Archive for the ‘Christ…’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 30, 2011

Category: Christ..., Tories! Tories! Tories!

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.

You have a right to know... nothing about us

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.

This is typical of Nadine Dorries, as is her distaste for the pesky little rules that she thinks only apply to little people. She is, after all, on a mission from God (more).

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.

Nadine Dorries: Right to Know from Tim Ireland on Vimeo.

UPDATE (11 April) – Take a look at what turned up when Nominet revealed the address used to register this domain name.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 10, 2011

Category: Christ..., Tories! Tories! Tories!

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.

War Cry, image of article

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.

Nadine Dorries is a liar and her latest campaign has a dirty great lie at its heart.

Once again, I’m calling her out in front of her constituents, in front of her supporters, and in front of her god.

UPDATE – Stuart Wood made a perfectly reasonable request for a picture of Nadine Dorries on a mission from God, and here it is (image also posted to B3ta):

Nadine Dorries on a mission from God








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 25, 2011

Category: Christ..., Tories! Tories! Tories!

Recently, Nadine Dorries took part in an interview with Ed West which was published in the Catholic Herald. A modest individual who has appropriated the identity of the historical figure Archbishop Cranmer complains here that this interview does not gain the attention it deserves because it has been “largely ignored by most of the left-leaning, abortion-promoting MSM.”

Late last year, Dorries was in conversation with this same individual on Twitter when she said the following:

“And the Liberal Synod contains many cowards who focus on the ‘hip’ issue of the day and not what is relevant to congregations” – Nadine Dorries (source)

“the CoE has a shameful weak and cowardly history re abortion – no surprise with a Liberal apologetic Synod” Nadine Dorries (source)

“Most faiths support their own text, Synod envoys told me Psalms were mere ‘poetry’ and not to be used for guidance” – Nadine Dorries (source)

“‘I knew you in your mothers womb’ is not to be believed, It is apparently poetry.” – Nadine Dorries (source)

There was no question about Dorries having an opposing view to that of the Church of England and, despite an attempt by ‘Cranmer’ to enlighten her (1, 2) she appears to still hold this view so strongly as to again accuse the church of ‘cowardice’ for not supporting her position, which she sees as the natural/obvious one.

(Note how in this excerpt, with the aid of this ‘journalist’, she leads into the issue by portraying all objections to her conduct as hateful vitriol, and categorises all of her opponents as opponents in the abortion debate. The importance of this will become clearer as we proceed. Hang in there.)

Those unfamiliar with the world of blogs and social networking site Twitter will not fully appreciate how much hatred Dorries attracts over this issue, the majority of which seems to come from men, who devote an almost demented amount of time tapping at keyboards explaining why they hate this woman. “What have I done to justify this level of vitriol?” Dorries asks. “What’s it about? The only controversial issue I’ve ever taken up is abortion, and that’s the only hook to hang it on.”

Yet she is not even “against” abortion as such, in that she does not wish to re-criminalise it.

“I’m neither pro-choice nor pro-life,” she says. “I take the middle ground, and I find it hard to understand why anyone – especially feminists – could disagree with what I say if they are really concerned with women and their health issues.” Both sides of the argument, she says, are “ghettoised” on the issue.

One of the problems, I suggest, is that perhaps the pro-life movement is seen as exclusively religious, although there is no reason why it should be. In fact, she says, she doesn’t even get that much support from the churches.

“I need religious support,” she says. “It is our core support. I need the churches being more involved, and the churches have been pathetic, pathetic, during the abortion debate in their support for what I was trying to do.

“The Church of England was the worst and the only person in the Catholic Church who made any comment was Cardinal O’Brien. Everybody was silent because the churches were weak and cowardly in their position.

“I was even told by one envoy from the Church [of England] that Psalm 139 was ‘just poetry’. Weeks later they timidly came out and squeaked their words of support, which were no use to me at this point. The churches have really angered me during this debate.”

Now, it cannot be stressed enough here that Dorries is pushing for a literal (or more literal) interpretation of the book of Psalms.

There is a word for this kind of thing; fundamentalism.

Further, hers is a notion that the mainstream church rejects, which in turn causes Dorries to be openly hostile to them.

There are words for this kind of thing, too, but Dorries and people like her object to these words to being used to describe them, not least because they have been used to such good effect to damage a competing religion. In fact, if I were to use these words accurately, her gang of useful idiots would probably accuse me of casting Nadine Dorries as a suicide bomber because of the way these words have been used inaccurately by others. For now, ‘fundamentalism’ will do.

