Abortion vote latest

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 20, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008
6:53 pm and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

Via Student Midwife, I learn of a live-blog over at the Guardian.

Any other games in town?

[There may be a little action here, but no guarantees.]

19:25 – Edward Leigh (Con) just read out Nadine’s ‘voice of the majority’ statistics (from a poll conducted commissioned* by the Christian Institute). So it’s on him if the poll turns out to have been conducted on the back of a hymn sheet in a church car park.

[*POST-MATCH MINI-UPDATE – Find out more about that poll here and here.]

19:50 – Mark Pritchard (Con) is the second MP to complain that we don’t show late-term abortions on television and ‘let the public decide’. Claims 2/3 of all people and 3/4 of women in his constituency support 20 weeks. It’s Nadine’s very favrit stats again! How many MPs are running off the same information pack?

19:55 – Pritchard Brings out a picture of 16 week old fetus even though he knows he’s not supposed to pull the stunt! FFS!

19:58 – Pritchard has lost it now. He’s wasting everybody’s time, and waffling on about the great sporting heroes we may be aborting.

20:10 – It’s been far too sensible and boring since Pritchard shut his mouth, so let me use this opportunity to ask where in the hell Pritchard gets off taking the CI’s (alleged) poll results and claiming them to be the view of his constituency?!

20:17 – Mike Penning (Con) has wished for a longer debate. Presumably because more Conservative MPs want to sing from the same information pack.

20:20 – Desmond Swayne (Con) interjects quite energetically and wants more emotive language and fewer “euphemisms”.

20:22 – Mike Penning (Con) brings common sense and dignity to the debate by revealing a personal anecdote – transmitted via Facebook no less – of a young woman having (*gasp*) multiple abortions.

20:30 – Mike Penning (Con), Shadow Front Bench Minister for Health; “Please vote for 20 weeks, that’s what I will be doing.”

20:32 – Dawn Primarolo (Lab) Minister of State for Public Health; (paraphrased lots) Medically, nothing has changed since 24 was agreed on. Can we please look at the evidence?

20:34 – Ann Widdecombe uses the word EV-I-DENCE because (we assume) she has some that’s relevant

20:37 – More interjections. Dawn Primarolo (Lab) forced to make her point again for those who aren’t listening. Nothing has changed since 24 was agreed on. She attempts to debunk some nonsense on the loose…

20:45 – Ann Widdecombe objects to this on the basis that it insults the source of the nonsense, who is not present to defend himself/herself. Time for a sensible cup of tea…


21:14 – Now Judy Mallaber (Lab) is telling a personal anecdite. Don’t care whose side she’s on, I’m going back to the kitchen.


21:20 – Gah! Almost missed Nadine. She’s pro-choice, she says. Nadine tells the bedpan story again.

21:32 – Go, Nadine, go! She choked and almost lost the floor, but got back on her feet after the second long call for calm from the Speaker. Now the bullshit is flowing thick and fast. I look forward to fisking most of this tomorrow. For now, please note that Nadine Dorries looks and sounds just like Ollie Plimsoles when talking about ‘ishooz’.

21:33 – Speaker has to call for calm again!

21:40 – Oh, FFS… here come the ‘abortion industry’ rubbish. More calls for televised late-term abortions. And she pushes the claim of overwhelming public support. In a further enhancement of the CI poll, she claims that the majority of women back a reduction from 24 weeks and – in her words – do so in an informed fashion because they are ‘specifying’ 20 weeks. Colour me incredulous.

(That poll is getting one hell of a workout today isn’t it?)

21:46 – Off for fresh tea, though I wish for something stronger after Dorries. (Even mouthwash would do. At least it would get this bad taste out of my mouth.)

21:56 – Just found out that rhetorically speaking is also live-blogging here. Lots of detail that I’ve missed or not typed. Go see.

22:02 – Richard Ottaway Missed his name, proposed that point of viability has come down from 24 weeks to 23 or 22 to cries of “What?” “No it hasn’t.” … anyone catch his name?

22:06 – Ann Widdecombe claiming that we are murdering children in the womb, let’s show the public, moral rah rah rah, fighting for the weak, blah blah blah.

22:10 – Division.

22:41 – Sorry for the delay. I needed to kick computer in guts *and* have the server kicked in guts. Neither could stomach Nadine. Expect to see this phrase a lot tomorrow… Dawn Primarolo on Nadine Dorries; “She has asserted many things as fact which are not this evening.”

10:50 – 12, 16, 18, 20 (sorry, Nadine)… now it’s crunch time.

23:05 – See Liberal Conspiracy for more live-blogging and a run-down of the proposed amendments.

23:12 – Nadine Dories starts by claiming to have the backing of 200 MPs, and after two weeks of solid campaigning has the support of…. 190 MPs.


23:16 – Ayes 233, noes 305 – ’22 weeks’ goes down! Cameron** only brought 43 MPs with him!

And me without so much as a beer in the house…

[**NOTE – Cameron has said long before all of this that he supported a 20-week limit, but yesterday he conspiciously let it be known that he would most certainly back a limit of 22 weeks. No matter which way Cameron voted himself, 22 weeks looked to be the rallying cry for the troops (“Come on fellas, over the top middle!”)… but not enough Tories followed him.]


  1. bigdaddymerk says

    grrrr Pritchard is such a self satisfying prick – when is he going to realise it's not all about him?I've got a good mind to 'manifest Britain's throwaway society' by shitting on his doorstep.

