Posted Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 16:59
I have just asked Nadine what time she wants me to come in tonight to post her blog.
I'm going clubbing later - perhaps I could pop into the office on my way home at about 3am and post something then!
Don't hold your breath for a blog tomorrow - she has done over thirty interviews today and has been up since 4am.
Researcher to Nadine
Posted Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 00:08
I am posting my statement to the press, and a copy of my minority report presented to the Science and Technology Select Committee, which has been issued to the press at one minute past midnight on this blog.
I have not been able to say anything up until this time as I am not allowed to comment until the Select Committee has released the Chairman's report to the press.
The Committee was hi-jacked by those who have powerful financial vested interests in the abortion industry.
The statement and minority report says it all.
A while ago I wrote a blog entitled 'Behind the Scenes at the BMA' - tomorrows will be entitled behind the scenes at the RCOG.
The RCOG 'Abortion Guideline Committee', paid for by the government, informs government thinking, influences policy making and provides the guidelines within which the abortion industry operates. That Committee is almost entirely made up of individuals and organisations who are financially dependant upon a thriving abortion industry.
The press statement says the rest. Click here to read my statement and minority report.
I could never have put my name to the majority report which has been published. I regard the report as a veiled attack upon women and women's rights, but even worse, as a direct attack on unborn infants. I say this as someone who accepts abortion as a fact of life, who is not anti-abortion, but who is appalled at the way women are being manipulated in the name of a so called fictitious campaign of pro-choice. What is more, I know I have the support of public opinion behind me.
My day will start today with the 7.30am slot on the Today programme.
At the midnight hour
Posted Tuesday, 30 October 2007 at 17:00
Nadine will be blogging at one minute past midnight, there is a reason why!
Posted Friday, 26 October 2007 at 10:44
that instead of attributing my expenses to me, the House of Commons paid my staff directly, the National Insurance, holiday pay, temp staff etc, and never ever give it to me in an allowance; just employ the staff and do it all for me.
I wish they would pay for the running of my office, give me paper, ink, envelopes, stamps, computers, printers, phones and bills, and take care of all the sundry expenses which came through; and not give me the expenses because having to do it myself is the only part of my job I hate.
I wish they would pay for my surveys, the printing and laying out; and just paid for it all to save me the two grand I have to pay to my accountant to sort it out for me.
I wish they would buy a big tower block in London with 650 bedrooms and bathrooms, like a giant nurses’ home, where MPs stayed when Parliament sat. We wouldn't need to have the additional cost allowance to pay for our own accommodation then.I wish that they also employed the staff in my constituency and directly took responsibility for the cost, and the running, of my constituency office.
I wish people understood that I don't earn a penny over £60, 000.
I wish I had a company car because at least that way I wouldn't be driving around in an old banger.
But more than anything, I wish the House of Commons were based in Toddington or Flitwick, or better still at the bottom of my garden, so that at least I could sneak home at bedtime and kiss my daughter goodnight.
Posted Thursday, 25 October 2007 at 09:35
Yesterday was supposed to have been a short day, even though it had started very early - I was glad to have reached Blackfriars at 7.30 last night. As I went through the barrier Newsnight rang - I went straight back through the other side! My first Newsnight. I had always thought that when the night came, if it ever did, that I would be rigid with terror. I was right.
I was on with Dr Evan Harris, the Lib Dem MP who believes there is no evidence to stop aborting babies once they reach 20 weeks. He's also the MP who campaigns for euthanasia. He has a nickname in the House amongst the other MPs it's Dr ......? Dr...? Do you know, I can't remember he second bit, Dr...? Oh it will come to me. Anyway, he took longer in make-up than I did, which is saying something. I was begining to worry they may replace us with another item.
