You have until close of business today to replace Ms Nadine Bargery-Dorries Mum-P as Conservative candidate for the Mid Bedfordshire constituency.
As you will remember Nadine was parachuted in from nowhere (Rochdale?) to replace yet another disgraced Tory - caught enriching himself with paid for parliamentary tours and also uttering mad bills such as "The Queen Should Be Elected". The people of Mid Beds like all their peers deserve to have a decent MP, whichever party they emanate from.
Here are some prima facie reasons to can Nadine:
1. Her 2000-2001 curriculum vitae issued by the Conservatives contains hardly one straightforward true fact. She wasn't born in a council house. She hardly nursed in hospitals at all and was only basically qualified. She did however work as cabin crew. She was not married to Paul Dorries in Zambia. She was never a Company Director of BUPA itself. Perhaps she did advise Oliver Letwin? Some of his ideas were wonky enough. Didn't he have a Fantasy Island?
2. Conservatives in Hazel Grove tried and succeeded for a time in having her stopped as their PPC. They were later over-ruled. No-one in the area understands why. But she distinguished herself during the campaign with a barefoot photo saying "Nadine: She'll Knock Your Socks Off!" and by taking a robust pro-choice line when faced with the moderately anti-choice line of Andrew Stunnell (Lib Dem, incumbent) and the strongly Anti-Choice line of Martin Miller (Labour).
3. Having been beaten Nadine pressed on with what I rather think were ill-advised property developments in both the Cotswolds and in Cheshire. Both included a glorified nailbar and tat shop named Gorgeous! though only the Cheshire outlet - "first of a chain!" - actually opened. After getting into serious Health and Safety trouble over dangerous working conditions. Nadine seriously over-estimated the stupidity and fecklessness of footballers wives and other East Cheshire Folk replacing a beloved and reasonably priced chocolates and gift ship with a shiny over-priced tat outlet. In which, local people tell me, stupid rich people could buy GUCCI golden dog tags for literally £100s. Few if any in Prestbury are that stupid. It failed utterly. One local businessperson spoke to me of a "flit". Constituency officers tell me they refused to talk to her after this retail vandalism. Though she told the local paper a pack of inexactitudes. How she had made a killing selling it on. How she'd just opened it to cash in on Cheshire gulls. She didn't quite say that to be fair. Five years on the shop still stands empty, a disgraceful reminder of Nadine Dorries ridiculousness for all to see. Its sale had been completed in June 2005. Her bitter-sweet farewell interview in the paper two months before. Local Conservatives curse her openly. They pretty much literally sent her to Coventry.
4. At the time of the Gorgeous! debacle - the second O in the brand being a hand-drawn heart, natch! - she lived in a big house (currently back on the market for £1.5M) nr Prestbury and she and "hubbie" (were they ever really married?) Paul lived literally a jet set lifestyle, off no visible means of support. Were they simply living off money from the sale of their nursery business? and borrowed off the back of their grandiose Cheshire and Cotswolds property portfolio and millionare bravado? Were all their dealings open and above board? Well actually no they weren't. Apart from the business sold to BUPA early doors none, not one of the Paul or Paul and Nadine limited companies EVER filed returns or accounts. Paul bought some farmland and bussed in some Polish labour to build and refurbish on it. Word is that both their big house and this part-finished development were sold to payback anxious lenders. One of their companies "Domicilias" (Doh! Me Silly Arse), the one the HSE roughed up over the unsafe working conditions at the Gorgeous shop - remained in hock to the Bank of Scotland at the time it went under, with a fixed and floating charge over a Bollington property. No doubt to the Bank's chagrin this proved to be a terraced tiddler which sold for only £100,000 - around mid 2007. A popular date for such things as it will turn out.
5. By now a couple of the Cotswold properties in Chipping Campden that passed through Dorries hands had been long sold and the two that remained were some kind of hybrid medieval self-catering four-postered flat come Bed and Breakfast. With a totally illegal uPVC and polycarbonate conservatory hung on the back of the very listed buildings. We don't actually know much about the earlier property sales but we do know that on these two, those in Cheshire, and the one in Seaview South Africa the Dorries pair were in to various banks in Britain and elsewhere for fortunes. And still not very much by way of visible revenue streams.
6. In 2005 all that changed when Ms Nadine Bargery-Dorries became the Mum-P for the long-suffering "safe" Mid Bedfordshire seat. Quids in! She had promised throughout the campaign that she would relocate her main home to her constituency should she be elected. She even repeated that in her spin doctoring over the collapse and sale of her Gorgeous over-priced tat shop in Prestbury. From this point onwards Nadine was mainly domiciled in her "second" home in Woburn - according to neighbours at both ends of the road between Chipping Campden and Woburn. There was one taxi ride from Westminster to Chipping Campden (£123 in 2005). When challenged by the Telegraph Nadine admitted that she scarcely set foot in any other home and began this mantra of her main home being "somewhere else". Nadine had refused to even tell the Fees Office where this main home actually was. Without this the Fees Office clearly should not have provided any second home expenses. But they annotated the forms along the lines that they were giving her the benefit of the doubt.
