The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Shotgun Blogging
Posted Friday, 21 September 2007 at 13:53

Every year Iain Dale writes a guide to political blogging.


Iain Dale's Blog 

During my summer holiday Iain asked me to write a chapter for the book.


It is as follows. I think it’s the worst chapter in the book, so you will have to buy the book to read the good ones!


Smoking Gun


To blog or not to blog in my capacity as an MP, was a huge decision.

After all, there is many a slip betwixt cup and lip, or in the

case of blogging, betwixt keyboard, and the entire planet.

Every MP guards carefully – especially in the era of 24/7 news

coverage - every public word we utter, in a manner that could

almost be described as paranoid. This is because we have all

watched, in open mouthed horror, the pain endured by colleagues

after a careless whisper flitted from lips to international newswires

in a space of nano seconds.

Surely, only an MP wishing to commit professional suicide

would put spontaneous thoughts or ideas into the public arena -

on a blog?

Blogging is a medium, which by its very ease of unforgiving

transmission, does not provide the opportunity for second

thought editing.

One can easily visualise the dramatic downfall scenario,

brought about via an unguarded sentence blogged and posted late

at night; it would manifest in the form of an off the cuff remark

or a throw away comment, intended to humanise a paragraph.

Such a comment would be a mere sideline to the main content of

the message I would be attempting to deliver in my two finger typing

non Pitman way.

Think; type; save; - done. A ‘ten years taken to get here’ career

taken out by a blog Exocet in just three easy moves.

What would be my excuse when the journalist gleefully nabbed

me? After all, journalists hate bloggers – it is this which makes

blogging such a dangerous pastime for MPs.

Blogging waters are infested with shorthand enabled career

munching journalist piranha, equipped with notepad, pencil and

a scalp hungry editor.

What would be my defence?

Well M’lud, (or a very scary Chief Whip, as has so often been

the case). It was late, there was wine; I was in a particularly happy

carefree frame of mind; Unfortunately, I would, very sadly, be talking

to myself; no doubt addressing my remarks to the wooden

studded panels of the Chief Whip’s door, recently slammed in my

face, with the words “you‘re finished” ringing in my ears.

As we know, all political careers end in failure; however, blogging

provides new MPs, such as myself, with a unique opportunity

to reverse this trend, why not begin in failure?

Whether or not to begin each day playing Russian roulette with

words as bullets, did indeed take some thought.

To be fair, it wasn’t just the danger that blogging can present to

an MP which made me think twice - it was the other bloggers. Did

I want to become a member of this group - could I cut the mustard

with the rest of them?

You can divide political bloggers into two categories:

Those who write egotistical rubbish - the most common form

of political blogger. They use the internet as a means of extending

their already overly large personalities and opinions.

To opine? Is that what blogging is all about? The transference of

the opinion of one otherwise insignificant individual to the indifferent


There are limits, as to what technology can achieve. Blogging

can take the horse to water, but it can’t make it read. The egotist

is largely unaware of this, having dumped his thoughts into cyber

space, he or she will naturally assume that the world’s computer

owning population will have both read, digested, and allowed

their words to influence the daily lives of others.

You can spot them a mile off – they are usually the ones talking

to me at the death by canapé drinks parties.

And then, in complete contrast, unassuming excellence - I

mean that in the most literal way; unlike the egotists, these bloggers

are wordsmiths with serious political attitude.

Whether it’s an incredible brain with political sensitivity, or a

penchant for bright ties delivering sharp clever astute running

commentary, they have no political master.

Uninhibited intellectual thought runs riot across the keyboard

and what is produced is as good as, if not better than, anything

written by any mainstream political editor or commentator. Brain

to screen to reader in seconds. Cue the reason why political journalists

hate political bloggers.

Where are the Emperor’s clothes anyway?

Some journalists, the clever ones, regard blogging as simply

another welcome stage upon which to strut their stuff.

Fraser Nelson, arguably one of the most politically astute journalists

of the day writes the Spectator ‘Coffee House’ blog. A daily

must read.

Nick Robinson writes his excellent blog on the run. You won’t

hear anything Nick writes in his blog, spoken on the News.

Both men embraced blogging with open arms in a laudable ‘if

you can’t beat em’ attitude’.

The journalists who hate bloggers are schizophrenic . Whilst

fervently scouring MPs blogs in the gleeful hope of destroying us,

they madly cut, paste, and, print much of what we say.

Every single week my words look back at me from the pages of

a newspaper.

The Daily Mail is open before me today, with the words I wrote

three months ago looking back at me from the pages of the society

gossip column. Add lazy to schizophrenic.

Obviously, I eventually succumbed, I found my blog niche;

after all, what is the point in doing something that everyone else

is already doing?