We went into the studio, where we were introduced to Gavin Estler and had to be miked up. It was the top item on the show. I was wearing a dress. A difficult process getting a microphone on with a snug dress. As I started the process of shimmying the mic upwards, the sound man and I were laughing. I said "it will be ok as long as Gavin doesn't glance sidewards." Gavin carried on looking straight ahead at his monitor like a gentleman and grinned. I sat down, the music started, Gavin turned to me and said "I didn't look sideways, but of course the camera was on the whole time." and we were off... I had never been less nervous in my life.
When it was over I received about a dozen text messages which bizzarely, all said exactly the same thing - 'those bulging eyes!!'
I thought my eyes looked quite nice.. Maybe I should have spent longer in make-up!
To watch Newsnight Click here.
Posted Wednesday, 24 October 2007 at 10:08
This morning we have the Minister coming to the Select Committee for questioning, then its PMQs and then its over to Millbank for World at One, or WATO as its better known here.
I will blog after WATO, in the meantime, Peter Franklin has said some blushingly nice things about me in his column on ConservativeHome which have nothing to do with abortion.
Iain Dale did a good piece re the blog yesterday and the blog I did for the Spectator Coffee House is running as their most discussed blog of the moment - with some really good debate running.
Smoke & Mirrors
Posted Tuesday, 23 October 2007 at 13:09
I have a letter in the Guardian today which speaks for itself.
An article in today's Daily Mail mentioned that the Health Minister, Dawn Primarolo MP will tell MPs - in the science and technology committee of which I am a member - that she has seen no scientific evidence to reduce the upper limit at which abortion is available down from 24 weeks.
The article goes on to read "both the BMA and the RCOG are not convinced there is currently a need to change the limit."
It's nice of her to inform the Select Committee of her position, before we have even had a chance to put the questions to her, however, let's have a closer look at the BMA and the RCOG.
The RCOG Committee which drew up the guidelines, that regulate the abortion industry is made up mainly of abortion providers, both on a large and small scale.
For example both the BPAS and Marie Stopes who carry out the lions share of 200,000 abortions per year are advisors to the Committee.
Dr Kate Guthrie, is an advisor – it was she, who when giving evidence to the Science & Technology Select Committee, said speaking with her RCOG hat on, that she saw no evidence to change from 24 weeks – and then said on national TV the following night via the Dispatches programme, that she wouldn’t abort a baby over 20 weeks. When asked was this because it was too much like a baby, she said “I suppose so.”
Militant, pro-abortion groups are also advisors, but in the name of balance, no pro-life groups.
Almost every person on the committee has a vested financial interest in ensuring that the number of abortions which take place in the UK remains amongst the highest in Europe.
I believe that the RCOG may have deliberately attempted to mislead the Science & Technology Committee in its submission.
It failed to mention the Hoekstra study which demonstrates how with good neonatal intervention, 66% of all babies (that is babies born naturally because there may have been medical complications not healthy babies aborted) at 23 weeks live.
It failed to mention how in the UK at good neonatal units such as UCH London and Hope hospital in Salford, 43% of 23 weekers live.
Instead it chose to quote a study which averages out births at all hospitals across the UK, which puts the figure at 10 -15%.
The RCOG also failed to quote any papers linking abortion to pre-term delivery which had been published after 2003 and completely ignored the recent peer reviewed acclaimed study into foetal pain produced by Dr Anand.
The RCOG also went foolishly further than this and have in a very childish way claimed they are not aware of Dr Anand on their web page.
Dr Anand is the world's authority on foetal pain - it was his work at Oxford in the 1980’s which resulted in all neonates being given anaesthesia for general surgery today. Until he produced his work it was thought that neonates could not feel pain, by measuring stress hormones he proved otherwise. Dr Anand has been published world wide.
The RCOG web site stating that they are unaware of Dr Anand is the equivalent of a group of mathematicians asking “who is Einstein?”
Will the Minister quote the RCOG in her answers to the Committee tomorrow? I wonder.
Maybe she will quote the BMA.
Lets take the BMA, the organisation which voted at its conference to support the move to require only one doctor's signature for an abortion to be performed, not two. Thereby making abortion easier and faster and less tedious from an administrative perspective for the abortionist.