Dorries has previously denied being a religious fundamentalist (more/context), and even if she sticks to this denial on the basis that the pejorative version of this word does not apply to her as far as she can see, these repeated attacks on ‘cowardly’ churches betray her position and destroy any pretence that she holds anything like the middle ground of the abortion debate.

It is at this point that we turn to the relevant passages from the collection of sermons in Psalms that she speaks of and repeatedly attempt to see matters from the point of view of Nadine Dorries. (Seriously going somewhere with this. Hang. In. There.)

During this process, I will be turning from the matter of more general interest (Dorries’ clearly religious views and how they impact on her role in the abortion debate) and instead focusing on a more personal matter and how that relates to the public interest, because something quite worrying occurred to me when I had cause to look closely at Psalm 139 this morning.

(Note – I have included the text from the King James version of this religious text, but have also linked to a site that gives varying translations/interpretations of each line.)

Psalm 139 (excerpt)

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Personally, I interpret Psalm 139 as a flowery tribute to the perceived omnipresence of the author’s chosen deity; He is so all-powerful and so all-knowing that He knows us before we exist and after we die.

There are some who view these lines as an extended and purpose-specific reference to life developing in the uterus and their nominated deity’s role in that; some even go so far as to repeat the word ‘womb’ again in place of the ‘lowest parts of the earth’ in 139:15, and it is no doubt on the strength of this interpretation and others like it that Dorries sees this sermon as a repeated assurance that God has been hand-stitching each and every one of us in the womb, meaning that it is His word that life begins from the zygote onwards if not before (see: onanism) and He has a special plan for every cell cluster in every womb on the planet, regardless of its developmental progress.

You can see how taking this position might influence the thinking of someone who campaigns on the subject of abortion; taking this passage as guidance makes every abortion a murder (but I suspect Dorries fears taking a clear position on this because of what she has previously explained away as a prejudice against religion while exposing her own prejudice against another religion).

It is here that we proceed to the latter half of this same sermon, and turn our focus on the more personal matter that will, initially, mostly be of interest to readers of this blog:

Psalm 139 (excerpt)

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

The person who wrote this sermon groups all those who do not adopt his religion as his enemies, and wishes them to die while casting them as bloodthirsty. Some interpretations even describe all of these ‘wicked’ people as ‘murderers’. The author even calls them out as ‘haters’ in the same breath as expressing what amounts to an unreasoned and extreme hatred of them. (As you can see, this is a much older game than many people suspect.)

The first version of this I read today was in modern English here, on a site dedicated to Psalm 139, and it strikes me as being plainer and more in line with Dorries’ thinking on this:

139:19 – If only you would put the sinners to death, O God; go far from me, you men of blood.

139:20 – For they go against you with evil designs, and your haters make sport of your name.

139:21 – Are not your haters hated by me, O Lord? are not those who are lifted up against you a cause of grief to me?

139:22 – My hate for them is complete; my thoughts of them are as if they were making war on me.

I hate what she does and the way that she treats other people, but I resist hating Nadine Dorries herself where possible. I’m human, but I try. I certainly don’t claim to be better than others because I hate her, even in those moments when I do.

Further, I do not wish that Nadine Dorries would die. You may think differently.

I know Nadine Dorries thinks differently about me, because she relies on this passage for guidance and feels so strongly about it that she is willing to oppose the Church of England in its defence.

Reading this passage, it becomes clear that Nadine Dorries hates me. She hates me with every fibre of her being. She hates me as if we were at war. But, like the author of this sermon, she sees this as a blessed mission ordained by God, and casts me as the hater.

I do not think it is unreasonable to suspect that when Dorries is confronted with circumstances where she might lessen my suffering, she would choose to do nothing and let her chosen deity get on with it (or maybe even choose to help her chosen deity along from time to time) not because what is being done to me is in any way right, proper, appropriate or humane, but because Dorries believes it is God’s will that I suffer because sees me as an opponent of His will and therefore a force for evil.

I further suspect that, in the mind of Dorries, everything bad that’s happening to me and my family isn’t the work of a lone, bitter, corrupt Tory with a grudge stirring up anti-social elements at the fringes of society and his party, but is instead the work of God, who seeks to punish me for daring to oppose Him.

