The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
The BBC and Wet Canvassing
Posted Friday, 27 April 2007 at 10:38

Did you see Question Time last night? Did you notice the bias? I know that every time a Conservative MP complains about the BBC people groan, however, if you didn’t catch the week before the local election edition, it was like this.

 

In the Lib Dem corner, the 40 something David Laws: young, personable, and just about attractive. This is the opposite image of the ageing Lib Dem leader who, on a Radio 5 Live phone-in yesterday, was mercilessly eaten alive by the presenter and viewers.

 

In the Labour corner, Health Minister Caroline Flint: 40 something, attractive, and smiley for the benefit of the programme. The embodiment of all New Labour represents.

 

And for the Conservatives, the 70 something, white haired (I suppose at least he still has some!) Douglas Hurd. He projects the completely opposite image of the young, attractive, energetic, give him something to jump over quick, Conservative Party leader David Cameron.

 

Now I have nothing against Douglas, or age. In fact I like Douglas very much. It is however, so long since he was a minister I can’t actually remember him very well. His son Nick is an MP in my intake and a mate.

 

If they wanted a Hurd, why didn’t they ask Nick Hurd MP? They could have followed the pattern of the night, 40 something and attractive (not as attractive as his wife though who is gorgeous), or in fact anyone (except me, because I would be so scared I wouldn’t be able to speak) who is functioning within the Conservative Party today?

 

It’s because the image that the BBC wanted to project of the Conservative Party, before the local elections, was one which was elderly, stale and tired.

 

Well it backfired, because Douglas was brilliant. Being on Question Time was obviously a breeze. You can’t trip up a man of such deep intellect and wisdom, and he in fact, made the Lib Dem and Labour MPs look vacuous. The audience was, by the applause, grateful for his sensible spin free replies.

 

Who will it be next week? Now let me see - who is there from somewhere in the past that is nothing like the Conservative Party today? Maybe Norman Tebbit? No, they keep him for the Today programme.

 

I was out canvassing in the rain last night. I began to feel sorry for Vic the local candidate. Who was going to agree to vote for him when a wet MP knocks on the door wearing a silly hat?

 

Well, lots apparently. The thing that surprises me about the Lib Dems being up 1% in the polls today is this – whenever you knock on the door of a known Lib Dem voter, and I do it just for fun sometimes, they try that Lib Dem trick they teach them at conference of keeping you chatting on the doorstep about lots of issues so that they slow you down in your canvassing. It’s about as transparent as the other one they teach them about the leaflets. You know, we have all had them, the block graph showing that only the Lib Dems can win here!

 

Anyway, the surprising thing about last night was that known Lib Dem voters were saying things like “well, actually, I have voted Lib Dem the last few times but I am going to vote Conservative this time.”

 

I got eighteen pledges and a cup of tea in a row, which has never, ever happened before!

 

I won’t be blogging over the weekend, but if you are local I will be in Waitrose car park tomorrow morning, so if you live in Ampthill and you do your shopping on a Saturday morning, come and say hello.

 
 
 
Tesconut said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
Isn't Amphill clogged up enough with that supermarket slap bang in the middle of town without a superstar like you causing more of a jam? Come to Flitwick instead, you could get your exhaust fixed at the same time.
 
 
James said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
Why does everything have to evolve around being young and attractive? Wisdom comes through experience comes with age, as Douglas Hurd seemed to prove(I missed QT as these days I need my beauty sleep-24 hours a day).Surely we've had all this nonsense with Blair and his 'babes' and lets try anything new and dam the consequences. We want the best people to lead us, not just the young and pretty.
 
 
Pete said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
The Lib Dem response on the doorstep is happening here in Surrey. This always happens with Lib Dems. They get a foothold, people see that they stand for nothing and usually make a mess of things, and stop voting for them. If I am not mistaken, I think the LDs have lost control of every council they have ever had.
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
Douglas was great, but it was so obvious what QT were up to.
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
Caroline Flint was strange, you could deetect an impatience with anyone who dared to oppose her view. Not nice.
 
 
Peter Flint said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
Is your 'perception' of BBC bias, shown by the selection of panel members for Question Time, due to paranoia or an attempt at sensationalism to attract more readers to your blog? I suspect the latter. Still, if you've got anything interesting to say at Waitrose tomorrow I'll be happy to listen as long as you give me a hand carrying my bags across the busy road.
 
 
Stuart Fairney said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
"We want the best people to lead us, not just the young and pretty" James, speak for yourself, I don't want anyone to lead me, I want all the politicos, Nadine included, to get the hell out of my way. If she's willing to repeal laws and red-tape, cut taxes and abandon ID cards, finally address the fact thet the EU just can't seem to get its budget audited, then I'll vote tory.
 
 
Sweeper said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
Hey,Stu, want to join the Revolution?
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
Nadine, disappointed with your ageism here. The show was from Oxford so they needed an intellectual heavyweight. Flint was absolutely appalling - totally out of her depth, and looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights. When a middle-aged business man told her that in a business 'heads would have rolled' she looked stunned. I am looking forward with bated breath and anticipation to seeing 'Patsy' on the show next Friday explaining why there has been a meltdown in the Labour vote!
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
James - you must must must check out Question Time on the 'watch again' thing on the web - episode was fantastic. It made Caroline Flint look like the dippy lightweight she is.
 
 
Sally said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
Don't agree with the age bias thing you seem to have. Hope you found 17 toilets, and the rain didn't spoil the hairdo.
 
 
John said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
Well Nadine, if you want Stuart to vote for you, you won't have time to sleep, let alone do the shopping, if you're going to get through his list of wants before the General Election.
 