At the BMA conference motions are put to the floor to be spoken to and then voted upon. There is a time limit. Motion one on the order paper, obvioulsy, is always spoken to and voted upon. Motion two may get a hearing. If one and two are popular then there is little chance of three getting through.
At the BMA conference the first three motions were pro-abortion motions.
There was a backlash petition from 950 BMA doctors signed on the web following this.
So will she quote the BMA who somehow manage to work it so that only a pro-abortion motion could be voted on, I wonder.
Let's hope the Minister will come to the Select Committee with an open mind tomorrow. Lets hope she will realise that the whole purpose of the Committee is to gather and present the evidence to government in order to inform the government's position, not the other way around.
Let's hope her officials got carried away, because if they didn’t, and if the Minister really has made up her mind, surely now the question has to be, what is the point of the Select Committee?
Posted Monday, 22 October 2007 at 16:42
Today Nadine is a guest blogger for the Spectator.
To visit please follow the following link:
The Coffee House
Posted Friday, 19 October 2007 at 23:17
It doesn’t matter whether I am in the supermarket or in the gym, the desire which drove me to become an MP drives others to ‘buttonhole’ me and tell me what to do to in order to put the country right.
I love these exchanges and was particularly struck by one lady last week who said “I wish I had your blog and all those people reading what I said, I would never stop writing”. Mmmm, interesting.
That set me thinking - I am going to post a guest blog every Saturday from a constituent who wants to get something off their chest.
I think I am going to start with my hairdresser Debbie, who has more to say about education than your average hairdresser that’s for sure. Then I am going to ask Steve from ABC if he would like to do something, Penny from the town council, Mike from the post office..
All non party political I hasten to add, and I would have to get it checked over for content to make sure it’s not libellous, but hey, I am going to let my constituents loose on my blog on a Saturday.
If anyone wants to contribute, you have to email me 400 words and a photo with a brief description of who you are what you do etc, with a telephone number and your off, with a few hundred thousand readers at your finger tips.
Arabella Huffingham, just eat your heart out!
Off The Record…
Posted Friday, 19 October 2007 at 13:20
Last night a very famous journalist fell right into my lap.
But first, let me explain. As you will be aware, there is a code amongst MPs, and journalists known as "off the record" - it’s never broken. If an MP wishes to have a chat with a journalist, but not have that conversation reported, he or she will always pre-empt the conversation with "off the record" first.
Why would we have off the record conversations? Well, the lobby journalists talk to everyone and often can know more about a particular issue than the MP. Take John Pienaar, BBC Five Live political reporter for instance. He is incredibly intelligent, been around for a while and knows everyone and everything, but more importantly, gets right to what is driving the political agenda on any one issue very quickly. He has a nose for it. It can be education, defence, whatever, he will know the subject in depth and probably predict the outcome accurately. John Pienaar would make a very good minister of just about anything - and he is also one of the nicest journalists in the House.
However, something very strange is occurring. Recently I bumped into John in Milbank, we started chatting and he said to me, "Off the record." Now this made me laugh. He wanted to make sure that what he said to me didn’t go into my blog! How extraordinary!
I was sat in the Pugin room yesterday having a meeting with two others who both needed to go outside and answer their mobile phones.
A very good looking man was outside the door, turned, saw me and strode purposefully towards me with his arm outstretched saying, "Nadine, can I just introduce myself? I am blah blah from the blah blah" - like I didn’t know who he was!
At this point, about two thirds of the way towards me, he tripped up over his own feet, stumbled, steadied himself, took a step, got his foot caught in the handle of my PA's handbag - which was on the floor - fell, flung himself over a chair, knocking the cushions onto the floor, banged the table, which I, as cool as a cucumber, put my hand out to steady, as he lurched upwards and landed over the chair with both hands on the green leather sofa seat next to me.
He then said with his face at an unusual angel only inches from mine "off the record that OK?"
Throughout this acrobatic procedure I sat in total amazement with eyes agog laughing.
