The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Mass deterrent
Posted Friday, 8 May 2009 at 11:53

The former Postman, Alan Johnson MP, criticised me, the former nurse, during the Swine Flu statement in the chamber yesterday.

 

Johnson, who if he had his way would have us all walking round wearing face masks and anti viral suits, omitted some very important information from his statement.

 

He didn’t mention that the epidemiology, which has been used to judge the possible fatalities from Swine Flu, has been derived from Mexico.

 

Or that that the statistics conclude that you have a 2% greater chance of dying from this flu, as opposed to any other.  You may think that this is good reason to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds delivering a leaflet to every home telling people how to handle a sneeze ,and closing down schools and nurseries, creating an air of mild panic. I don’t.

 

We could all do with bearing in mind that Mexico City is a city of 20 million. That half of those people live in poverty and have no access to medical care or drugs, not even a GP. Given those circumstances, it is a miracle that the figure is only 2%; and if anything demonstrates just how mild this virus is, and how able we are to deal with it.

 

People die from flu every year in this country, period. It happens.

 

Maybe the Government are hoping that creating an environment of panic will detract from the very serious issue of Government meltdown. If they are, the papers are falling for it.

 

Time for a few journalists to toughen up, and start injecting a bit of common sense into their writing.

 

This is not a national panic or a state of emergency. A Prime Minister who has lost the respect of his own party is.

 

I don’t think there was a single Conservative in the Question Time audience last night! After I had a round of applause, the Liberal, Lord Steele, thought he had better remind the audience that I was a Conservative; and despite the fact that he knows me very well indeed, referred to me as the ‘Conservative representative’- just to remind the audience!

 

When I referred to King’s Cross I was obviously talking about 7/7, a day I will remember as I was on the platform that morning. And I did want to emphasise that we aren’t going to use Trident as a weapon of mass destruction but as a weapon of deterrent – but it didn’t quite come out like that because you just don’t get the time!!

 
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
This reaction is crazy.Someone needs to tell the papers to stop playing the governments tune.
 
 
Matt said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
Good sound common sense.
 
 
PJ said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
How is 7/7 relevant to the Trident debate? Is this a call to nuke Yorkshire, where the bombers came from?
 
 
Paul said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
PJ I'm sure Nadine can answer for herself, but I watched the program last night and listened to the "debate" and you have done what most of the audience did last night. You have chosen to ignore what was actually said in favour of trying to score a cheap point which is pathetic. What she actually said was We don't know what the situation will be in 15 years time we didn't expect 9/11 or 7/7 15 years before it happened. Personally I'm not in favour of replacing Trident but I am prepared to debate it rationally and to listen to all the arguements
 
 
Brishank said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
PJ: I watched Nadine on Question Time last night. The point she was trying to make, above the constant interruptions from other panel members, was that Trident is a deterent we need to face any future threat because we don't know what level of threat we may face in the future. Yes, the immediate threat from suicide bombers today cannot be met with Trident but that is not to say Islamic extremism will be the only threat we face in years to come. She used 7/7 and 9/11 as examples of the kind of attacks we never expected 10+ years ago. She was never suggesting that we deploy nuclear weapons against induvidual terrorists, and for anyone to suggest that Nadine was indeed advocating this is using emotive argument to shore up a weak stance. We maintain conventional armed forces to meet any threat not requiring a nuclear response. Having Trident at our disposal is the best way to ensure no use of nuclear weapons. You cannot equate the nuclear deterrent with conventional threats like induvidual bombers, knife crime, gun crime etc. It is a whole different matter and reqires a different logic.
 
 
PJ said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
OK, fair point. I think I, like the rest of the audience, was probably still laughing too hard at the "Tridents aren't weapons of mass destruction" line to concentrate at that point. Speaking of cheap shots, would it also be pathetic to highlight today's gem: "We could all do with bearing in mind that Mexico is a city of 20 million"?
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
There are a few nasty comments about you in the Mirror today. I know you probably don't care. I reckon that if they are attacking you in this way it means they see you as a threat.
 
 
Nadine said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
Thanks PJ. Corrected! I have been awake since yesterday morning :(
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
Labour hate you. They will throw everything they have at you. You wont be allowed to get away with losing Brown his only friend in No10, McBride. I would be very careful if I were you.
 
 
Sam said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
The Mirror is the only attack rag Brown has left.
 