 
Mike said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
I didn't see any overt bias... but I do switch off when David Dimbleby starts to talk more than his guests (an all too often occurrence these days, it seems). Time to dump the fears and get yourself on there, Nadine. I've nominated you several times, but the Beeb doesn't seem to be listening. The Question Time audience usually responds to people who can demonstrate a bit of original thinking. By the way, who gives a damn what they look like, or how old they are? I thought Douglas H did a fine job. By the way, how about increasing the size of the comment-entry box on your website. Bit like typing into a letter-box at the moment...
 
 
Stuart Fairney said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
John, it's not so very difficult, ID cards can be abandoned at the stroke of a pen, ditto tax cuts, withold EU contributions along with nice new right wing France and what could they do, expel us both? But as it goes, Maria Miller is my MP not Nadine so she has plenty of time for other activities As for sweeper? I'm a libertarian/objectivist, won't join any collective, you may as well try to herd cats!
 
 
Dave said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
Can you give a rough time when you will be at Waitrose , Nadine, I may bring you a cup of tea...........and a cream cake......and a candle...and maybe I hadn't better...
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 27 April 2007
Nadine, I would have thought a better bet would be to get on 'Any Questions' with the infinitely better host, Jonathan Dimbleby. Far more intelligent and courteous than his brother, and considerably less smug and pompous. Go on, you know you want to..
 
 
Nadine said:
Responded: Saturday, 28 April 2007
Can I just say, that I am absolutley not ageist!!! My point is that the BBC ARE! I believe Douglas to be a statesman,wise and clever, and that QT's plan backfired.So don't have ago at me, a woman about to become a certain age (thanks Dave!!)I am the last person to be ageist. Edna, I'm glad you shop in Bedford too - I think you would scare the life out of me if I met you in Tescos!Sally, there is no age bias, I promise. Thanks all, N
 
 
Sweeper said:
Responded: Saturday, 28 April 2007
Message for Edna----Would you like to take part in a revolution cos if you can scare our Nadine,then Brown should be a pushover.
 
 
Edna said:
Responded: Saturday, 28 April 2007
Just tuned in to see if you posted my words.Can't be long as my grandson wants his computer back. That's very kind of you Sweeper. I'll come as long as I can sit next to Nadine because I want to give her a piece of my mind.Yes Nadine, despite my age I still have one. In fact you can have a bit now. I would suggest you tell David he'd do much better hugging an 'oldie' instead of a 'hoodie'. We have a track record of being more likely to actually vote.I would like to believe your not ageist Nadine, but frankly until I see you warm a bit more towards my generation I'll always doubt your sincerity. Don't be 'scared' of me, my bark is worse than my bite.
 
 
Edna said:
Responded: Saturday, 28 April 2007
At least you had the bottle to post my words this time.
 
 
Nadine said:
Responded: Saturday, 28 April 2007
Edna, you are being very unfair! I actually have a track record in speaking out against ageism, even when it gets me into trouble!!
 
 
M, Ampthill said:
Responded: Saturday, 28 April 2007
You are right about changing votes, I'm changing mine. I have always voted LIb Dem and I am asking myself now, what for?
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Saturday, 28 April 2007
You picked the day, what lovely weather. I think everyone in Ampthill knows there's an election coming!
 
 
Angela said:
Responded: Saturday, 28 April 2007
Edna. I can personally say from my own experience that Nadine went out of her way to help my with a problem concerning my late father. She went to great lengths to get answers from Minister of State and Heads of Departments. My father was in his eighties and I don't for one minute think if Nadine was age prejudice she would have tried so hard.So please don't by hard on her, she is the best MP I've ever experienced, and I've known a few.
 
 
New Admirer said:
Responded: Saturday, 28 April 2007
I reckon Edna may have a point there about hugging. Trouble is I miss out whatever, as usual, I'm too old to be a hoodie but too young to be an oldie. I always miss out.
 
 
Angela again said:
Responded: Saturday, 28 April 2007
And another thing Edna, how many MP's have a blog site, allow you to comment and often reply to your comment the same day? I personally don't know of one apart from Nadine.If you live in Bedford that Labour guy hasn't even got a website (last time I looked anyway). I now live over 300 miles away but wish I could have taken Nadine with me. I have to put up with a Libdem MP.If you are a constituent of Nadines, Edna, count your blessings!
 
 
steppenwolff said:
Responded: Saturday, 28 April 2007
So are panellists chosen by Mentorn (the producers of QT) or by the parties themselves? I always thought it was the latter. Next week it is William Hague v Dame Patty Hewitt. Fun!
 
 
John said:
Responded: Saturday, 28 April 2007
You're certainly getting the flack, what with Edna, and ageism,Codona calling you a racist in the paper.If I am correct, he of the Hatch illegal camp that reputedly cost MidBeds taxpayers nigh on £1 million to evict.Co-incidently, it was a Mentorn camera crew who followed Kilroy-Silk around these illegal gypsy camps, including the one at Hatch a while ago.I have a field. Maybe I should consider filling it with mobile homes for young couples to live in. It took MidBeds Council 8 years to evict at Hatch. Given the same timescale that may allow them to save for a good deposit on a proper home.But I choose to live by our rules, so that won't happen. With all this flack, Nadine, I reckon it's you who could do with the hug.
 
 
Malcolm said:
Responded: Monday, 30 April 2007
I think Steppenwolf is right, it is the party who chooses their spokespeople on Question Time. FWIW I thought Douglas was excellent, bang on the money about Iraq.
 
 
 
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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