Off the record, yeah right, let's settle for unattributed.
Nadine will be blogging later today
Posted Friday, 19 October 2007 at 10:27
Nadine is very busy in the constituency today, presenting computers for Schools at Tescos in Flitwick; visiting a school in preparation for local democracy week; as well as attending meetings at the constituency office.
Yesterday evening she also attended a public meeting about the expansion of the M1 in Tingrith and did not get home til quite late.
However, she does intend to blog later today via bluetooth as and when the opportunity arises.
The Office of Nadine Dorries MP.
Nadine Will Be Blogging Later Today
Posted Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 12:42
Due to the fact that Nadine is very busy today, she will not be blogging until later.
She also reliably informs me that she will be revealing no details of yesterday's 'Tory Totty Night Out' as referred to, on Iain Dale's blog! (Anyway, she arrived late due to prior engagements concerning her work on the inquiry into abortion, on the Science and Technology Select Committee).
Researcher to Nadine Dorries MP
Lost In Translation
Posted Wednesday, 17 October 2007 at 14:05
I had fifteen Spanish Judges visit the Houses of Parliament yesterday - Theresa who works in the office of St Albans MP, Anne Main, and my new American Intern Stephanie, both speak Spanish, so they became the tour guides.
Unfortunately, Theresa's Spanish was learnt in Venezuela, and Stephanie's appears to have a dialect which made communication slightly tricky.
I was in a meeting with a Doctor gathering information for the Abortion Inquiry, currently undertaken by the Science and Technology Committee. Theresa attempted to explain this to the Judges, who all looked very concerned. She reassured them, that as soon as the meeting was over I would be with them - which I was.
The problem was, my whereabouts had become lost in translation. The look of concern as to where I was, was nothing compared to the looks I received when I arrived.
The Judges had understood that I couldn’t be with them because I was having an abortion - one was very concerned that I was well enough to be joining them.
Spanish lessons coming up.
There are reports in the papers today which state that obesity could be worse for you than smoking.
I had breakfast in the Members' tea room this morning, I sat on a table with eight men. I had sausages, bacon, eggs, black pudding and hash browns, as did Anne Main. All the men had had fruit and fibre, with fresh fruit. What's going on?
And there was more....
Posted Tuesday, 16 October 2007 at 10:21
Yesterday's Guardian carried an article claiming that a number of the witnesses called to give evidence were members of faith based organisations.
Digging my deepest I would say that out of the 18 witnesses, you could claim a maximum of five of having some form of faith - the rest are overwhelmingly pro-choice, which is in itself an ideological stance.
Unfortunately one member of the committee appears to feel it is appropriate that if he is aware that a witness has a faith that it should be disclosed. This appears to me to be rather ridiculous, as from now on I will ask every witness whether or not they are pro-choice.
However, there is more. I wanted to share with you one of the many e-mails I have received over the last week. It came from Dr Paul Clark.
If you wish to see the various attachments he refers to, please click on the various links at the end of this blog.
The person discussed in this e-mail is Dr Sam Rowlands, who was one of the witnesses called to give evidence at the committee yesterday. I was aware of the case but didn’t have enough information in time for the meeting yesterday to bring it up.
Without doubt the fact that if a twenty three week old baby is born into the right unit and put into the care of the right hands it would stand an excellent chance of survival was established yesterday.
The email from Dr Paul Clark is as follows:
Dear Nadine (if I may),
I was fortunate enough to hear you on the Simon Mayo show today. I was full of admiration for your eloquent and lucid arguments in the discussions.
I am a consultant neonatologist and routinely care for babies of 23–24 weeks and beyond. I completely agree with everything you said, and completely disagree with everything that Dr Kate Paterson said in relation to fetuses not feeling pain until probably 28 weeks. She should come to my neonatal unit, or that of any other tertiary neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the UK and simply ask any of the doctors or nurses who care for infants below 28 weeks’ gestation whether they agree with her or not. She would be isolated. All staff would describe pain and discomfort in any baby below 28 weeks, whatever the early gestation, who happened to be cared for on the NICU. We are all mindful of the pain and discomfort these tiny babies experience and all strive to do our utmost to make their passage through intensive care as pain-free as possible.
