Sunday, February 07, 2010

N for Vendetta?

Isn't it rather odd, nay funny, the way vendettas appear to work in politics? Nadine Dorries, like Hazel Blears said in the Labour deputy leadership campiagn, is probably one of those politicians that is like Marmite, you either love or hate her. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to those who hate her it is the Left that gets its girly knickers in a twist most.

Whether it be the likes of the Manchester Labour blogger Chris Paul; Sunny Hundal's group blogathon of fake moral indignation, Liberal Conspiracy; or the distinctly non-stalker, non-mental, non-manipulative, pseudo-technnogod and myopic straw man creator Tim Ireland, they all hate her with a passion and blog, tweet or campaign against her whatever she might do.

She could convert to socialism and everything they believed and they'd still hate her.

Ironically, the style and level of hatred directed at her is the kind of thing that, if I was to do it at a female MP, I'd be lambasted as a misogynist areshead of epic proportions. Such is the quintessential nature of the obsessive Leftist online community. They're ever concerned about injustices against all manner of individuals in a given sub-identity group, unless the individual has the wrong political views, in which case, sod the high-minded principles.

However, I digress, I was talking about vendettas. Nadine has quite a few obvious vendetta types railed against her as mentioned, but one other area I'm beginning to wonder about is that esteemed organ the Daily Telegraph.

Once rather cutely called the Torygraph by Private Eye it is now known as the Mailygraph because of the way it often ventures into the style of reporting that the Daily Mail engages in - ironically the aforementioned lefties hate the Daily Mail too, but they still give the Daily Telegraph credence when it is dealing with their Sarah Palinesque (for that hate her too) bĂȘte noire.

You see, Nadine, as some might recall, got targeted by the Daily Telegraph over her second home allowance expenses. This was because she rented her constituency home using said allowance, and there has been some quibbling over whether or not she spends more than 182 nights a year in the prpoerty.

Thus bringing into question whether it really is her second home or main home for those that can't stand her. Unlike the already mentioned Hazel Blears - her Marmite colleague across the benches - there is no question of her coining it in Capital Gains from the taxpayer by renting and not buying, rather the issue that the Daily Telegraph had, and the usual suspects screamed about, was about how one defines where ones second home is.

Nadine responded, characteristically, although perhaps unwisely in political terms, by posting the Daily Telegraph's allegation and a response, essentially telling them they were barking up the wrong tree. She then posted on her blog saying that many MPs were being tarred with the same brush unfairly and made allegation of ulterior motives by the Daily Telegraph's proprietors, which resulted in the paper calling in the lawyers and taking her website down until allegations were withdrawn.

Yesterday, the Daily Telegraph ran yet another story about Nadine, which had a title that seemed to suggest some sort of backhanded corruption using taxpayers money. The piece was titled, "Nadine Dorries paid £35,000 to close friend in PR", and was inevitably leapt on by her online tormentors and no doubt resulted in her receiving yet more emails from the more vocal containing content reminiscent of nutty Bible bashing preachers on buses in London.

The thing is, even someone with severe learning difficulties could spot the weakness of yesterday's Daily Telegraph piece when they took a second to go past the inference being made by the headline. It seems, you see, that the "evidence" that provides the inference of wrongdoing is based solely on the fact that the founder of said "PR" company is "pictured with the MP on her website at social and family occasions". Apparently,
"Two of the pictures show the Tory MP with Mrs Elson: one in a group shot with two other women holding glasses of wine, and one with Mrs Dorries and her daughters dressed in evening wear."
Well bugger me backwards with a strangely erotically-shaped spoon!

If ever there was evidence of corruption a picture of an MP having a glass of wine with her entire paid staff before a drinks reception with a former Prime Minister is going to be it isn't it? (I asked you see!). I mean, an MP employing someone is never going to invite them to an event are they? Absolutely not! Get that spoon will you Roger!

If some people are having trouble spotting my sarcasm here let me say it slowly, I'm.... being.... sarcastic.

Let me put it like this. If I offered Nadine, or any MP in fact, my IT skills - for a fee - in order to make their constituency office the most banging, uber-secure networked social bloggy webtastic environment going, should I be barred from doing so if I am their friend? More so, what if someone who didn't know an MP from Adam did work for them and then became their friend? Does that cross the line?

Frankly, yesterday's Daily Telegraph piece was, is and remains complete bollocks in terms of what was written, the inferences made, and the shoddy sub-editing headline. It's so clearly been designed to scream "Nadine Dorries is corrupt!" you have to ask yourself, why would that be?

Might it be because she didn't take shit from them and pissed them off just a tad to the point that they might just have it in for her?

Of course, there's no direct evidence of that, but if you're going to write a story that relies on a picture, a headline, and essentially, the general outrage there is against MPs at the moment, you have to ask the question, why pick her for a prominent quarter page spread?

The thing is, this isn't the first piece in as many weeks about her, there have been others too and today we have the Sunday Telegraph giving Nadine another half page almost and it's already being dubbed "Bragate".

Nadine you see, who agreed to appear on Channel 4's Tower Block of Commons documentary (which I posted about last week) apparently hid fifty quid down her bra when she was supposed to be living on the dole alone (naughty!).

Now, putting aside the fact that the fifty quid was no doubt warm, cosy and very snug, what is most telling about the Sunday Telegraph piece is not the money, but rather the prominence of Nadine's transgression on a TV reality documentary over that of class war veteran and champagne socialist hero Austin Mitchell MP who also appeared on the show.

Mitchell, as I mentioned last week, refused to even live with the real people in the show, he demanded that his wife accompany him, refused to hand over his mobile phone or laptop, still had a car, went out for dinner parties to his friends house in Hull, and laughed off the attempt to live on benefits saying "I'm not making any attempt to live on that. I think it's silly."

Where was this mentioned in today's Sunday Telegraph piece? The last three paragraphs of a 23 paragraph story.

Now correct me if I'm wrong on this, but isn't a politician who claims to be a champion of the oppressed man refusing to live like the oppressed man because it's "silly" more important than another politician that grew up on a council estate in Liverpool stashing some money where any decent woman so often stashes it?

You may not agree possibly, but I'd say the prominence of Nadine in the story over the rank hypocrisy of Mitchell, coupled with yesterday's non-story with non-evidence, and the piece a few weeks ago might just suggest to some, possibly, maybe, probably, that the Daily/Sunday Telegraph has a teeny weeny little agenda going on?

What's more, and this is rather crucial, why did they wait until Sunday to write their big half page story when, at the end of the episode of the show six days ago, the "money in the mummary"* scandal was shown in all its glory in a "next week on..." moment?

Couldn't possibly be "maximum weekend impact against that bitch that dared to argue with us"? Could it? Who knows? I don't, I'm just a blogger!

* Yes, I spelt "mammary" wrong, I was playing on the word "mum" and making a tit joke.

No comments: