Pat-a -cake pat-a-cake
Posted Wednesday, 31 March 2010 at 16:04
David Cameron gave a fantastic speech http://tinyurl.com/ygshfga today about our plan for a big society. Big people, small state is a philosophy which runs through my veins and is the core reason why I am a Conservative.
Plans for 5000 community organisers, the ambition to roll back the state and engage others in the delivery of community services will present a massive cultural change within many communities. It will result in the delivery of some person-to-person services which will be provided not as a duty and function of the state or as a means of earning profit, but as an act of kindness and humanity.
Kindness is a good place to start when re-building a fragmented and broken society.
I mused on this when stood in Roger’s bakery in Meppershall in my constituency.
In France, every village and town has its own bakery. It is a centre of the community where people converse and exchange information and news.
We just don’t have anything like the same in the UK; our towns and high streets are dominated by supermarkets and high street chains. Just another example of how our society has become fragmented and isolated.
Roger’s bread and cakes are to die for by the way and the hot cross buns taste like they did when I was a child. If you are reading this blog and live in Mid Beds but don’t know about Roger’s - you should do!
New Blog Arriving Soon
Posted Wednesday, 31 March 2010 at 16:03
Posted Monday, 29 March 2010 at 23:17
Long day, finally over. The morning began with a meeting regarding the Covanta proposal with resident’s representatives from Marston Moretaine.
The remainder of the day was spent in constituent’s homes. As I am shortly no longer the MP, I am slightly concerned with regard to some of the case work which is only part way to completion.
I am staggered that my staff has no access to the Parliamentary office during the election and that all casework is put on hold. Some of the cases are fairly serious and I am not surprised that many constituents don’t realise that everything stops throughout the election.
Today was a day I spent explaining that to a large number of people. Not easy, they don’t get it. Not sure I do either.
Ten minute rule Bill now done and ready to go for April 6th.
Canvass cards printed. Leaflets on the way to the printers. Chancellor’s debate huge success for George, polls rising like new bread dough.
Shefford Lower School
Posted Friday, 26 March 2010 at 11:35
Great morning at Shefford Lower School. The local supermarket, Morrison's, have donated masses of gardening equipment and plants to get the children growing their own. The kids absolutely love it and some of them are already keen gardners with their own plot at home.
Off to NFU meeting now.
long, long title.
Posted Wednesday, 24 March 2010 at 19:05
My Bill has been approved and the long title confirmed;
That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require planning authorities to conduct a local referendum before considering planning permission for new large-scale waste recovery or disposal facilities which involve the recovery or disposal of waste from more than one county area; to provide that planning authorities and the Secretary of State must not grant planning permission if the result of such a referendum indicates that local people do not wish a facility to be developed; and for connected purposes.
I have until April the 6th to have the case/speech pulled together. Given that the Bill calls for more power to be devolved to local people, I am going to ask locals if they would like to give me a few points written in their own words, that they would like me to read out in the chamber and attribute during the reading of the BIll.
I can't think of a better way to take constituents into Westminster than that.
Posted Wednesday, 24 March 2010 at 14:35
I have just secured a new Ten Minute Rule Bill to be read on April 6th.
I am going to use the Bill to oppose the Covanta proposal to build a far too large Energy-From-Waste site in Mid Bedfordshire.
The Bill will be framed around allowing those people who will have their immediate environment impacted upon, either visually or in any other way, a referendum to approve or disapprove such facilities when they specifically relate to providing services for residents other than those in Bedfordshire.
I’m awaiting instruction from the Public Bill Office regarding a long and short title, do’s and don’ts and specifics. I have to be careful as aspects of the Bill could stray into private legislation.
More news later.
No to Covanta
Posted Monday, 22 March 2010 at 11:03
Here is an article that i have written for the Bedfordshire on Sunday regarding the proposals made by Covanta Energy and above is a picture of one of these proposed plants.
'I have listened to all sides of the story regarding the intention of the American waste giant ‘Covanta,’ who propose to submit an application to build an energy-from-waste facility at Rookery Pit, close to Marston Moretaine and Stewartby.
The facts are fairly straightforward. European legislation now dictates that we have to dispose of our waste in order to generate energy or Bedfordshire will be heavily fined, which will result in higher council taxes for all.
Over the last few months, I have received many letters and emails asking me to support one side of the argument or another.
As with all such things, I wanted to wait and be sure that I had been fully apprised of all the relevant facts and information.
I have now reached a decision and it is based on fundamental elements of the proposal which, to me, are immovable in terms of compromise.