I was especially interested to hear you mention about the baby that survived abortion and that your committee was going to hear from a doctor who attempted to abort a baby 3 times who was then born alive and has lived. I am especially interested because I believe it is probably the same baby that I and colleagues cared for at Hope Hospital Neonatal Unit from November 2002. You may or may not be aware that I wrote the case report up in a medical journal. I attach my article in case you did not see it. I also attach a reply from the BPAS clinical director in response to my article. From this it will be clear that a total of 4 different drugs were administered to that lady to attempt to get her to abort (not 3 as I had initially been led to believe, and had initially reported in my case report). To my best knowledge this child remains a long-term survivor and is now aged almost 5 years.
After hearing you speak on the radio today, I am extremely glad to hear that you are on this scientific committee and wish you well.
Dr Paul Clarke MB ChB FRCPCH MRCP(UK) DCH DCCH
Infant who survived Abortion (PDF) Rowlands 2005 (PDF)
Rowlands Reply 2005 (PDF)
The doctor I was in discussion with on the Simon Mayo Show said that many of the women who came to see her for terminations at twenty three weeks had compelling reasons to do so.
I put it to her, if we are aware that a baby of twenty three weeks gestation in the womb who is about to be aborted would be viable if born, does that baby not have a compelling reason to ask for it’s life?
Today at the Science & Technology Committee - the Evidence
Posted Monday, 15 October 2007 at 09:54
Today the Science and Technology Committee meets for the first evidence session into the scientific evidence to reduce the upper limit at which abortion takes place from 24 to 20 weeks. I think it is being televised, and although it won’t go out on the Parliament channel live, it will go out either in the evening or sometime in the week.
From the 18 witnesses to give evidence, I could only identify three who could be classed as pro-life, i.e. would wish to support a reduction. All other witnesses were very definitely pro-choice, either from the perspective of which ever establishment they represented, or as a matter of personal opinion.
Following a discussion last week the Chairman very kindly granted my request that two other witnesses should be included to even up the balance - although it is still heavily weighted in the other direction.
The reason why the committee’s findings are so important has more to do with the Human Tissue and Embryology Bill which will be coming to the House sometime following the Queen’s Speech on the 6th November.
It has been ruled that amendments can be made to this Bill which will impact upon the provision as laid out in the Abortion Act of 1967. Therefore MPs will use the findings of this investigation to inform their argument in the chamber and the committee stage during the Bill’s passage through Parliament.
On Monday, one of the witnesses will be Professor Neil Marlow who will inform the committee that at 23 weeks gestation only 10-15 per cent of babies born across England survive.
What he may not say however, is that at University College Hospital London, 42 per cent of babies born at 23 weeks survive and at 24 weeks that figure jumps to 72 per cent.
The figures in America are much higher still, 66 per cent and 81 per cent respectively.
Professor Marlow will present figures that could be statistically probable if you average out the figures across the country; but won’t in any way represent the true picture should a mother happen to give birth in a good hospital with a good neo-natologist present.
The figures may show little difference on a region by region basis, but would tell an entirely different story if we compared hospital by hospital.
The fact is that with the right treatment on hand, 23 ‘weekers’ have a good chance of survival. At 23 weeks life is viable and therefore we should not, from either the position of ethics or morals, be aborting at that stage.
Every day this week I will be discussing different aspects of this investigation. I apologise to those who like the more light hearted side of my blogs, however, this is incredibly important to me. Abortion is after all about taking a life.
The reason the ’67 Act came about was to prevent doctors from being prosecuted for manslaughter. We perform 200,000 abortions a year in this country; 1:4 pregnancies results in termination. I believe that the laissez fair attitude to abortion has deeper roots within our broken society. After all, what kind of society aborts babies at 24 weeks gestation and in order to do so commits foeticide in the most barbaric manner, just in case the baby lives?