 
John said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
I realised 2 things last night: 1) How absolutely naive some people (Nicola Sturgeon) are. People holding positions where they must, surely, know better. Quite frightening really to think that people really believe that if we disarm everything will be alright.... 2) What a beautiful women Nadine is. Wow. Fancy dinner to discuss Trident more thoroughly? :)
 
 
PJ said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
Hi Nadine. Sorry to hear you've not been to bed yet - having worked horrific hours myself in the past I know what that does to the brain. You might want to tweak the blog again though? Mexico is actually a country, not a city, and has a population of about 110 million, not 10 or 20 million. Hope you get some sleep soon!
 
 
Nadine said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
actually PJ, I was right the first time. It is Mexico City and the population is 20 milion http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/swine-flu/5292205/Swine-flu-Mexico-imposes-tough-new-rules.html
 
 
Grant said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
Beautiful indeed. I havent got a clue what you said. Were you talking?
 
 
colin said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
Question time is a tough assignment at the best of times. Being a Conservative in Brown's back yard with a mostly hostile audience was always going to be an uphill struggle. Did you get the gig because none of your colleagues fancied it? Anyway you did okay considering but it's no use pleading lack of time or sympathy. It's a tough business and nobody will give any quarter. So I hope you don't mind me saying that you will need to toughen up a bit, react a bit quicker and have the arguments well rehearsed. David Steel is a pussycat compared to most politicians and David Dimbleby is a very smart operator who cut you a bit of slack last night. If you were a Tory frontbencher he would have been pushing you a lot harder.
 
 
Mike H said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
I watched QT in bed last night. A Scottish gig was always going to be tough, and I think you did fine for most of it. I'm afraid I had to hide under the duvet during the discussion about Trident, though. The choice of terrorist attacks as examples of situations that could not have been foreseen 15 years earlier was unfortunate because it gave everyone the opportunity to intentionally misinterpret what you were saying. Some of the other panel members then made more of it than you should have allowed them to get away with.
 
 
Irene said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
Question Time was a tough call and the other panellists were experienced seasoned veterans and did appear quite hostile.You were pretty brave to take it on.I thought Iain Gray made a fool of himself trying to defend Labour's indefensible policies. But I agree with Colin, you need a bit more practice and be a bit better prepared. The Trident issue let you down, not because I disagree with keeping Trident, but the delivery of your response was a bit of a muddle and didn't really make a good argument for keeping it. However you did well when in response to a random question put to you by Iain Gray you admitted you didn't know the answer and didn't try and b***s**t your way through. Practice makes perfect, and it's a shame there were no questions on the things you have campaigned about and been involved in.
 
 
Joseph said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
I really doubt that the government is using the swine flu pandemic to cover up the 'meltdown'. The government is not in meltdown, just, as it happens, Gordon Brown happened to be PM when the global economic crisis came into effect. On the Trident case, I'm not in favor of replacing Trident, as we already have WOMD and it could be better spent. With the 15 years thing, how are we meant to use WOMD against terrorists without creating hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties?
 
 
Fraser said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
I was actually in the audience last night and watched the proceedings first hand. You're right the audience was still tittering at the 'not weapons of mass destruction' slip. A couple of points. Firstly with reference to the nuclear deterrent. In the final analysis I can conceive of no circumstances when we would deploy nukes unilaterally. We can foresee the likely threats, North Korea, a Taliban controlled Pakistan, Iran or other than that, some terrorist organisation without a country. The Americans would nuke any of the first three before we would. When you really consider it, it begins to look like a self deluding, risk laden, vanity exercise. Also you said ‘we don’t know what the threat will be in 20 years time, 20 years ago we had never even heard of Bin Laden’. Well actually we had heard of him, or at least our secret service had, he had been fighting with the mujahedeen since 1984 – some claim the US were directly arming him in 1989. He did not appear out of the ether on the 11th September 2001. Finally Swine Flu. It does appear at this stage that the threat of this virus maybe less than was feared. However the WHO has the threat at Pandemic Alert level 5. What is the Government meant to do – ignore it? David Cameron would be kicking Brown’s head in at PM’s questions. We have got to have anti virals, face masks etc. Also closing schools – lets be honest here – if the schools weren’t closed and, 20 kids died at one school – well it doesn’t bear thinking about. Plus if someone at one of my kids schools caught it, with WHO at level 5, I would keep my children off school anyway and most other parents would do the same. This lets all catch it and build up immunity is nonsense when dealing with a new strain of flu. Contain it for as long as you can until you can make a vaccine is the only sensible way forward. Finally fair play to you for coming to Scotland to go on QT, you are right there would not have been many Tories in the audience. Having said that Ian Gray faced much more difficult task – defending the indefensible. It struck me while driving through Lochgelly, if the Labour Party were proud of what they had delivered for central Fife – an area that has religiously voted them in, in local, national and European elections since Adam was a boy. Mind you what the boys from the Bullingdon Club would do for them I don’t know!
 
