time I was passing through one of a series of lessons in sex education, we had a teacher with a conservative outlook who not only choked on simple words associated with the act of sex, but also had an annoying habit of not-quite-answering one question before swiftly moving on to the next; just as his answer got to the tricky part with the ‘dirty’ bits, he would trail off and then pretend to be distracted by another child with their hand raised, only to half-answer their query and so on.
One day, the girls departed for a gender-specific film and associated lesson on topics that are easy enough to guess at, and the boys were left unsupervised, with a generic film about hygiene to serve as the only distraction.
Collusion was afoot. When the teacher returned to check up on us at the end of the film, he was faced with a question he was not expecting:
Student #1: “Mr _____, do you have a bone in your dick?”
‘Teacher’: “Oh! Erm, the PENIS, I think you will find, has absolutely no bones, but rather a mass of… erm.. erectile tissue that… when engorg…* (to Student #2) yes, you had a question?”
Student #2: “Then why is mine hard right now?”
All Students: (laughter)
That’s how we mucked up in my day, by the way. Totally rock’n'roll. I was lucky I turned my life around before I ended up on the streets. Anyway, the point is; some mockery from boys attending ex education class may arise from their frustration with the prudishness of the teacher, and possibly the curriculum.
I can’t pretend this applies in every instance, obviously. It would be wrong of me to do this based on a single anecdote populated by unnamed people.
[Boys! You may not have a bone in your penis, but lots of mammals do. An erection in humans is the result of blood pumping into two cylindrical sponge-like regions running along its length. And riding on buses.]
4th May 2011
There is a lot to be said about Nadine Dorries’ attempt to pass into law a bill introducing compulsory abstinence ‘education’ for teenage girls (and girls alone). As usual (example), she is using a mainstream
face farce to mask a deeply religious – some might say fundamentalist – agenda, and producing anecdotal, distorted or just plain invented evidence to support it… but, happily, there’s been enough shock and outrage over her blurtings today to pretty much guarantee that every point of her ridiculous premise will be shot down by someone, somewhere.
That leaves me free to make this single observation…
Nadine Dorries claims that Raspberry Beret by Prince is one of her all-time favourite songs. In fact, here’s a touching moment from her not-a-blog where she draws great comfort from this funk ballad:
“I will know I’m feeling happier when I flick onto the next track – Prince and Raspberry Beret – I can’t get there quick enough.”
Nadine Dorries (source)
In case there’s any doubt, it was her first choice when she was asked for her favourite song in the 2005 election:
(What is your favourite music/song?)
“Raspberry Beret by Prince and the second of Goretskis three sorrowful songs.”
Nadine Dorries (source)
If Nadine Dorries actually means it when she claims she wants to teach teens that it’s “cool” to say ‘no’ to sex (i.e. if this isn’t just a further attempt to halve the abortion rate for entirely biblical reasons), she may want to choose a new favourite song…. because Raspberry Beret is a song about a teenage romance that culminates in what is unmistakably a first-time sexual experience.
Raspberry Beret (lyrics excerpt):
They say the first time ain’t the greatest
But I tell ya
If I had the chance 2 do it all again
I wouldn’t change a stroke
Cause baby I’m the most
With a girl as fine as she was then
If there is any room for doubt about this, it is about the female character’s virginity… and this thought process leads us to a situation where she is the more experienced of the two, and possibly the instigator in this sexual adventure (i.e. if we are not reading it as the male character taking advantage of a none-too-bright teenage girl):
Raspberry Beret (lyrics excerpt):
I said now, overcast days never turned me on
But something about the clouds and her mixed
She wasn’t 2 bright
But I could tell when she kissed me
She knew how 2 get her kicks
To be clear, this favourite song of Nadine’s specifically celebrates the opposite of the position she pressed in the House today:
“We need to let young girls know that to say no to sex when you are under pressure is a cool thing to do…”
“My bill was about making boys wait being an empowering and cool thing for girls to do…”
Nadine Dorries (source)
To close, I invite you to make like our society and saturate yourself in sex. Let’s dance!
UPDATE – The post has been edited to add two quotes from Dorries that further support my point.