Not only do I suspect this to be the case, I suspect Dorries even makes indirect reference to this belief in the same interview:

She describes herself as being a “bit low” following the press treatment of her private life, the expenses scandal (which she describes as “unbearable”) and the story in that morning’s Mirror alleging that she is being investigated for her expenses.

“It’s a ridiculous story, and its been planned to put out on the day I’ll be on breakfast TV on abortion,” she says. “All it is is nasty, Left-wing politicking.

“I can’t believe that journalists by and large can be happy people because I don’t think its possible to write in such a vitriolic and hateful way and be happy, and for good things to happen to you.”

Bad things happen to bad people, you see. And they happen (or will happen) because of what Dorries assumes to be opposition to her position on abortion. Therefore, this is not the work of Dorries, but of God. In fact, it is God who guides her hand when she hyperlinks to the man who has been watching my house and publishing directions to my home for anyone else who might care to take an interest, and it is God who guides her mouth when she repeats/reinforces his smears to the extent of inventing police investigations that never took place.

If it is as I suspect (and I think I’ve produced some pretty strong supporting evidence to support my suspicions), then this should be of concern to any constituent of Dorries that she perceives as her enemy (i.e. an opponent of her religious mission); when confronted with your suffering, instead of doing her duty as an MP, Dorries is far more inclined to do what she perceives as a higher duty to God.

Unless, of course, Nadine Dorries would care to state that she only fervently believes in part of Psalm 139.








Posted by Tim Ireland at June 9, 2010

Category: Christ..., Tories! Tories! Tories!

MPs will vote in a secret ballot today on a series of committee positions. During this process, they will decide between the following Conservative MPs for Chair of the Health Select Committee; Sir Paul Beresford, Mr Peter Bone, Mr Stephen Dorrell… and Mrs Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries… as Chair… of the Health Select Committee.

If that sentence doesn’t send a chill down your spine, it should; it’d be bad news for breathers everywhere if it actually came to be.

There are many reasons why this MP is unsuited as Chair of any committee outside of a church fete, but I know you’re busy, so I’ve settled on one. Also, rather than dig up any ‘ancient history’ (such as her conduct while sitting on the Parliamentary Science and Tech Select Committee in 2007), I’m going to take a look at the immediate past.

From 7 October 2009 to 11 May 2010, Nadine Dorries was a member of the Commons Science and Technology Committee (and it is at this point that I would like to depart from the narrative just long enough to dedicate the rest of this post to PDF files everywhere*):

House of Commons : Science and Technology Committee : Formal Minutes : Session 2009-10 [.PDF]

Looking at the introduction to the above minutes, there is a name right under Dorries’ on the membership list that immediately catches my eye:

Mrs Nadine Dorries (Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire)
Dr Evan Harris (Liberal Democrat, Oxford West & Abingdon)

Moving on to the minutes themselves, you may note a subtle pattern in the notes on attendance:

The committee met on Wednesday 18 November 2009. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting..

The committee met again on Wednesday 25 November 2009. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting..

The committee met again on Monday 30 November 2009. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 2 December 2009. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Ian Cawsey, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 9 December 2009. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Mr Ian Cawsey, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 6 January 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Brian Iddon, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 13 January 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 20 January 2010 . Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 27 January 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Ian Cawsey, Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 3 February 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Monday 8 February 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Doug Naysmith, Mr Ian Cawsey, Ian Stewart, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 10 February 2010 . Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Doug Naysmith, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 24 February 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Monday 1 March 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 3 March 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 10 March 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Dr Doug Naysmith, Mr Ian Cawsey, Dr Brian Iddon, and Graham Stringer.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 17 March 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Monday 22 March 2010 . Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 24 March 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting

During these meetings, the committee discussed a wide range of topics including drug misuse, Swine Flu, homeopathy, and bioengineering. One might expect some or all of these topics to be of passing interest to someone with “a natural leaning to towards all health related issues” (sic) (source) but Dorries did not attend a single meeting of this committee for its entire session (and there is no record of her resigning in the minutes that I can see).

So if Dorries seriously considers herself worthy and capable of holding the position of Chair on the Health Select Commitee, what reason can she give to explain her dismal attendance record in the far less demanding role of ‘member’ in this previous committee?