I am wholly behind providing a facility to cater for Bedfordshire’s waste. I am opposed to the idea of Bedfordshire hosting a facility to dispose of waste for anywhere outside of Beds, such as Buckinghamshire or Cambridgeshire. They can take care of their own.
I am absolutely and steadfastly opposed to the blight on the landscape that such a facility as the one Covanta propose would inflict upon Bedfordshire.
It is common knowledge that I wish to see Bedfordshire’s economy grow via tourism: not industrial development. From almost every vantage point in Bedfordshire in terms of tourism – Ampthill Park, Houghton House, the Millennium Park and just about every beauty spot in the county has to offer, would be spoilt by the view of a large waste site.
And therefore, with this in mind, I have decided that I am opposed to the Covanta proposal. The visual impact upon wider Bedfordshire can not be minimised and it is my belief that once Covanta were established, then any attempt at keeping Bedfordshire a place of rural residence would be lost forever.
Should the Covanta proposal be approved, it would be much harder to defend our position from the hungry developers from that day forward.
So, I am not on the fence, but very clearly opposed and will work and campaign with residents in order to do whatever necessary to fend off such a proposal and work towards an appropriate development which does not blight some of the beautiful views we enjoy.'
Posted Friday, 19 March 2010 at 09:51
Another day and more fiction from the Daily Telegraph. Today they have included an aerial picture of my rented constituency house.
It doesn’t say, of course, that the photo includes all of the farm offices and buildings which are not rented by me. Or that the house is situated in a working woodcutting yard.
I rented this house at Christmas because it was £2000 per year cheaper than the previous house.
I have posted a more realistic photo. Just for good measure I will reiterate that I never chose to buy, always to rent, and therefore I make no profit. There is no ‘flipping’ or home improvements claimed for. I have never claimed from the famous John Lewis list or claimed for cleaners, gardeners, ducks or anything else.
I believe that IPSA are recommending that in future MPs do just what I have been doing since I was first elected.
I have also posted a picture of a rather snowed-in also newly acquired main home which the Telegraph managed to make look like a tiny pin prick!
The Telegraph also state, ‘she has indicated to this paper that her main home was in Lytham St Anne’s’. How did I do that exactly? Did I point to a road sign? Play a game of charades with the reporter?
The fact is that the Telegraph knows my elderly mother lives in Lytham St Anne’s and they know I visit her from time-to-time, and so they threw that into the mix.
Jon Swaine, the reporter, did not speak to villagers when he trespassed onto my garden and started to take photos through my windows: he was literally chased out of the village by the decorator and a neighbour. In a Cotswold village he stood out like a sore thumb, in the biting wind wearing his city slicker grey overcoat. He was chased down the lane on the three mile walk back to the main road with his leather briefcase between his legs.
The Daily Telegraph really has lost the plot. It wants a scalp and it wants mine. The trouble is, in order to get a scalp, the person wearing it needs to have done something wrong. A point they appear to be missing. As ConservativeHome said yesterday, the moral of the story is, never criticise the Barclay Brothers
Posted Thursday, 18 March 2010 at 23:10
I have been pointed to this comment on Conservative Home by Christina Speight. Thank you Christina
God bless teenagers
Posted Thursday, 18 March 2010 at 20:53
Today has been a busy constituency day and the highlight has to have been this morning, which I spent in Samuel Whitbread Community College with a large group of bright and gifted pupils.
Thank the Lord for teenagers. Given the absolute nonsense which filled the front page of the Daily Telegraph, I was a bit nervous walking into a full auditorium. But they were angels, bless them every one.
Thought provoking questions dominated the meeting and they focused mainly on education. It’s fair to say that they were all worried about the future and the cuts presently being imposed upon university education.
The pupils were and I have to say it because it is true, the most polite, mature and intelligent group I have ever spoken to.
It was easy to see why. The teacher, Mr Price, was one of those inspirational, caring teachers you stumble across every now and then. Each word he spoke to every child was loaded with praise and encouragement.
When you are facing the continual onslaught on a daily basis, it fills you full of renewed determination when you spend a morning like I did and you do realise, it’s not about the media, it’s about the job, the people and the fairy footsteps of change you achieve for individuals on a daily basis. That is what makes being an MP worth all the front pages of fiction they can throw at you.
Posted Tuesday, 16 March 2010 at 13:16
Monday morning Campaigning
Posted Monday, 15 March 2010 at 14:57
Campaigning in Bedford today with the hit squad in Kempston.