UPDATE – Related linkage:
Heresy Corner – Boys, girls and Nadine Dorries
Liberal Conspiracy – Abstinence makes Nadine Dorries’ brain go softer
“Um… about that thing you just said…” – Women Who Hate Women: Nadine Dorries
We Mixed Our Drinks – Thoughts on Nadine Dorries’ abstinence crusade
Ministry of Truth – Dorries’ Abstinence Speech – The Fact Check
11th Apr 2011
Right to Know presents itself as a “pro women” campaign and argues that women have a right to know about certain ‘facts’ before they proceed with an abortion. It further accuses those charged with caring for these women of deliberately keeping these ‘facts’ from them because of what they describe as a “financial vested interest”; they claim and imply quite starkly that named health care providers/organisations care more about the money they can generate from abortions than they do about the women who seek their help.
Perhaps these accusers see a financial vested interest as the only possible source of corruption, because the group Right to Know has a hidden vested interest, and is keeping that information from these same women while basing their entire argument on their right to know about such things.
The blogger Unity has already covered in detail the plan by fundamentalist-led Christian groups to reduce access to abortion through a series of seemingly secular arguments, and how Right to Know fits into this:
The document, a Powerpoint presentation produced by Dr Peter Saunders of the Christian Medical Fellowship for the Lawyers Christian Fellowship in 2007, indicates that Dorries’ current campaign and amendments are part of long-term strategy put together by an alliance of prominent anti-abortion organisations with the overall objective of securing the complete prohibition of abortion in the UK on any grounds, including rape, serious foetal abnormality and even serious risk to the life of mother. (source)
The priority of these groups is the prevention of what they see to be the murder of the foetus, not the welfare of the mother. This priority should be obvious in the stance their leading campaigners take on biblical scripture (e.g. calling the Church of England ‘cowards’ for not acknowledging as literal passages from the Bible that they claim supports the idea that life begins at conception), but these same people are also on record as whining that “if you mention God in an argument in the UK, you lose” (source/more). One assumes this is a major reason why these people have decided to keep this information from the same women they insist have a right to know about vested interests that may influence their level of care (but if this is the case, they fail to understand or refuse to acknowledge that there is a difference between not mentioning a god in your argument and lobbying secretly on their behalf).
The people running the web presence for the Right to Know campaign have been asked via Twitter if they will declare who is funding/supporting their efforts, but they have declined to answer. They have also been asked via their YouTube account to provide some scant information about who is working the pumps, but have responded by deleting every such question without answering, and disabling comments on their campaign videos so these questions might be hidden from the public.
Further, a WHOIS lookup for the relevant domain name revealed that the registrant had violated the terms of service of the provider (Nominet) in order to hide their identity; they used a generic description in place of a name (‘Web Officer’) and hid the registering address from public view with a false claim that the site was the work of a private individual.
The registrant has so far refused to update the details to bring it in line with Nominet’s requirements, but last week Nominet did exercise their right to withdraw the privacy settings on the address, which revealed the following:
7 – 8 Grays Inn Square
Right to Know Campaign
(Psst! To be clear: the following appears to be what Nominet revealed about the original registration details after revoking the registrant’s ‘private individual’ status – on or about 4 April – so I do not think the registrant ever intended to have this information appear in the public domain.)
At this address is the office of the law firm Cooke Matheson, part of Wellers Law Group.
None of the people I spoke to initially at Wellers Law Group knew anything about any of this until Paul Martin popped up to theorise that it had not been registered by anyone in their organisation, but had instead been registered by a client:
“We have not registered anything! I think the client, for whom we are the R/O probably did this” – Paul Martin, Wellers Law Group
[I assume R/O = registered office]
From here, a position of “all the work we do for clients is confidential” prevented Wellers Law Group from naming the client.
Here, I congratulate the registrant for the sturdiness of their final rampart… but I suspect they fail to appreciate that their identity shouldn’t be a secret at all.
Right to Know bases their entire argument on the position that women have a right to know about vested interests that influence the information they receive, and yet they do so without declaring their own interest(s).