Well, here’s a clue for you; the jubilant election-night tweet by Nadine Dorries celebrating the defeat of fellow committee member Dr Evan Harris in Oxford West and Abingdon:

@Nadine4mp: Do my eyes and ears deceive me? Has Dr Death really lost his seat ? (screengrab)

(There was an outcry that followed. This tweet upset a great many people and struck even some fellow Tories as unjustified and undignified. Dorries then closed her Twitter feed claiming she only wanted to use it for the election. A week after that, Stephen Timms was stabbed and Dorries went on to use a magic time machine to claim this was the reason why she had closed her Twitter account and her blog, but that’s a whole other story.)

The nickname ‘Dr Death’ has been used against Dr Evan Harris by a small number of opponents, and their typical justification for it is best summarised in this Daily Mail headline from October 2007:

Daily Mail – Meet Dr Death, the Lib Dem MP Evan Harris who backs embryo experiments, euthanasia and freer abortion

There is also compelling evidence to suggest that Nadine Dorries herself may have been the person who initially fed this nickname to the media as an attack device (before later describing it as a nickname used by “most MPs and journalists”).

Collectively, this evidence is at risk of giving some people the impression that Dorries allowed a difference of opinion on some aspects of biological science to become deeply personal… possibly to the extent that she felt unable to function as a member of a committee – despite her commitment to Parliament and the people – purely because Dr Evan Harris was present at the relevant meetings (as he was at every meeting bar one).

Then again, it may be that Nadine Dorries was simply busy doing something else more important at the time… for every single meeting of the entire 09/10 session of this committee (e.g. On 24 February 2010, she did not have time to attend the Commons Science and Technology Committee meeting, but she did have time to speak at a conference about her ‘blog’. Before this, she was unable to attend the 9 December 2009 meeting because she was busy all that week filming a reality TV show (in which she sought to gain advantage by hiding cash in her bra and – it is alleged – drugs in her washbag).

Either way, she’s not looking like the best candidate for Chair of the Health Select Committee. Not by a long shot.

In fact, if you take a look at the wider evidence (some of which is referenced in this post) you may come to the conclusion that I reached a while ago; she’s unfit to hold office as an MP, and only retains the support of the Conservative party because of their reliance on the Christian right and associated fringe elements (i.e. the type of people who portray/describe pro-choice opponents as baby murderers).

But it will be enough today that you understand/appreciate the evidence and share it with your MP before they vote in the relevant ballot.

You might want to hurry, BTW. Commitee voting starts at 10am today.

Thanks for your time. Cheers all.

[*Private joke. Never mind.]

[Don’t get me started on how Nadine Dorries conducts herself at meetings.]

[Psst! While I’ve got your attention; Patrick Mercer is a disgrace, too.]

EPILOGUE (11 June) – (a) Stephen Dorrell was elected chair of the health committee. Not Dorries. Phew. (b) While I expected Nadine Dorries to do better in a secret ballot than she did in her recent whatever-that-was against the Speaker, these numbers (PDF/source) are far higher than I expected, and just a little bit scary. There are up to 143 MPs in this Parliament who either don’t know that Dorries is a delusional liar… or don’t care.








Posted by Tim Ireland at April 9, 2010

Category: Christ..., Tories! Tories! Tories!

(Psst! I hope to raise these matters and others in The Dorries edition of The People’s Pamphlet. Come join us.)

It’s election time, and disappointingly, David Cameron has shot out of the gates seeking to rally his right-wing Christian base with a promise to lower the abortion limit to 20 or 22 weeks.

The Conservatives had their chance to make their scientific and political case on this in 2008 and they blew it.

They not only blew the vote, they exploded a dirty great hole in the side of their shiny new facade, as the following examples will show…

David Cameron allowed Nadine Dorries to run with the ball on her 2008 ‘Alive & Kicking’ campaign, and that MP used as her ‘evidence’ several dubious claims about events she claimed to witness as a nurse, including this one repeated today by Christian Concern for our Nation (1, 2):

At the time of the 2008 vote, former nurse Nadine Dorries, now MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, told fellow MPs how she had held a foetus that gasped for breath and took seven minutes to die after a botched abortion. Ms Dorries said: ‘What I thought we were committing that day was murder.’ (source)

Nadine Dorries has a long track record of relying on apocryphal evidence to elicit an emotional response in her favour (see suicide/expenses for her most famous example to date), so I have reason to doubt this event ever really happened as described to begin with. Further, my lead example not only shows Nadine Dorries using apocryphal evidence during the abortion debate, but reveals an alarming level of ignorance about maternal medicine and basic human biology that should cast doubt on the specifics of any medical procedure Dorries claims to have witnessed:

Hand of Hope

In this post on her pretend-blog during the abortion debate (and on the main campaign website) Nadine Dorries presented this image of a foetus ‘reaching’ out of the womb as evidence that life begins earlier than science says it does. When it was put to her that the attending surgeon’s version of events completely contradicted those of her witness (the photographer who describes the event as “God’s message to the world”) Dorries, in a further post laughingly titled ‘Hand of Truth’, none-too-subtly implied that the doctor changed his story because feared violent pro-choice lobbyists (!), showed complete ignorance of how pregnancy works and what a placenta does, and claimed that the “jiggered edges” of what she described as a “tear in the uterus” most likely resulted from a “hand unexpectedly thrust out”… by a 21 week old foetus.

I’ve heard some MPs talk bullshit in my time, but the idea that a 21-week-old foetus could punch its way out of the womb (with or without a starting incision) reached new heights for me.

Full post: Bloggerheads – People of Mid Bedfordshire; your MP, Nadine Dorries, is a muppet

Misleading Claims/Statistics

MPs really don’t like being called on this, but Nadine Dorries clearly misled the House when she made this claim:

“The public do not say that they want the limit to come down from 24 weeks; the public – including three quarters of women – say that they want 20 weeks. They specify what they want.” – Nadine Dorries (source)

“Three quarters of women” did no such thing. Nadine Dorries either completely misunderstood the data or (more likely in my experience) deliberately misrepresented it in order to give the false impression that she enjoyed a popular mandate. As the raw poll data showed, it wasn’t 75% of women specifying 20 weeks, but 15%, and then only because it was fed to them as an option. After literally inviting scrutiny of her assertions in the House, Dorries has never returned to this point.

Full post: Bloggerheads – Nadine Dorries: unbelievable

Laws Drafted by Fundamentalists

Recently Dorries insisted that religion should be kept out of Parliament… but only because she feared it might lead to sharia law:

While the votes may come from secular Tories, the ringleaders of any abortion-tightening attempt will be Christians. In 2008, when parliament was debating embryology, Nadine Dorries, a high-profile backbench Tory MP, led the charge against abortion – and says she is informed by her Christianity (though “if you mention God in an argument in the UK, you lose,” she says). One leading anti-abortion activist noted that behind the scenes the Christian Medical Fellowship and the Lawyers Christian Fellowship were “absolutely indispensable. They did most of the heavy lifting on research. But we could never acknowledge their role. Never. People would never take us seriously again.” (Dorries says another reason she avoids talking about faith in parliament is out of fear it will set a precedent by which Muslim MPs could express – and impose – theirs. “There is no place for sharia law in Britain and as politicians we have to be aware and vigilant to ensure that we don’t ease or facilitate its acceptance,” she says.) (source)

Obvious bias/bigotry aside, how does Nadine Dorries explain/justify her attempts to introduce into law legislation worded by Christian fundamentalists? Does she now think she was wrong* to do so, or does she think it’s OK when it’s ‘our’ fundamentalists?

(*Going by the FT article, I suspect she thinks it’s fine and dandy to inject some Christian fundamentalism into law, just so long as everybody keeps their head down and nobody finds out about it.)

Full post: Bloggerheads – Nadine Dorries and Andrea Williams

David Cameron did not express any doubt or disquiet about the above or any of the case that Nadine Dorries put forward during or after the abortion debate. If anything, he praised her efforts. Repeatedly.

David Cameron either thinks us to be weak-minded fools, or he is one himself.

How might we discover which is closer to the truth?

Well, next time David Cameron brings the abortion issue up, ask him what percentage of women specify a preference for 20 weeks…. or if he really thinks a human foetus can punch its way out of the womb.

Oh, and you may also want to ask if he thinks it’s right to attempt to introduce legislation worded by fundamentalists, because that’s exactly what happened the last time the Conservatives sought to change the laws governing abortion.

(Psst! I hope to raise these matters and others in The Dorries edition of The People’s Pamphlet. Come join us.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at April 5, 2009

Category: Christ...

Neither have you tasted my jesus (via)

Happy Sunday Boot Sale Day, everybody.








Mr Jenvey is busy elsewhere early today, but he has promised to share a statement with us later.

I’m happy waiting for that, but here are a few extras for those of you who have looked through the old magazines and fiddled with the empty play-table and are now getting fidgety:

Teh Man somehow saw to it that I missed this epic thread.