  2. bigdaddymerk says

    more to the point – this mans office is about 100 yards away from where I live. I read the local papers and listen to the local radio – I have not seen or heard of Mark canvassing local public opinion on 20 weeks.So not only is he a self satisfying prick he's also a fucking liar.

  3. Agatha says

    Jenny Pervical's blog tonight is EXCELLENT isn't it? Fantastic stuff. Good old Nadine, she such a little nutter.

  4. David Boothroyd says

    Nadine Dorries just speaking has a claque of extremely boisterous almost all male Tory MPs surrounding her, urging her not to give way to anyone challenging her. But she's just given way "once" to Evan Harris.

  5. mou says

    20:30 – Mike Penning (Con) … "Please vote for 20 days, that's what I will be doing."I hope this is a typo on your part ;)

  6. Manic says

    BDM: Nadine's just played games with the poll, too. See entry for 21:40

  7. David Boothroyd says

    If Nadine Dorries needs a blog motto, she should use that quote from Dawn Primarolo: "Nadine Dorries: asserting as fact that which is not fact, every day, since 2007".

  8. Manic says

    mou: Oops. Yes, a typo. Now fixed. Sorry to scare anyone.:O)

  9. David Boothroyd says

    The MP proposing the 22 week amendment was Richard Ottaway (Conservative, Croydon South). Dorries amendment vote just called, 10:39 PM. Result should be about 10:55.

  10. Jonathan says

    The MP talking about viability being at between 22 and 23 weeks is named Richard Ottaway.

  11. Manic says

    Ta, David. [and Jonathan]Bit of an outage there. Back on deck now.

  12. David Boothroyd says

    Dorries amendment result: Ayes 190, Noes 332. Much bigger majority against her than I expected.

  13. Manic says

    Encouraging, isn't it?

  14. Justin says

    22 weeks vote coming up. The suspense…

  15. Jonathan says

    The 22-week amendment has been defeated by 304 to 233. Excellent. So much for Cameron's influence!

  16. Paul.Ferrari says

    Beautiful comment in this morning's Metro (London Edition) – Pg 7:"This is a complete failure but I will continue and put forward a Private Bill to reduce this as democracy was not served tonight"So, it wasn't democratic because she lost.

  17. Paul.Ferrari says

    Sorry, I should have mentioned, that quote was from Nadine.

  18. Manic says

    [edit: Thanks, Paul!]She was on Radio 4 this morning, again peddling her story about Labour MPs being under a secret whip.She'll dig til she dies, that one.

  19. schrodingerspig says

    Yes, Nad was on Radio 4, conceding that it will now take a change of government before she gets it down to 20 weeks, and how it was all a big fix.Mark Pritchard is probably off this morning, pitching his idea to Endemol.

  20. mikkimoose says

    Now then, now then.You should have found out about the abortion study before impugning it. (And then you could fairly slam its dishonesty)Here it is:http://www.comres.co.uk/page16521824.aspxDone by Comres, a reputable BPC member, so the methodology and sampling would be sound.That said the questioning is disgustingly dishonest and leading.Here are the three questions:Q.1 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?"Women who are considering whether to have an abortion should be given a statutory legal right to be told of all the physical and psychological risks known to be associated with it"What a stupid question. Sets the tone for the survey. How can you answer it any way other than yes without seeming unreasonable. Yet, it's a clear attempt to push into law the anti-abortion agenda of the Christian Institute, viz. to shame women into not having abortions by subjecting them to distressing 'counselling'.Q2 In Great Britain the upper time limit for abortion is 24 weeks. By comparison in most other EU countries the limit is 12 weeks or lower. In light of this difference what do you think the limit should be in Britain?Horrible question again. Firstly, Q1 is already leading people down the anti-abortion line. Secondly, the statement that in most countries the limit is 12 weeks or less is a pathetic attempt to influence people's answer. Obviously most people don't have a clue about abortion limits, but giving them one side of the view in the question is not the solution.Q.3 In the last year for which figures are available, government statistics show that 52 babies survived having been born earlier than 24 weeks. At one specialist neo-natal unit in Britain, 5 out of 7 babies born at 22 weeks gestation survived. In light of this, do you think that the upper time limit for abortion should be kept at 24 weeks, increased, or decreased?More dishonesty. Only the last sentence is proper polling. The previous two sentences are more anti-abortion pushing. And saying that 5 out of 7 babies survived means nothing because the sample is so small.How many people were influenced by this dirty and dishonest piece of manipulation? This Bill came close to passing Parliament (at least on 22 weeks). How many MPs were influenced by the lie that the public genuinely by a 2/3 margin.I would suggest that those MPs promulgating this dishonesty should be asked if they were aware of the actual questions asked. If they still believe the poll is of any value whatsoever, they do not deserve to be MPs (and I say this as a die-hard Tory).

  21. Jonathan says

    Nadine Dorries has just updated her blog:"Last night, sitting in the chamber waiting to speak, I had that usual 'sick in the pit of your stomach' feeling that arrives when you know you are about to speak.When the Speaker called my name, I was lifted to my feet by the cheers and support of my colleagues, and an overwhelming feeling of good will, which sustained me throughout.I work with lovely people.The Times described them today as my personal 'marem', the male version of a harem. I wish!More later"You've got to admire her willingness to face up to her crushing defeat. At some point today she might even get around to talking about it.

  22. Manic says

    (looks up from keyboard)finishing a post about that right now, mikkimoose

  23. Manic says

    Yep, here you go. Totally agree that the poll itself has many faults, but wanted to highlight a whopper from Nadine:https://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2008/05/nadi…[I withdrew your duplicate comment, schrodingerspig. Sorry to keep you waiting… I was writing]

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