World This Weekend
Posted Saturday, 13 October 2007 at 12:03
A Radio 4 outside broadcast van is about to come to my home to pre-record an interview which will be broadcast on Radio 4 at 1pm on Sunday.
The interview is about abortion and the forthcoming month long investigation the Science and Technology Committee, on which I sit, is about to undertake.
I will post on Monday details of what is in store over the next few weeks as the temperature is going to rise dramatically on this issue within Parliament, and amongst MPs over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, may I suggest that anyone interested in this issue reads today’s Daily Mail online and reads the article regarding foetal pain - If for no reason other than you are going to need to keep up over the next month!
How low can you go?
Posted Friday, 12 October 2007 at 12:42
Not much further if you are Bedfordshire Police Force because this week it was rated as the worst performing police force in the UK. The worst, the last, end of the line, bottom of the pile, the end – period.
Bedfordshire council tax happens to be amongst the highest in the country, so therefore if you were a Bedfordshire resident you could be forgiven for thinking that you would be entitled to some of the best policing, not so apparently.
I spoke to the Deputy Chief Constable of another force yesterday who was rated considerably higher. He told me that his force has one of the highest rates of inward migration and three major very urban centres. He then reeled off all the ‘unique’ problems his force has to deal with despite the fact that his force scored well!
However, that’s irrelevant, every force has its own set of unique problems, the fact is that we are the worst, the last, bottom, nowhere else to drop force in the country.
The Chief Constable absolutely has to resign and I have written to the Secretary of State to ask her to agree with this position.
The reason why I feel so strongly that the Chief Constable has to go is this: if you have resided over a deterioration in the delivery of police services to the point that the force scored poor in protecting the vulnerable and neighbourhood policing. you obviously cannot have what it takes, in terms of drive, vision and ability, to pull that force up by its boot straps; and get it back to the position it should be, which frankly, given that we are one of the highest council tax payers in the country, should be bouncing around somewhere near the top.
Chief constables should be directly elected by the public. At present they are exempt from public scrutiny and accountability. If I did my job badly the public will vote me out; the Chief Constable should be subjected to the same level of scrutiny. Nothing focuses the mind more than an election looming and someone else wanting your job snapping at your heels.
When Bedfordshire Police mess up in Mid Beds, I deal with the consequences. It’s my surgery which people attend to complain. I listen to the stories and it’s me who tries to put things right.
No one ever sits in front of the Chief Constable. She doesn’t have members of the public with serious grievances sat in front of her. She doesn’t have to hand out Kleenex and hugs and embark on three months of paperwork, that’s my job.
If it goes anywhere it goes to the Police Complaints Commission or the Secretary of State – now who is missing there? Oh yes of course, the person in charge of the Force which the complaint is about in the first place.
She didn’t console or work on behalf of the 80yr old farmer who was wrongly arrested by 12 armed officers, thrown into a police van and detained in a police cell for hours. I don’t even think she spoke to him.
Or the innocent gentleman who was scared half out of his wits as the police, wrongly, kicked his front door in. No, that all comes to me and I just can’t help thinking that maybe, just maybe, if she had to deal with these people herself, and look them in the eye, she may feel a little more human about what she does and attempt to deliver a better service.
I have met many police officers in Bedfordshire and they all seem to me to be very committed, hard working and fair minded individuals. I don’t blame them for one minute. I blame the woman at the top and she has to do the decent thing and go.
A Chief Constable whose priorities are ensuring that she has a high enough female representation in the force, and that ethnic minorities are not disadvantaged in stop and search, has distorted priorities.
The big embarrassment in this for me is that Jacqui Smith is now the Secretary of State. I had to go and see Jacqui when she was Secretary of State for Education, when raising the issue of the local LEA and how it dealt with special needs in Bedfordshire. That visit resulted in every special needs assessment in the county having to be re-done.
Here we go again.
On a lighter note, I was woken this morning by a text message telling me that, er, a part of my anatomy was featured on page 33 of the Sun. My first thought was thank goodness my father is not alive as I flew down to the post office for a copy of the paper.
It was all quite innocent really. It does amuse me that some female MPs complain about such things. It made me laugh more than anything .
Hubris to Nemesis?
Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2007 at 15:50
I sat behind David Cameron at PMQs today; I was the bright pink jacket. Worn for a specific reason, constituents are always saying to me “we never see you at PMQs”. I thought that today I would make sure they noticed me!
However, it has been one of the few occasions I have seen myself on TV in the chamber. Note to self – don’t slouch or chew a pen, it looks sloppy!
I have sat behind David on a number of occasions. I was right behind him for his very first PMQs as leader.
He used to come into PMQs smiling, chatting and laughing. He would turn around, smile and acknowledge those of us who sat behind him; those days are gone, not anymore.
When he comes in now it’s a different David. He is totally focused. His body language is more contained, the smiles are gone, and he doesn’t chat, even to George who is sat next to him. It’s as though he is absolutely concentrating on what he is about to do and say, a bit like an athlete or a jaguar, waiting to pounce. He was as cool as a cucumber; he is in his salad days.
When his turn was over, he turned around and handed his notes to his PPS, Desmond Swayne who was sat next to me. They were tabulated with David’s notes in that clear, concise handwriting.
My vantage point meant I was directly in front of Gordon Brown. At one point he was grey, shaking and shouting, he was losing it.
He isn’t going to cut it as a Prime Minister. His office is going off the rails. Why is this? Does he have the wrong team of advisers or are we looking at a case of hubris in extremis. Is he is being advised, but considers himself to be above taking it?
If this is a case of hubris, can the leader of a Western democracy lead the people if he feels himself to be above listening to the people?
Will we witness the premiership of Gordon Brown play out like a Greek tragedy - hubris to nemesis?
My new intern, Stephanie, has arrived from New York. She is 20, stunning and one of the cleverest young ladies I have ever met. This is such a relief to me as the dynamics of the office are important and we only like to have nice people working in mine, and she is lovely.
Posted Tuesday, 9 October 2007 at 11:32
George Osborne is becoming a bit of a trend setter.
The words ‘bottler’ had only just fallen from his lips and just about everyone was wearing one. The papers were full of photographs of otherwise fashion conscious people dressed in Gordon Brown bottles, inspired by George.
A few weeks ago he described certain members of the Conservative party as ‘uber modernisers’ and now everyone is over using the phrase. It’s uber this and uber that. Even Helen Mirren (yes, I am a fan) used it on Top Gear the other night.
Uber has become the new whatever.
Now, George could be onto something here.
I am sure, however, that today he will have other things on his mind as he takes on Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown over the comprehensive spending review – but if George wants to pop the phrase ‘blonde female Conservative MPs look good in Prada’ into his speech, I will be off like a shot.
No Blog Today
Posted Monday, 8 October 2007 at 18:26
Nadine is busy in meetings today and so will not be blogging.
The Generation Gap
Posted Saturday, 6 October 2007 at 21:48
I heard the news from a fellow MP. I was driving at the time and pulled over. My phone warbled away as the Westminster drums began texting.
I got home and called Stewart Jackson MP for Peterborough. I was sat in front of my new TV watching Sky, when the running news ran that Brown had called the election off ‘due to concerns regarding the electoral register’, I read this out to Stewart, Oh how we laughed.
“Yeah” said Stewart, “the concern being that everyone on it wants to vote Tory”
It is one of the most fascinating state of affairs to observe.
I have always been absolutely convinced that he would go if he was ahead in the polls. I am still convinced that if he had a poll lead today he would have gone.
I think on balance, that those of us who said he would go, were nearer to the truth, than those who said he wouldn’t. This possibly sounds strange given today’s events; however, nobody thought that we would be as much as 6% ahead in the marginal seats – least of all us.