I do not need the name of the client in order to see the extraordinary lengths they have gone to in order to disguise themselves while shouting about what lies behind Green Curtain No. 2… but I invite you to make an educated guess anyway, based on the following:
– Nadine Dorries fronted an earlier campaign to reduced the abortion limit to 20 weeks for ‘scientific’ reasons, and was recorded on camera explaining how much she relied on the work of Andrea Williams and the organisation she led; Christian Concern for our Nation. (Andrea, a self-described fundamentalist Christian, wrote the amendments that Dorries presented to the House in an attempt to pass them into law.)
– It was only after the campaign that Dorries admitted that the relevant website “was registered and created by CCFON (Christian Concern for our Nation) members, a fact not mentioned on the site” (source/context)
– Hosted by Andrea Williams, the event presented the speakers’ biographies as follows:
Paul Martin is a partner of Wellers, based in London and Bromley, Kent. He has recently published the Christian Charities Handbook – a guide to all things concerning the governance and management of charities. He travels widely and has a client base of both national and international organisations. Paul has considerable expertise in dealing with UK and non-resident charities as well as “not-for-profit” concerns, and is a director of two international charities.
Jane Whitfield is a Solicitor with a considerable expertise in the charity sector. She has been on The Law Society’s Wills and Equity Committee for a number of years and is a member of the Charity Law Association. She is also a Trustee of ‘Hope in the Community’, a Christian charity.
- When approached with the WHOIS data, Paul Martin initially offered “more information”, but then declined to answer any questions about his relationship with the Lawyers Christian Fellowship and Christian Concern (the shiny new face of Christian Concern for Our Nation).
Now, revealing a lobbyist as an active member of a Christian movement/group may have the potential to undermine the credibility of what they claim to be a secular argument, but that is not what destroys the argument in this instance.
What destroys the argument in this instance is that ‘Right to Know’ do not actually believe that you have a right to know; they do not offer the same transparency they demand of others, which reveals the very foundation of their argument to be a sham.
To paraphrase the only book some of these people appear to have read; it is a foolish man who builds his house upon the sand.
In fact, Nadine Dorries and her secretive fundamentalist backers will want to take a closer look at all of Chapter 7 of the book of Matthew, especially if they claim to stand by the Bible’s every word as if it is the word of God:
1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
True and False Prophets
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
True and False Disciples
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
(Psst! Just to save some needless shouting; I do not interpret the Bible as these people do, and I do not claim to obey its teachings… plus, I have no hidden vested interests, despite what Dorries and her supporters may imply. So I dare to judge, and have no fear of being similarly judged.)
30th Mar 2011
Some of you may have noticed Nadine Dorries finally following the ’20 Weeks’ campaign with her difficult second album, Right to Know (more). Just to be clear, what we are looking at here is series of cheap American pop covers (compare righttoknow.org.uk to righttoknow.org), with the only original material being a cheap re-hash of crowd-pleasing highlights including dubious arrangement of statistics into unconvincing power chords and the delightfully unconvincing disguises worn by Nadine’s fundamentalist backing group.
Last time it was the registration of the20weekscampaign.org that gave them away. This time, Dorries is pushing righttoknow.org.uk, which has been registered using the generic description ‘Web Officer’ instead of a real name, and opts to disguise further detail by incorrectly classifying the domain/site as the work of a private individual.
Nominet have confirmed that both measures put this user in breach of their agreed Terms, and it will be interesting to see how the mystery registrant responds to a subsequent request by Nominet that they comply with the agreed rules.
One assumes the same team that maintains this site also has some role to play in the official/associated Twitter feed and YouTube channel. Requests have been sent through both of these communication channels requesting that they be clearer about who is funding/coordinating their efforts, but so far the only response has been the deletion of any such questions from the YouTube channel, and the refusal to allow any further comments.
Here I will remind you that Nadine’s latest attempt to reduce the number of abortions hinges on a demand for transparency; she contends that women have a right to know about the shadowy forces that seek to influence them without declaring an interest… while not thinking for a moment that the same might apply to her.
