Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fightback MP silenced - what do you think?

Nadine Dorries, virtually the only MP to stand up to the Telegraph in the last few days, has had her blog taken down by the Daily Telegraph. Many of the political blogs have the story, e.g.

Craig Murray (himself the victim of blog censorship by the Usmanovs, owners of Arsenal I think)
Dizzy Thinks found that the Telegraph was behind it
NHS blog doctor, one of the first with the story, put it down to David Cameron.

I notice, in passing, that none of the leading political blogs have reposted Nadine Dorries' comments, though a few have linked to the cached version of the blog (see below). What's the matter with them? Surely, somewhere among these courageous men, women and pseudonyms is the cojones to stand up to censorship? It's interesting to see who gets round to publishing her comments - fearless in condemning MP's but a bit more flaky when it comes to standing up to the billionaire owners of Sark?

Well, if you can find anything libellous at the cache of Ms Dorries blog, you're more perceptive than I am. Here is what I think is the offending passage (if you've read her blog, it could be any one of several, e.g. reposting a 'Private and Confidential' letter the Telegraph sent just hours before splashing her personal finances all over the next issue), which I'm posting because
a) this is a free and democratic society, and if MP's have to have their expenses open to scrutiny then their arguments should be open to scrutiny too.
b) I dislike censorship, whether it's happening to Dave Walker, Nadine Dorries or anyone else. Hey, even people I dislike. Most of them.

See what you think

Posted Thursday, 21 May 2009 at 17:04

Just park a couple of facts for a moment, which you may not agree with but are factual. The first is that MPs have always been encouraged, by whatever means possible, to draw down their ACA allowance in full. This is because it was upped in place of an appropriate pay rise.

The rules surrounding the ACA were deliberately sloppy in order to maximise the opportunity that MPs had to draw. This was always felt to be the safest political method to remunerate MPs, rather than face the media backlash of a pay rise.

Parliament is in chaos. The public are angry. The Telegraph has upped its circulation. There are 650 members of Parliament. In any walk of life, in whatever profession, you will find people who are dishonest. It will always be thus as long as we are all human!

The Telegraph are uncovering a few cases of fraud, but not enough, so they are more than slightly embellishing some of the stories. I write as a case in point.

then come the conspiracy theories
Enter the Barclay brothers, the billionaire owners of The Daily Telegraph. Rumour is that they are fiercely Euro sceptic and do not feel that either of the main parties are Euro sceptic enough. They have set upon a deliberate course to destabilise Parliament, with the hope that the winners will be UKIP and BNP.

A quick online check of the Barclay brothers and their antics on the Island of Sark is enough to give this part of the rumour credence.

two Another rumour is that the disc was never acquired and sold by an amateur, but it was in fact a long term undercover operation run by the Telegraph for some considerable time, carefully planned and executed; and that the stories of the naive disc nabber ringing the news desk in an attempt to sell the stolen information are entirely the work of gossip and fiction.

These rumours do have some credibility given that this has all erupted during the European Election Campaign and turn out is expected to be high with protest votes, courtesy of the Daily Telegraph, or should I say the Barclay brothers.

Now, if this is all a power game executed by the BBs, how would they do that? It is a fact that these men are no fools and are in fact self-made billionaires. I would imagine and believe that if any of this is true, they know the British psyche well enough to whip up a mood of public anger, hence the long running revelations in the DT.

Where do I get this from? Well, at heart I am just a cheeky scouser. I like to go into the rooms of the faceless and nameless in Parliament, sit on their desk and ask pertinent questions like: who are you? What do you do? I've made friends with one or two. One in particular I am very fond of. He is a mine of very astute information; and whilst in his office yesterday, we chunnered over the 'what is this all about?' question.

three (ish) He reckons this is all a power game. That the British public are being worked like puppets by two very powerful men. Whipped up into a frenzy to achieve exactly what they want.

His very poignant words to me were ���if any of this conjecture is true, Parliament will become full of racists, fantasists, and has-been celebrities. We will be rendered impotent and may never again regain the authority to withstand the pressure, opinion and whims of the overtly wealthy.��
Scary stuff!

Wacky conspiracy theory? Unfounded rumour? Adding 2 and 2 and making 99? You decide, I'm sure you're capable of thinking for yourselves without some media lawyer doing it for you. Better to rebut with facts than add to the speculation by using censorship.

The other place to debate Dorries' comments is Liberal Conspiracy, where people are, shall we say, unsympathetic.

Update: Dizzy has more on the what, when, where and why (see comments). And Nadine Dorries is trying to get her blog restored, according to one of her local papers.


  1. I think the bit the Barclay Brothers objected to was the suggestion that this was a Telegraph "sting" operation, which implies that they had engaged in criminal activity. Certainly I can't see that the rest is libellous - off the wall, maybe, but that's not the same thing.

    Taking it down seems a grotesquely heavy-handed response, given that it is very hard to see that anyone would have paid much attention to it had it been left in situ. As it is, it's been charging round the internet all day!

  2. Do you know of anyone else who's reposted bits of the blog? When Dave Walker got taken out last year there were dozens of folk who reposted the stuff, and after a trying a Cease and Desist on one of them (who ignored it) they gave up chasing us.

    What puzzles me is that, of the few political blogs I've caught up with so far, none of them are reposting Dorries' comments for people to make their own minds up.

  3. Interstingly, one of the more stimulating of political bloggers predicted yesterday that Dorries was heading into legal difficulties with what looked like some frankly paranoid fantasies entertained in an act of denial.

    I think you're brave to repost the allegations, and I think the lawyers are stupid for giving them credence by censorship.

    OTOH, I can't quote bring myself to support the self-righteous self-promoting Dorries who in my view lacks the judgement, intelligence and self-awareness to be a good MP (or, indeed any sort of MP)

  4. It appears from Dizzy Thinks that it was in fact parts one and three they objected to - about hidden agendas and poiwer games. Very odd, given that that seems to be an opinion and it's hard to see how it could be considered libellous in consequence. However, they got the website taken down and that is I suppose all they care about.

    It is as you say a little odd that nobody else has yet reposted the blog (declare an interest - haven't felt like posting) - that may be because Dorries is in and of herself an extremely controversial figure

  5. "I notice, in passing, that none of the leading political blogs have reposted Nadine Dorries' comments, though a few have linked to the cached version of the blog"

    His Grace has certainly linked to the cache, but has been accused of being 'stronger in (his) phraseology than Ms Dorries was'.

    Archbishop Cranmer has not (yet) been taken down.

  6. Nadine has now been restored, haven't time to do a detailed 'compare and contrast' but there looks to be a post missing....