7. From the get go in 2005 until June 2009 a "spare" property in Chipping Campden, from which an income was received and a holiday home in South Africa, were repeatedly recorded in Nadine's parliamentary Register of Members' Interests. In fact in line with her promise to relocate to Mid Bedfordshire the Chipping Campden properties were being gently, robustly and then more and more desperately marketed for sale. Paul and Nadine had it seems spent an excessive amount of money on the refurbishments including that plastic outhouse, on the business, and on themselves. They could never "get out" with a surplus. The banks were however determined to get as much of their money out as possible and both these properties were sold at very substantially under the asking prices during 2007. So, by her own admission, Nadine had hardly spent any time in any home she owned or rented other than her constituency house but for at least the latter stages of 2006 and in 2007 until titles were transferred these addresses were apparently not even available. Vacant possession. And certainly post-transfer in 2007 and in 2008 and 2009 they were owned by the lucky buyers. The Holiday Home in South Africa had been repossessed in our Spring 2007 and sold that June so the Associated Bank of South Africa could get their money out. So why Dave did Nadine's Register entry not reflect the actualité?
8. Throughout this period and to this day Nadine has maintained certain links in the Cotswolds. I don't know exactly. Doctors, vetinarians, opticians, dentists, perhaps hairdressers and nailbars? That kind of thing anyway. And youngest daughter Cassandra of course stayed with her dad not far away, in Stratford upon Avon I believe, to complete her GCSE studies. Though through her lawyers Nadine has stated that she has not been imagining she would be calling her estranged partner's various living accommodation her "main home" for parliamentary expenses purposes. Way too far-fetched! This of course must lead all reasonable people - even Conservatives - to scratch their heads and wonder where on earth Nadine has been counting as her main home .. until that is she began to rent a rather small keeper's cottage in a hamlet in the vicinity of Moreton in the Marsh. Just as they must obviously be wondering why she needs a HUGE seven-bed manorhouse as a constituency pied a terre.
9. Now, briefly, to Paul Dorries, the man to whom the early CCHQ press release said Nadine had married on her return from Zambia, but who Nadine claimed in her maiden speech I think it was she had married in Zambia before their return and the arrival of firstborn Pippa Storm. Of which nuptials there are no trace by the way in any official records. Which also of course goes for the divorce/separation/estrangement which followed late 2006/early 2007. Though there were press announncements. Will that do? Decree Mail-on-Sunday Absolute? Anyway, I digress, as you Dave from correspondence with a Mr Dorries' customer or two he has been plying a trade as an investment advisor (untrained and unlicensed as far as anyone can tell) whose "healing hands" have managed away some of the funds of various widow women through unsuccessful punts with spread betting firms, and also in businesses he or his good friends were he said carrying on. Your correspondents may even have told you that Nadine herself told them she had funds under management with her "isn't he clever" partner with one of these spreads companies, though I'm not so sure she ever did? And they might have told you about the shares (almost typed snares, oops) he gave them in his friends brilliant IT/telecoms start up too? She certainly recently blogged a pile of tosh about an FSA and City of London police investigation that is actually NOT as far as anyone can tell going on into the spreads trading matters.
10. Last, for the moment, but by no means least, you may wish to factor in the very strange way in which Nadine joined and then left the Board of Directors of a strange little company called The Sleepcurve Company Limited. It markets groovy curved mattresses and cot liners - Beds and Cots - on the basis of avoiding some rather unlikely serious conditions. The last accounts before Nadine joined made it look a little insolvent. Her addition along with the Company's inspiration Phillip Owen, who has a Diploma in Osteopathy inter alia and who is a Paediatric Cranial Osteopath and a big cuddly smoothie, came in mid 2009 around the time that she finally got her Register of Members Interests up to date. She left this January, as did Philip Owen. Is that linked to the other stuff at all?
There you go Dave. Without even referring to the ridiculous employment of two apparently unsuitable daughters on her taxpayer funded staff and at ridiculous salary points to boot; or Nadine's ridiculous nonsense in the job we have given you lots of reasons to make Nadine step aside as your PC in Mid Bedfordhire. I'm not sure there will be anything here that you don't already know as you and Nadine are such chums and you have after all been approached for assistance too.
So why don't you pull the plug before it's too late?
Her original CV does not check out. She has owned several companies with her Paul but complied with Companies House requirements in only one case. There are a number of failed businesses and property repossessions. She hasn't been open about her main home arrangements and given her lack of time in any such home any she might offer seem unlikely to qualify anyway. Her second home is ridiculously huge. Rubbing the electorate's faces in the parliamentary expenses mess I'd have thought? And she is very clearly very aware indeed of her husband's various business runnings. She has made that plain on her blog.
Do the right thing Dave. You've an hour or so to get yourself a new candidate.
Labour of Love
Video from Bloggerheads published at almost the same moment. Synchronicity rocks! Watch and comment at You Tube HERE.