My niche is the de-mystification of Westminster. I like to think

that in some small way I take Westminster with all its strange

quirky ways, into the homes of ordinary people like myself,

through the prism of an MP’s ever so unremarkable way of life.

And here I am, at it again - sat with my laptop on the balcony

of my rented holiday villa in Spain. Far away from the cautious

Westminster atmosphere; nothing to anchor me to the usual second

thoughts, which I do occasionally have whilst tripping

through the corridors of power, pondering on what metaphor I

can deploy to illustrate an observation I have witnessed - which

will now never leave my brain until exorcised by a blog.

No danger of sighting an eminent role model to make me think

“one day I want to be like you - so I had better re-phrase that comment”.

No Whip to shout down the corridor after me! “Great blog

yesterday” to make me think “you are happy with me today”,

which makes life so much easier - so what exactly was I going to

write, which could spoil today?”

No telephone calls from my Association Chairman; no political

emails to deal with.

I am in a very serious blogging danger zone.

If I were to slip up, it would more than likely happen on a night

like tonight.

When the hot sun has gone to bed and the underwater lights in

the aquamarine pool twinkle and beckon; the jug of Sangria on

the table next to me screams, “more ice”; the heady scent of

Bougainvillaea fills the air; and Jose Gonzales plays seductively in

the background, wooing me, egging me on.

There is a beautiful Batik print on the balcony wall of the

Madonna and child, it’s looking down on me; the warm sea breeze

is blowing the candles on the table making them flicker, playing

tricks with my eyes.

Every time I look up, the Madonna frowns and shakes her head

at me.

Unfortunately, I don’t think even the Holy Mother can help me

once I have blogged on. It’s between me, the circling shoal of ‘out

to get me’ piranhas; a loaded gun; an Exocet missile; a suicide

wish; the Chief Whip; and the save button.


I wonder why more MPs don’t blog?

New party member said:
Responded: Friday, 21 September 2007
"I wonder why more MPs don’t blog?"....... Who knows. But, whatever the reason, they're missing an opportunity to connect with their electorate in a way that no other medium allows. At a time when there is all too little trust for politicians and the mechanisms of government, it is even more important that people have an opportunity to get to know how their political representatives think, to understand the issues that motivate them, make them resolute, angry or sad. Your blogs help to achieve this. They are written with a refreshing honesty that should be welcomed rather than chastised by the authorities in the party. As far as the journalists and other groups of pygocentrus nattereri are concerned, who cares what they think just as long as you are always true to your own beliefs. They are, after all, only the theatre critics of the political world. At the end of the performance we'll all reach our own opinions as to whether the play was worth seeing. Don't ever give up.
Sallie said:
Responded: Friday, 21 September 2007
Your writing is remarkable.You are one of a rare group of writers who can 'hook' the reader in within the first few words. You write as I imagine you speak. When I finish reading your blog, I want to read the next one straight away. This blog was a special treat.
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 21 September 2007
If CB's getting a million for her book, your chapter is worth ten times that. Pity there's no sex or romance in it though!
Silver Surfer said:
Responded: Friday, 21 September 2007
"I wonder why more MPs don't blog" because, unlike you, they are frightened to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.Spineless wonders who feed on a diet of greed, self interest and power and think little of the electorate.Alternatively, they are devoid of saying anything remotely sensible.
Blueyedboy said:
Responded: Friday, 21 September 2007
Iain Dale must have a best seller on his hands if yours is the worst chapter!
Responded: Friday, 21 September 2007
FMJ said:
Responded: Friday, 21 September 2007
If the clever journalists have joined the bloggers,why dont you become a clever blogger and join the journalists?
Matt Wardman said:
Responded: Sunday, 23 September 2007
That's a bit naughty, Nadine. If we all did that he wouldn't sell any books... I'll be publishing a longer version of my chapter with different content - eventually.
Nadine said:
Responded: Monday, 24 September 2007
Flip!!! Wasn't I supposed to do that? I thought that as Iain was producing all the lists of top bloggers etc it would be ok. I also thought it would help promote the book before conference. Serious schmoltzing up to Iain a prioroty!
Alison, Ampthill said:
Responded: Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Very funny. May I say that as someone who started to read your blog after reading praise for it on the site of Iain Dale, I dont think he will mind a bit. He seems to me like a good laugh, wheras you Matt, sound like a bit of an arse frankly.
Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at:
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

My Recent Posts
Posted Friday, 28 August 2020 at 01:58
Posted Tuesday, 10 September 2019 at 09:47
Posted Tuesday, 20 August 2019 at 19:05
Posted Wednesday, 17 July 2019 at 10:39
Posted Thursday, 4 July 2019 at 09:54
Posted Wednesday, 3 July 2019 at 14:22
Posted Thursday, 16 May 2019 at 06:27
Posted Wednesday, 3 April 2019 at 12:40
Blog Roll

Blog Archive