On 30 March 2010, I submitted an information request to the office of Nadine Dorries. It is now exactly one year later and Dorries and her staff haven’t even got around to acknowledging receipt yet. I suspect they intend to defy the request, and a complaint is with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Since receiving the request for information her office holds on me, Dorries has made a claim that I have sent her and her staff ‘numerous offensive emails’ and other ‘vile’ and ‘abusive’ and ‘explicit’ messages. My information request should at least compel her to reveal all emails/messages sent to her office in my name, but instead she continues to pretend that no such request has been made.
I expect she will cry ‘stalker’ when the ICO case officer gets in touch; this means that she will be refusing to honour an information request on the basis of evidence she is refusing to release under that same information request.
Transparency is wonderful, isn’t it?
(Psst! Odds are good that the testimony of ‘Tanya’ comes to us via Forsaken, but Dorries will be keen to avoid any such admission, especially after her disastrous attempt to pass that group off as an established ‘pro woman’ charity. Meanwhile, apropos of nothing, I bring you shocking news of a lack of transparency in the abortion industry overseas.)
UPDATE – I’ve made a video that attempts to explain Dorries’ position a little better.
10th Mar 2011
The following is an interview/article featuring Nadine Dorries from a 2007 edition of the Salvation Army’s War Cry.
Putting aside these deeply religious contentions, which are striking in themselves…
“I try to live my faith. Some days I fail quite miserably but I constantly try to do what Jesus would do.” – Nadine Dorries (source/PDF)
“I am not an MP for any reason other than because God wants me to be. ” – Nadine Dorries (source/PDF)
… Nadine’s contention that her previous ‘middle way’ option would put her at odds with pro-lifers is a fallacy if not a deceit; the entire campaign was conceived, written and backed by large pro-life groups whose full role Dorries has repeatedly attempted to hide from the public (detail | video) .
Second, those same groups are coordinating/enabling her latest efforts where Dorries and others are masquerading as “pro woman” campaigners seeking to protect vulnerable adults from the physical/mental harm they and other religious groups claim is a common post-abortion problem… but this article/interview from 2007 makes it very clear that Dorries is driven primarily NOT by a desire to protect women, but instead a deeply religious decision to reduce the number of abortions by any means possible, even if these means appear, intially, to be at odds with the anti-abortion agenda:
“I’ve been told my Bill will get nowhere while I have pro-lifers and abortion rights people against me. But my argument is: How can anyone argue – on any grounds – that my proposal is not right. Currently there are about 600 abortions a day in the UK. I’d like to reduce that number by at least half. The public is not interested in banning abortion. Those who hold out for a complete ban have not changed the law – they have not saved a single life. To me, saving some lives is better than saving no lives at all. I hope pro-lifers will come to share my view that some progress is better than no progress. ” – Nadine Dorries (source/PDF)
The full text of the interview/article appears below. It also includes some detail about her living arrangements at the time that will raise an informed eyebrow or two. She also repeats her dumbfounding contention that she is not accountable to those who live outside her constituency, even while she is campaigning to restrict their access to appropriate medical care.
MP call for lower abortion time limit
Salvation Army ‘War Cry’ #6182, 2 June 2007 (source/PDF)
HERE’S one for A Question of Sport: Which MP’s grandfather was a co-founder of Everton Football Club? Answer: Liverpool-born Nadine Dorries, Conservative MP for Mid-Bedfordshire.
‘My grandfather, George Bargery, founded St Domingo’s FC which became Everton FC,’ she says as we talk in her Westminster office. ‘Everton’s ﬁrst game in the newly formed Football League was against Accrington. My grandad was the Everton goalie. He had a good game and became quite a local hero.’
That game was played on 8 September 1888 – the opening day of the season. It was played not at Goodison but at Anﬁeld, which is today home of mighty Liverpool. So, the most important question to ask of any Scouser: Red or Blue? Liverpool or Liverpool Reserves?
‘Red, deﬁnitely,’ says Nadine. ‘I suppose because of my grandfather I should support Everton, but I can’t just stop supporting my team. I couldn’t swap to Everton any more than I could cross the ﬂoor of the House of Commons.’ Nadine grew up on the Breck Road, a long kick from the Kop.