 
TJR said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
You are of course quite right about this deflecting attention away somewhat from a government in freefall, however you can't really blame the press for milking swine flu for all it's worth. Mass hysteria is the media's bread and butter, as well you know. Shambolic government or not, the media is going squeeze as much panic coverage from the flu outbreak as possible and there's nothing that will change that, unfortunately.
 
 
Sarah said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
The audience were so hostile that it was uncomfortable to watch.
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
You were brilliant. A pink star in the midst of what would otherwise have been a very dull programme. The other woman was dour and dull.
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
Nadine, did you know that one of your shadow cabinet ladies was due to do Thursday? She got cold feet and pulled out. You didn't know you were going on until a few days ago did you? So don't beat yourself up because at least you had the guts to do it when someone eith a great deal more experience than you bottled out.
 
 
Katriona said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
To some of the longer comments; give the girl a break. i watched it and i thought she was fantastic. At least she smiles and laughs, which is something none of the others did. i couldn't do it and i doubt anyone being critical of you could Nadine. is David Dimbleby very sexy? he has a lovely smile too.
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
The BBC producers and David Dimbleby were very generous to you by not asking a question abour 'swine-flu'. There were many questions in the pipeline about that topic. The comments from your blog had been raised in the house,only hours before Question Time, so what you wrote must have bothered someone in power. Had swine-flu been raised, you would have been laughed out of the 'studio'.
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
If swine flu had come up Nadine the Scots would have cheered you to the rafters. They are a very practical, straight talking people. You will not meet one here who agrees with schools and shops closing.
 
 
Chris Paul said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
Trident will not deter al Queda and it will not actually deter Ahmadinejad if you keep claiming he's going to blow up diplomats who come to his table ...
 
 
Mike Spilligan said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
"Swine 'flu": I know I'm a bit late and that almost everything's been said - but surely, this is yet another example of government for the gullible half-witted, by the terminally half-witted.
 
 
barton said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
Hi Nadine everyone. As a postie myself, I am well aware of Johnsons misrepresentations. The leaflet ( rather delayed getting out,) advises ppl to carry tissues, to stop the virus from becoming airbourne. It then says wearing of a mask does not help. Those ppl responsible for giving such advice, have completely misunderstood why ppl in Japan wear masks. When anyone is in close contact to others, for example commuters, if YOU suspect YOU YOURSELF have flu YOU, being a responsible citizen wear the mask to protect others.
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 8 May 2009
Nadine Dorries should replace Trident, because if I was President Ahmadinejad and heard that Nadine was coming my way, I would "take to the hills" and not be seen for years. Nadine frightens the hell out of me,
 
 
Mike, Farnham said:
Responded: Saturday, 9 May 2009
Nicola Sturgon, what a dull woman! The Scots would love her though.If you hadn't been on the show, I wouldn't have watched.
 
 
Claire said:
Responded: Saturday, 9 May 2009
Now that you have been behind enemy lines will the party let you go to a nice middle England QT next time? The kind that they send the other women in the party to? You should refuse Nadine when they want you to do such a hard gig. There are women in your party who have been there years longer than you. Don't let them use you in this way. They over promoted Theresa Villers too quickly just so she would crash and burn and they are trying to do it to you. It was such a horrible and ugly audience. It wasn't a nice programme to watch.
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Saturday, 9 May 2009
I heard Dimbleby announce that Theresa May is on next week. What's the betting she will be in some nice Tory heartland? Claire is right Nadine, there may be people higher up your party who don't want you to do well. Your party may be as bad as mine.
 
 
Tommy Mac said:
Responded: Saturday, 9 May 2009
It annoys me when the programme comes from Scotland. Why don't they have their own TV channel instead of hi jacking ours and making us listen to their council politics. You were great. If there were more MPs like you it would all be a lot more interestig.
 
 
David said:
Responded: Tuesday, 12 May 2009
I didn't envy Nadine at all in that forum - and I say that as 1) A Scot and 2) Someone who disagreed with alot of what you said. Having said that, I disagree with anyone who is willing to call a nuclear weapon a 'deterrent'.
 
 
 
Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at: nadine.dorries.mp@parliament.uk
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

 
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