Posted Thursday, 11 March 2010 at 15:23
Posted Wednesday, 10 March 2010 at 17:07
Below is the article published today in the Evening Standard... I'm very grateful to the Evening Standard for the half page and prominence of the article.
Tory MP tables Bill to scale down ‘hardcore’ lingerie posters on London's buses
Sexy lingerie ads should be banned from London Buses, a Tory MP urged today as she warned that increasing sexualisation of society was damaging children.
Nadine Dorries tabled a 10-minute rule Bill in the House of Commons that seeks to restrict the use of graphic and erotic images in advertising.
Ms Dorries singled out a recent Emporio Armani ad campaign on buses featuring film star Megan Fox, and other advertising campaigns with three young models posing in lingerie.
They are part of a wider move in recent months to use the 14ft billboard space on the capital's buses for eye-catching underwear adverts. H&M’s Sonia Rykiel range is also plastered over buses on key routes.
Ms Dorries said it was the sheer size of the ads that she objected to: "You can't help but see these. On the Armani ads you can barely see the name of the company. Everyone knows I'm not a politically correct feminist, but this is part of a wider trend towards the objectification of women."
Her Bill, which also criticises the way "lads' mags" are at child-eye level in newsagents, is to be introduced formally to Parliament on 31 March.
The MP for Mid Bedfordshire decided to act after accompanying a friend's young daughter around London and realising the sort of images girls are confronted with on a daily basis.
She said: "It is becoming more hardcore and shocking. Since when did it become acceptable to have larger-than-life posters of scantily clad women moving up and down every street?"
David Cameron has warned that agencies which fail to act responsibly in their use of sexualised adverts would be barred from government contracts.
Transport for London last year banned a Royal Academy poster depicting a nude by Lucas Cranach.
Armani would not comment on Ms Dorries's complaints
Posted Sunday, 7 March 2010 at 00:02
Links to The Liberal Democrat story
What price a Liberal Democrat?
Posted Saturday, 6 March 2010 at 22:58
On a couple of occasions, there were a number of things which were irritiating about the Tower Block of Commons programmes, however, rather than appear churlish, I dealt with a couple of things and let the others slide.
Tim and I were both made aware sometime ago, that the Liberal Democrat, Mark Oaten, had been paid £1,800 in ‘filming fees’. This was a shock, however, it got worse and last night we discovered via a journalist, that he had in fact been paid £3,600.
We believe that he asked for the initial £1,800 to take part and then another £1,800 for the day we spent filming in Westminster.
Tim and I would never have dreamt of asking for fees. The point of the programme was to get under the skin of our broken society and experience how others coped, to have asked for money would have been wholly inappropriate.
Taking part in the programme actually cost me personally £400, a cost I was not reimbursed for. As many know, I bought Christmas presents for the children, presents and flowers for my elderly lady, Ruthie, and I stocked the food cupboard of the boys I stayed with. I also had to incur ‘child care’ costs at home. As a single mum leaving my daughter for a period of time came at a cost and yet still, asking for money never crossed my mind.It was all part of the experience.
Tim and I wrote to the production company a few weeks ago and asked to be paid £1,800 each (what we thought Mark had been paid) and for the money to be divided half each to a charity in our constituencies and a charity on the estate we filmed on.
We will now be writing on Monday to ask for that amount to be upped to £3,600.
The second point was that we MPs never had to ‘live on benefits’. The ‘voice over’ stating that we did at the beginning of each programme was totally wrong, a point I raised with the Channel 4 lawyer. It was against OffCom guidelines to state the programme did something it didn’t and the voice over was dropped from programme 4.But that doesn’t really matter, the impression had already been created that we were attempting to live on benefits.
Even the Liberal Democrat who allegedly asked for £3,600 didn’t have to do that. Shame on him. He was paid almost £1,000 per episode to cry and emote whilst living in the home of someone who lived on £150 per week.
Posted Saturday, 6 March 2010 at 14:36
Having read on my Lib Dem opponents Twitter –‘ More confirmation fm anuva source that story is abt to break abt Nadine’, yes, even when not confined to 140 Twitter characters she spells another, anuva! I was slightly concerned.
If a story is about to break regarding an MP, we are usually given ample opportunity to comment and are aware what is about to happen.
Quite often the story is one thread of fact, padded out with an enormous amount of fiction.
However, having spent last night and this morning talking to three Sunday newspapers, I now do know what she is on about and I am afraid the words ‘own goal’ spring swiftly to mind!
A note to my Lib Dem opponent - Politics is a nasty business, however, it is a fact that the nastier you are the more it comes right back and bites you on the bum.
Jack of all words
Posted Friday, 5 March 2010 at 17:45
Today, someone pointed out to me the Twitter feed of the Lib Dem PPC for Mid Beds and I have to say, I was a just a little shocked. Foolishly, before I saw it for myself, I defended her.
Readers of my blog will know I am not the worlds best speller. My grammar is often found wanting and lack of time is always my worst enemy. It doesn’t help when you are writing your blog stood on the train balancing your lap top on someone else’s head, either.
However, all of that aside, I defended the Lib Dem PPC because the comments we have received are about how awful her writing/spelling is and how can it be that someone who writes so badly could aspire to be an MP?
“Hang on" said I, you only have 140 characters on Twitter, so give her a break, “she is probably just trying to get a lot of information into a restricted medium and using short cuts”.
How wrong was I? Her shorter Tweets are the most embarrassing. Frankly, much of it is hard to decipher at all.
An example of some of the words/abbreviations she has used - cudnt, brd, bin, wont b der, becoz, mng, showin, wen, shld av, wot.
“Maybe she’s trying to get down with the kids?”, said I.
So we showed the Twitter feed to the kids.
I can’t repeat what they said on here. The least offensive comments focused on the sadness of people in ‘my generation’ trying to be cool when we just aren’t. Gulp, that even hurt me a little.
My position on this? Being able to at least try to get it right and maintain the educational standards we would like the ‘kids’ to aspire to is a minimum obligation for anyone who is, or is aspiring to be an MP.
The English language is beautiful. The use of words and language and the ability to express opinion and thought is a joy. It is not something anyone seeking office should denigrate or abuse.
I end this with the observation that I don’t want a deluge of emails pointing out what was spelt wrong in this blog! I'm balancing this on a very nice man's head!
What's in a name?
Posted Friday, 5 March 2010 at 11:30
Is this a good or a bad thing?
When Iain Dale wrote his daily dozen yesterday he referred to me as simply ‘Nadine’ and then listed Keith Simpson MP below me. I know Iain and I are mates; however, Iain and Keith are too. I love being known as just 'Nadine'. It's how I sign my letters, how the local press refer to me and how I am known to my constituents.
On my ballott paper at the General election 'Nadine' will be in the larger letters.
The Spectator, and others, have me on their blog role as Nadine Dorries, but every other MP has the initials MP after their name.
Following on from my blog yesterday and the subject matter of my 10 minute rule Bill, I suppose I'm on a bit of a theme here at the moment, however, is this a subtle ‘girl’ (hate the word gender) thing?
Are men less likely to use the initials MP after a woman than a man?
Do people refer to Ann Widdecombe MP, or just Ann Widdecombe?
Is it Theresa May MP and Harriett Harman MP, or just Harriett Harman and Theresa May?
Would it be Tom Harris MP and Kerry McCarthy, or Tom Harris MP and Kerry McCarthy MP?
Just askin', that’s all. I don’t care a jot if the initials MP are after my name or not, I prefer to be known as ‘Nadine’ and I like the fact that is how Iain refers to me. I just think it’s interesting how often the initials aren’t put after the names of women but always follow on from a man.
Posted Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 14:53
If you live or work in London you simply cannot help but be confronted by posters adorning the sides of all TFL buses depicting three beautiful teenage lingerie models. The poster is frankly OTT. Since when did it become acceptable to have larger than life posters of provocative and scantily clad women moving up and down every street in London? Where did the mystery go?
As it has become acceptable for such images to be viewed everywhere by everyone - whether you want to see them or not - so has it become acceptable to push back the boundaries of what is no longer acceptable. Today’s model on a bus means tomorrow’s porn becomes that much harder.
The increasing sexualisation and objectification of young girls and women in the media is becoming a huge issue and has become markedly worse over the last few years and it appears to be our teenagers who are the most concerned and confused.
We live in a culture whereby our visual and auditory senses are constantly bombarded with images and messages; downloaded into our brain with no filter for objective analysis or warning before the ‘message’ is received.
The breakdown of a strong family culture which was once prevalent within society and provided the moral home spun boundaries teenagers could bounce off, has for many disappeared.
Take a comment recently made to me by a sixteen year old boy;
“…the thing is you see girls everywhere with no clothes on- they are all over the telly and papers and the films, it’s just everywhere, so when you go out with a girl you feel confused about things because does she expect sex and stuff because all the girls you see on the telly and things do, how are we supposed to regard and treat girls when they just get them out all the time”.
OK, there is a huge amount of discussion to be had around his comment and this is an issue way too big for one blog, but I have my own point to make here.
At least 50% of journalists are women. Surely they can see how over the last three to four years things have escalated and how misogynistic the tone of the media has become?
Katie Price - I will admit courts the media - but so do many men. Was it acceptable for a newspaper to put a picture of Myra Hindley's head on a photograph of her body?
And do people really think it’s good to see a picture of a four year old little girl in Grazia magazine wearing high heels and Lipstick?
Female journalists and picture editors - what are you doing?
The answer is probably writing about women’s literature and female issues which don’t fundamentally address the way women are viewed and treated within society.
If the female journalists stopped writing about how awful it is that there are so few women at the top of business and instead focused on the fact that maybe, just maybe, it is the image that business has of women which is perpetrated by women in the media, and then wrote message after message to challenged those perceptions, then it may be possible things could begin to change.
I have applied for a ten minute rule Bill to highlight some of the issues I have raised in this blog.
And no, I haven’t turned into a feminist overnight - heaven forbid! This is not about wearing a feminist hair shirt. It’s about knowing the difference between what is right and wrong and trying to do something about it.
Posted Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 16:37
Bedfordshire is benefiting from the combination of an altruistic spirit combined with entrepreneurial flair.
Lance Haggarth came to see me last year with an idea. Lots of people do that, seek the support of the local MP, and I have to say that sadly, not many get to the point they had hoped to and, for various reasons, the best laid plans and optimistic schemes, fall on the way.
Not so with Lance. He is a father of sons who knows how hard it is for some kids to get involved with sport, either at school or in teams, simply because they don't have access to expensive kit. There are boys who can't play football at school because of the prohibitive cost of new boots. As any parent knows, boots on growing boys or girls don't last very long as they grow so incredibly fast.
Lance had an idea to approach teams, suppliers and just about anyone involved with sport in order to assist him in setting up a used/charity store chain for sports clothes.
The photograph is of Lance and I at the Bedford store and I have to say, every single thing in the shop looked brand new, except for the price; boots for a fiver, football shirts for a few pounds and all manner of sports equipment, including golf clubs.
People now know where the shop is and take unwanted outgrown sports kit to be re-cycled and re-used or worn by children and adults who otherwise wouldn't have access to kit or equipment at all.
I was impressed that Everton FC had been helpful and supportive but disappointed that Manchester United and Liverpool FC just aren't getting involved. Shame on them.
Lance is looking to expand his chain of Sports Traider stores and I will continue to give him all the help and support I can. He has recently had talks with Westminster Council and the feedback from them was very positive. Well done Lance!
Grandad we love you
Posted Monday, 1 March 2010 at 15:36
If you were a grandparent and, completely out of the blue one morning, you received a telephone call from social services to tell you that your grandchildren were about to be taken into care, what would you do?
Imagine you are retired and all of your life you and your husband have been waiting for the day you could ease back on the throttle and spend your hard earned pension doing the things you want to do and see the sights you have both dreamed of seeing.
This situation faces many grandparents up and down the country on a daily basis.
Many put down the phone , put on their coats, go into battle on behalf of the little ones and by evening find themselves facing an extra twenty years of parenthood.
If you talk to any grandparent in this situation the problems follow a similar theme. Stress due to restricted income and the lack of support, financial or otherwise, from local authorities.
Many grandparents feel isolated and lonely, daunted by the prospect of having to rear teenagers without the support network available when they were younger.
Also, there is usually the problem to deal with which created the situation in the first place; drugs, death, despair or all three.
In Mid Bedfordshire, thanks to the work and sustained effort of one very wonderful lady - Karon Jennings - grandparents facing the future as parents, do so with the emotional support that can only be provided by others who know exactly what you are talking about when you need to talk a problem through.
With help and effort it may now be possible to influence the way funding is allocated. The debate needs to be raised, as it has been a number of times in Parliament, however, local authorities now need to step up to the plate and realise that each child being looked after by a grandparent saves the local authority around £4,000 per week.
As one councillor said to me recently, “If two or three children suddenly needed to be taken into care that would play havoc with the budget”.
I am sure it would, which is why every local authority needs to recognise and respect the job being undertaken and wonderfully done by those grandparents who, like so many others, had looked forward to some of the nicer things in life they have worked so hard for.
If you are a grandparent/parent in Mid Bedfordshire or if you know of any Grandparents assuming parental responsibilities, than please give them the following number and contact details.
It could make all the difference.
For more information, Karon can be contacted on:
0789 508 4604