Those who said he wouldn’t go cited very clear reasons for thinking so; from he’s only interested in the spending review, to dark nights.
Those who thought he would go had reasons which were far more compelling, from his need for a people’s mandate, to stormy economic seas up ahead.
The greater risk has always been for him not to go. Now he stays in place in the knowledge that it may only be for three years. We have three years in which to bed down and get out the message that we are the party of low taxation, the party which is tough on crime and will heal the NHS.
If he had retained a poll lead of significance he would have been ready to press that button on Tuesday, of that I have no doubt. Maybe he will go next May? He may be thinking that, but I am sure he knows in his heart of hearts, he missed the boat.
My new Sky+ TV is situated at the foot of my bed on a blanket chest, at my toe tips so to speak. Purchased in order to watch Andrew Marr in bed on a Sunday morning.
I am watching it as I type this blog on my lap top and my Blackberry is on the bedside table next to me.
My daughter has just come into the bedroom, looked at me and said “God, your carbon footprint is so embarrassing”, and flounced out.
I always knew there was a generation gap; I just thought I would be a tad older before it hit me!!
Oh yes, and Nicholas Watt, lobby correspondent, you were right. Ouch, that hurt!
The ego that ran away with itself?
Posted Friday, 5 October 2007 at 10:59
Is it really possible that a British Prime Minister deliberately manipulated the national press and whipped up election fever, simply in order to attempt to damage Her Majesty's official opposition?
Royal Mail, town halls and local councils across the country have been working to ensure provisional preparations are in place, incurring additional costs, to be paid by the tax payer.
Yesterday I heard that the BBC have been negotiating the importing and commissioning of additional outside live broadcast satellite vans from Poland and Greece, again, paid for by us, the taxpayers.
Last week, in the Spectator, (Fraser Nelson I think) I read that one of Brown's aides had confided to a member of the press, that team Brown were confident, with an election looming the Tories would turn on themselves at conference and dis-unite.
Like all good families faced with a potentially difficult situation, we did just the opposite.
I don't know about you, but I am slightly concerned that the man presently running the country, flies out to Iraq in the middle of the Conservative Party conference and cynically pulls an insensitive stunt, disregarding the daily adversity, danger and stress faced by our troops. All this for no reason other than wanting to damage his political opponents and prevent them from taking his precious.
Its all about Gordon, its all about control and power. If he doesn't call an election Its also about having made a massive misjudgement, and it is all very, very disturbing.
Posted Thursday, 4 October 2007 at 12:12
I finally succumbed to the Blackpool bug - it got me on my very last meal.
Trying to vomit, in service station order, on the drive home was a feat of self-discipline I never thought I would have to master, but there you go, I managed it.
When the food arrived the thought, "this is not very hot" did occur to me, however, unusually for me, I was talking at the time and the moment past.
The moral of the story? Only eat food in restautants which is piping hot - thanks Blackpool, a leaving gift to surpass all others.
If I were a candidate in a marginal seat, I would be feeling very happy indeed - in fact, I would have been out canvassing since dawn.
David Cameron has taken the fight right to Brown's door, but the "will he, won't he" question, is still hanging in the air. I have always been 100% convinced that he will and I still am.
He still has far more to lose if he waits, than if he goes.
Who cares if he returns with a diminished majority? The newspapers for about two days; from then on it won't matter a jot, so long as he still has a working majority.
How many people know or care, that the Conservatives got more votes in England, than Labour at the last General Election? Just a 197, and they are all Conservative MPs.
Does anyone really believe that he is going to give us another couple of years to bed down the raft of policies David announced yesterday into people's hearts and minds? Not a chance, it's game on, any day now.
PS - I scare myself when I write blogs like this.
New Blog Arriving Soon
Posted Monday, 1 October 2007 at 17:41
I am blogging for both the Spectator and Cornerstone all week.
The end result may be that I hate blogging!
Blogging for the Spectator
Posted Monday, 1 October 2007 at 13:41