Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nadine Dorries MP: Data Loss Scandal, Who Has Her Crackberry?

Perhaps we have been a bit harsh on poor Nadine Dorries MP after her sad, confused appearance on Thursday night's BBC Question Time? Poor Nadine was grieving we've realised. The clues were there but we missed them in our haste to poor scorn. We think we've got there now. Albeit belatedly.

On Wednesday Nads posted the following on her so-called "blog", alas not a permalink, anymore more than the next two:

I have no phone, so apologies to anyone who can't get hold of me or who has text me and not had a reply. Tomorrow I'm on Question Time. [... snip stuff about Frank Field ...] Am I scared? Would you be?

We now realise that she may have been scared of something other than having to appear on a grown up politics programme without pre-prepared works of fiction to fall back on. And it showed. "I have no phone" she said. That's right, Ms Nadine Dorries MP was the latest to leave valuable state secrets on the train, or more likely the back of a hansom cab with her handsome new 6' 2" Darcy:

Nadine is yet to make good on her promise to blog about Question Tim but a further clue is in her promising "blog" post of Friday, 12 December 2008 at 09:03

Landed back in Bedfordshire after Question Time at 3am.
Will blog about QT after surgeries etc.
Still no phone! I’m isolated.

By this point her precious Crackberry must have been missing for at least 40 hours.

And, remembering just how much tosh can be entered into one of those in ten minutes this is no laughing matter:

This (the blogging celebrity MP) will come as a shock to many editors and will result in the slashing of diary budgets everywhere. You will be blamed for this.
Be warned, journalists are paid to painstakingly winkle out of you the thoughts you will willingly share with your computer and the wider world. This is not funny. What you will deposit in ten minutes via your blackberry straight from brain to screen justifies a day, nay, a week's work for some of the lazier species of lesser reporters.
Be aware that you are entering a world of wisdom-sharing with the masses, which has always been controlled by the few.
The odd blogging MP was looked upon with an 'ah bless' attitude. Now many more are joining the ranks. Some good, some bad and some just plain marvellous. We are now officially a threat.
To many journalists this means out with the snooze pillow and in with the shorthand. We must be stopped!
And finally, I suppose most importantly, never ever attack or write about journalists. Even in the abstract - they really don't like that, and if you do, heaven help you, you're just asking for trouble.

Good point Nadine! Never but never attack journalists. There's a good girl. Remember when a rather fact-lite Telegraph hailed Nadine as (a) born in a council house which she emphatically was not and (b) Bridget Jones? Here it is.

"You can be two types of MP – either one who embraces the job with all your energy or one who just turns up for votes and occasionally dips into constituency life. I am the energy type.
"Even so, I had no idea how all-embracing politics would be and I do feel guilty when I can't spend as much time as I would like with my girls.
"I took Cassie to Rome last weekend for a treat but I had to work late into the night to get the minority report done. She woke up and said that the tapping of my Blackberry was keeping her awake. That made me feel terrible, but it is part of the job."

Nadine Dorries MP cares more for the company of her blessed Crackberry than for her poor daughter Cassandra's beauty sleep and peace of mind?

Here's Nadine's friend Ellee Seymour mourning the change from blog to "blog":

Yes, we all hope Nadine will find her Mr Darcy one day. Nadine’s blog is very amusing and a great read. However, in my opinion, it has stopped being a blog as it no longer accepts comments. It is now an online daily diary. A blog must allow readers to comment and be interactive, it facilitates two-way communication which is crucial for MPs. This was the explanation Nadine gave:
Please don’t send any more comments - It’s a time thing, I don’t have any.
I have to rely on the patience of others to read and post the comments for me. I am never in front of a computer for more than a couple of minutes at a time and this has now made reading the comments before they are posted impossible.
Knowing that there are comments on my site which I may not even have had time to see, makes me uncomfortable.
If any one wants to contact me you can still do so via the email facility on the home page.
My response is that if Nadine was serious about writing a blog to interact with constituents and others about political issues - I remember her brilliant, provocative post about a new travellers’ site in her constituency - then she should pencil in 10 minutes in her diary to observe the views of others. It can be done, if she genuinely wants to listen and respond. Surely she is glued to her Blackberry throughout the day which provides access to her blog, and these can/or soon will be used in the House too.
Why does Nadine invite people to email her, rather than post interactive comments? Why is one more important than the other if they are based on issues she has raised for discussion? Nadine does not need to respond to all the comments, I agree this is a strain, but a dialogue can still take place between her readers, and she can check them out when she has five minutes.
Don’t forget, women are the best jugglers of all when it comes to fitting 30 hours work into a 24 hour day.
Now that Nadine’s blog has brought her this fame, I feel it is unfair to switch off comments, which provides the blood, the heart and soul behind it. I hope she reconsiders.

So who is the Mr Darcy (6' 2") that went to the palace and enjoyed conversational intercourse with Old Brenda? And where on earth is Nadine's Crackberry and all its state secrets? Let's hope some "public spirited" French thief (cf James Purnell's red box letter before The Mirror coughed up) is not even now touting the addictive thing round the tabloids.

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