‘On match days I used to earn 2/6 looking after people’s cars,’ she says. ‘Money was very tight, so the football money helped. The family food bill was 7/6 and my father was ill from when I was very young. I had an impoverished childhood. I had to borrow shoes from a friend to go to school and one year my winter coat came from church or The Salvation Army.’
Nadine started her working life as a nurse in the Royal Liverpool Hospital. She then moved to Zambia with her husband, and took over the running of a community school.
‘I didn’t go to Zambia with that intent,’ she says, ‘but the woman who was running the school died of malaria. She was pregnant and wouldn’t take anti-malaria pills because of the risk of inducing a miscarriage. In the event mother and baby died. It was very sad. I just happened to be there so I took over the running of the school.’
Nadine returned to England and became managing director of a company. From 1998 to 1999 she was a director of BUPA.
She fought her ﬁrst general election in 2001 in the Greater Manchester seat of Hazel Grove. But it wasn’t until 2005 that she entered Parliament.
How big a career change is it to move from being a nurse to being an MP?
‘It’s not such a big change, actually. It might sound corny but it’s about caring for other people. In that sense it’s just a different aspect of what I’ve done throughout my working life.’
Nadine says she ﬁnds it difficult to pin down the moment she decided to become an MP. In fact, it is easier for her to identify a point which almost led her not to become an MP.
‘I was in church one Sunday around Easter when I said to God that maybe I should give up on the idea of being an MP. In 2001 I’d fought a difficult seat. I was bringing up children and was busy. I thought I had missed the boat. Maybe I’d got completely the wrong idea of what I should be doing.
‘I was struggling. One minute I’d tell myself to stay calm because something would work out for me, the next I’d panic and think it wasn’t going to happen.
‘I can still recall the chair I was sitting in. I remember looking at the cross and saying to God; “I’ve obviously got the wrong idea. It’s in your hands now.”
‘I walked out of church feeling relieved. I’d given up chasing something I’d been after for years. Then a few days later I got a phone call to tell me to keep a certain date free. I went along to a selection meeting as invited, was chosen over 17 other candidates and within six weeks of that day in church I was elected to Westminster.’
Two years on from that election victory, what is it like being a working mum who is an MP?
‘The hardest thing to deal with is the long Westminster hours. My two oldest girls are at university and my 15-year-old stays with her dad from Monday mornings until Thursday nights when I get back home. While male MPs might put their feet up when they get home, I go home to pick up my other full-time job – being Mum.
‘MOST of the time the girls are great about it but there are times when pressures build up. I’m accountable to 77,000 constituents, to my local Conservative Association, to the whips’ office and to the chamber of the House of Commons. Most of all I’m accountable to my daughters.
‘Even though I try to put them on the top of the pile, sometimes the phone rings, somebody wants me to do something and I can’t give them the time I’d planned to. It gets a bit tricky balancing family and work.
‘We need more women in Parliament. Women make up 52 per cent of the electorate and need representing. Being an MP is twice as difficult for a woman as it is for a man. Westminster is a harsh, unfriendly environment. Many women MPs retreat into being constituency MPs rather than parliamentarians.’
What makes that constant juggling of time, energy and demands worthwhile?
‘I feel I’ve built a really good relationship with my constituents. Before I became an MP I didn’t realise the scale of problems some people face. Being able to help people through such problems is immensely rewarding. I love being in Parliament. I love taking part in debates. But for me it is the people I represent who come ﬁrst.’
As well as representing the people of Mid-Bedfordshire, Nadine is sponsoring the Termination of Pregnancy Bill to reduce the upper time limit for abortions from 24 to 20 weeks.
‘This year is the 40th anniversary of the Abortion Act, which introduced the 24-week limit,’ she says. ‘Medical technology has changed enormously in that time. For example, thanks to 4-D scanning we know that a foetus can feel pain early in pregnancy.
‘No Labour Government will ever restrict a woman’s right to an abortion. They have what is known as Emily’s List, an organisation which helps ﬁnance the campaigns of women parliamentary candidates. Only pro-choice women are eligible for funding. Even if a future vote to abolish abortion carried a party whip, the Emily’s List MPs would support a woman’s right to abortion.
‘On the pro-life side of the fence, the public takes little notice of those who want to abolish abortion. They are dismissed as extremists. If I were to argue that all abortions should be banned, the ethical discussions would go round in circles because one person’s opinion is as valid as another’s.
‘My view is that the only way forward is to argue for a reduction in the time limit. I’ve heard the arguments about how it’s every woman’s right that she should be able to have an abortion. But I say it’s every baby’s right to have a life because science tells us that by 24 weeks they feel pain, they laugh, they smile, they hear and they think. There is a lot of public sympathy for the opinion that 24 weeks is too old for a foetus to be aborted.’
But doesn’t offering a middle option mean that you get caught in the crossﬁre between strident prochoicers and avid anti-abortionists?
‘Yes it does. I’ve been told my Bill will get nowhere while I have pro-lifers and abortion rights people against me. But my argument is: How can anyone argue – on any grounds – that my proposal is not right.
‘Currently there are about 600 abortions a day in the UK. I’d like to reduce that number by at least half. The public is not interested in banning abortion. Those who hold out for a complete ban have not changed the law – they have not saved a single life.
‘To me, saving some lives is better than saving no lives at all. I hope pro-lifers will come to share my view that some progress is better than no progress.
‘Doctors who carry out abortions are increasingly worried that they’ll deliver a live foetus, even at 20 weeks. The way babies are terminated from 20 weeks is horrendous.
‘According to Royal College guidelines, a canular is inserted through the mother’s abdominal wall into the heart of the foetus, which is given a lethal injection. Doctors wait two days to ensure that the baby is dead and then it is delivered.
‘I have seen scans of this process. It was like watching murder. I have seen the foetus moving away from the needle. It is the most heart-wrenching, awful thing to see.
‘If the public saw these images, they would be ﬁrmly in favour of reducing the age limit on abortion.’
Taking on such an emotive and explosive area as abortion is not a soft option for any MP, let alone one so new to the trade.
‘When I ﬁrst started this campaign I felt under attack,’ says Nadine. ‘I had hate mail. I felt my personal world was falling apart. My faith has helped me pull through. People are praying for me – not only fellow MPs but also thousands of people across the country.
AS a child Nadine was brought up to go to church. ‘But like a lot of kids, I left the church when I was a teenager,’ she says. ‘At the time I would have described myself as a Christian but it was only about 15 years ago that I was converted through an Alpha course. I realise how shallow my belief was before my conversion.’
It was the vicar of her local church who invited Nadine along to the ten-week introductory course on Christianity.
‘My ﬁrst response was to tell him I didn’t need to go,’ she says. ‘But I ended up going anyway. I suppose I was going to church without even knowing the most important aspects of Christianity – what it means and what it is about. Like many people I didn’t really know why Jesus died on the cross, how he could forgive our sins or who the Holy Spirit is. All of that was a revelation to me.’
What does Nadine’s faith give her?
‘My faith tells me who I am. It tells me why I am here. It tells me who is with me while I am pursuing my goals. I sometimes think if I didn’t have my faith, who would I be? How would I live my life?
‘My faith constantly gives me my reference point. It keeps me grounded. I am not an MP for any reason other than because God wants me to be. There is nothing I did that got me here; it is what God did. There is nothing amazing or special about me, I am just a conduit for God to use.’
And who is Jesus to Nadine?
‘Jesus is alive with me. I have my times of wondering – of not quite sensing his presence. I don’t know everything. I can’t do everything. And I can’t achieve anything in my own strength.
‘I need guidance. I need protection – and so does my family. I pray a lot for these things. ‘I try to live my faith. Some days I fail quite miserably but I constantly try to do what Jesus would do.’
And whether a Scouser comes from the red or the blue side of Liverpool, they’ll tell you one thing for sure: God loves a trier.
Perhaps God exists, and perhaps he/she does love a trier… but their alleged position on liars isn’t quite so favourable.
Once again, I’m calling her out in front of her constituents, in front of her supporters, and in front of her god.