Save the ‘ I Love Horses’ website!

Julian Petley cups John Beyer’s logical fallacies. (link via another great weekend link-fest from Septisicle)

Ignore the link if you like, and just love the headline; Arrest in Mandelson custard probe

Mail on Sunday – How MI5 colluded in my torture: Binyam Mohamed claims British agents fed Moroccan torturers their questions

Telegraph – Binyam Mohamed torture claims: Calls for judicial inquiry

And finally, as if some strange hand of fate were at work, I arrived at (pfft!) the Jack Straw weblog this morning to discover that is was updated yesterday with the following message:

With regret blog comment moderation has been turned on. Political argument is welcome (see posts below), but name-calling and general abuse is not and won’t be published.

So good luck bringing up any of that torture nonsense there and seeing anything substantial published; even thinking for a moment that the sainted Jack Straw would allow torture on his watch constitutes ‘abuse’. How very dare you.

UPDATE – You’re *still* bored? Tch. OK, I’ll have the nurse put some cartoons on:

Saturday Morning Watchmen (more) (via)

UPDATE – Tut. Me and my memory. Sir Paul Judge would like a quiet word with you about the party system.








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 5, 2008

Category: Christ..., Old Media, The War on Stupid, UK Libel Law, Updates

I don’t think the good people at the Mirror really thought this one through:

Please see Septicisle for some thoughtful words on this topic.

– Also worth reading is Jean-Charles de Menezes summed up (via)

– While I remain deeply unimpressed with Alex Hilton, I will happily publicise this predicament and (*gasp*) maybe even pay attention to what is going on.

Encouraging news on the Nigerian witch hunt front.

You’ll want to read this article on torture, even though it contains few surprises.








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 12, 2008

Category: Christ...

Is anyone else watching Saving Africa’s Witch Children?

What little we saw of Uma Eke had me in tears.

How can people do this to each other? How can people profit from this, knowing the misery they cause?








Posted by Tim Ireland at October 23, 2008

Category: Christ...

Do take the time to read this excellent post by Unity…

Unity – The Prevention of Unicorns Act

… but not before gazing in wonder at this passage that is on the record in Hansard:

Nadine Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire, Conservative) | Hansard source

That makes my point even more coherently for me. Perhaps we need to legislate to ensure that this activity cannot happen even in pursuance of a licence. I cannot believe that anybody in this House believes that inserting human sperm into an animal would be a good thing to do, so why do we not clearly state in the Bill that it will not be allowed to happen? This argument is not a surprise to the Government, because it has been pointed out over and over again that the Bill would allow this activity to take place in the seeking of a licence. One has to ask why they have not addressed the issue.

This is a sinister matter, because of the connotations. It is impossible to discuss insemination of animals with human gametes for very long without considering the infamous Soviet hybridisation trials of the 1920s. There are a huge number of historians on the Conservative Benches–I do not know how many there are on the Labour Benches–and one of the great pleasures for me, since becoming an MP, has been listening to some of those amazing and learned historians. I am sure that they will forgive me if I get anything wrong in the following paragraph.

At that time, the Soviet authorities were struggling to rebuild Stalin’s red army after it had suffered many deaths and huge defeats. Stalin told his top scientist, Ilya lvanov, to turn his skills to breeding an ultimate soldier by crossing human beings with apes. Stalin told him to breed a soldier who would not be fussy about what he ate, who did not feel pain and who was invincible. Stalin told Ivanov to use all his scientific knowledge and know-how to cross apes with humans and breed that soldier for him.

Many people in this House might think that it is ridiculous my even mentioning what Stalin did in the 1920s, but his ideas found credence among many in the scientific community and even became quite popular among evolutionary biologists in America; as my hon. Friend Mr. Cash said, the idea that perhaps we could cross humans with apes and thus have almost a humanzee took root.

And now, because I fear that you still won’t believe me, here is video footage of Dorries in the Commons; watch as this drivel drips from her lips, down her chin and onto her bib:

Nadine Dorries isn’t your average, garden-variety idiot; she’s a danger to herself and the community at large.

(Oh, and the rigged poll conducted and published by the ‘politically neutral’ magazine Total Politics ranked her site as one of the top blogs by an MP and 34th overall when it doesn’t even qualify as a blog. Her close and personal friend Iain Dale made the rules and counted the votes, so if you have any doubts about that result, go and ask him about it instead of simply staring at your computer screen in disbelief.)








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