Nadine Dorries and the politics of hate

WITH the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill heading back to the Commons this week, Nadine Dorries MP has been drumming up self-publicity support for her stance on abortion.

Nadine got some publicity last time round by spreading the myth that Labour had an unofficial whip on the abortion vote when it last came up. Now she’s at it again

In May she was claiming that “Labour abandoned the free vote principle by whipping their MPs on a three line whip ‘to attend the chamber’. I saw the whipping note, a copy of it was left for us to see.”

Now she’s claiming it was Harriet Harman alone who whipped the vote.

Maybe it’s because Nadine hasn’t been an MP for long, but she clearly doesn’t realise that there is no such thing as a whip that forces MPs to “attend the chamber”. She claimed back in May that Labour whips were encouraging Labour MPs to walk into the pro-choice lobby; funny, then, that I walked into the lobby in favour of 20 weeks and found myself accompanied by Nadine and… four Labour whips.

Women’s abortion rights are important to Harriet, and I would be astonished if she had not attempted to persuade as many colleagues as possible to vote to maintain 24 weeks. And I know that Nadine did the same on the other side of the argument. But when Harriet did it, it was “whipping”; when Nadine did it, it was “lobbying”.

In fact, I was approached by only two people asking me to vote one way or the other. Anne Snelgrove, the Swindon MP and a good friend, tutted and shook her head when I told her I would be voting for a lower limit – gosh, some real arm-twisting from the Sisters there, eh?

And who else whipped lobbied me? Oh, that’s right – Nadine Dorries.

Nadine has been trying for some time now to make abortion a party political issue. She justifies this by claiming that Labour made it a political issue first by whipping Commons votes. Now that I’ve pointed out that this never happened, she should withdraw that accusation. She won’t. 

Nadine Dorries must gaze on her new heroine, Sarah Palin, and wonder why she has found it so difficult to import into the UK the rancid politics of hate that the Alaskan governor and her followers thrive upon. To give her her due, Nadine is trying her best. 

But along with the great majority of her own party, I sincerely hope and pray that she fails, as she deserves to.

UPDATE at 11.36 pm: One other thing… If you can be bothered clicking the above link to Nadine’s 27 May entry, you’ll find this reference…

I love the picture of Harriet Harman watching my speech from behind the speaker’s chair, hand on hip – with a look that says it all!”

to this picture…

Except, this is a composite picture, made up of two separate events: HH is clearly listening, not to Nadine but to the Deputy Speaker, Sir Alan Haselhurst. How egocentric is Nadine?



Filed under Church, Conservative Party, Labour, Parliament, Politics

28 responses to “Nadine Dorries and the politics of hate

  1. I am finding it hard to imagine a greater “hate” than destroying human life for convenience sake.

    Sadly, decades of “rights” have ended up causing tensions. Women can speak up for what they perceive as their “rights” i.e. better pay, killing their unborn children, etc. out of pure self-interest.

    Who can stand up for the rights of the unborn (i.e. the REAL rights in this issue)?

    They can’t, so it must needs be that the unselfish in society have to do it. Those who esteem human life as more precious than anything else get called all the names under the sun for daring to argue against a woman’s wish not to be inconvenienced with the natural product of her behaviour.

    And why do we also never hear about the father’s rights?

    You might remember my saying – there is no equality; just a hierarchy of ideologies.

    In this issue, selfish women are top of the list and the unborn are bottom of the list, just below fathers it would seem.

    You voted for twenty weeks, Tom?

    Feel good about it?

    This is what an ELEVEN WEEK OLD aborted human looks like: a human.

    Looking at the photographic evidence, I call that murder.

    Two million aborted babies under New Labour = two million murders.

    And you have the bloody nerve to witter on about Nadine Dorries and gun control.

  2. Call it murder if you like, Stewart. And maybe if I ever write about the rights and wrongs of abortion, some of your comments might be relevant. In this case, however, I am trying to make a point about an MP’s dishonest attempts to make abortion a party political issue.

  3. braddogley

    It is a woman’s right to choose and should remain so. As you know Tom, I also disagreed with your vote on 20 weeks. However, I respect your opinion and your right to hold this view. I am afraid that hysterical rants like the one above are rather immature and unhelpful to the debate.

    I may disagree with Dorries but as she is a woman, I actually support her right to hold that view. However, when i hear another man ranting and raving about how women should be denied control over their own bodies and how they choose to live, I am reminded of the days of “rule of thumb” and of keeping “your woman” locked away from other men.

    A little bit like the Taliban, but less tolerant.

    I do hope our ranting friend has never used contraception and does not take medication for illness. Or is inconsistency a vital part of such a weak argument.

    Let’s allow women to make their own choices, rather allowing the the state to dictate how they can live. I am afraid that the kind of country that is described above seems a lot like a Catholic version of sharia law.

  4. braddogley

    Oh and another thing, as it were:

    Is sex where a baby is sought the only acceptable form of the act? That sounds like a wonderfully fun world!!!! Does that also mean that masturbation should be banned? It does make you go blind, granted.

    “a woman’s wish not to be inconvenienced with the natural product of her behaviour,” Stewart says.

    her behaviour????????? what does that mean????

  5. Lucifer

    I’m tended to agree with Stewart here, Tom (although his point is not perhaps central to your complaint) – what exactly IS the difference between a 19 week and a 23 week old foetus?

    I’d be interested to hear your views on what it is that makes abortion acceptable in the case of the former but not the latter.

  6. braddogley

    Fair point, to a point, lucifer. But does that mean that the devil is pro-life?

  7. Re: braddogley. I’m not sure what contraception or illness medication has to do with this?

    However I don’t think we can reduce debate to the extent that only women can vote on female issues, and vice versa. At it’s most extreme that would mean Tom would be prevented from voting on funding for ovarian cancer or even having an opinion on it.

    The abortion debate is a hugely sensitive one but it’s one that is best kept out of the party political (not political) arena, which I think was Tom’s point.

    There is never going to be agreement on this but once people begin to raise the issue that one party is more for or against it goes down a dangerous path, and certainly one more akin to a Taliban scenario. But simply having an opinion on the matter doesn’t do this – it’s part of democratic life.

    Ultimately there’s almost no-one who genuinely believes in abortion on demand (which is the logical conclusion of ‘allow[ing] women to make their own choices’). For instance it’s doubtful people would be supportive of allowing abortions because the child was female or disabled for example.

    So if it’s all a case of degrees surely then we can agree that it’s a legitimate issue for EVERYONE to hold a view on, whatever that may be. But keep party politics out of it.

  8. braddogley

    My point about contraception is that Stewart seems to equate sex with pregnancy. Medication the same reason, because he seems to be making the point that we should not interfere with teh nature of physiology. Also, that is why i mentioned masturbation, because when does he think life begins?

    I of C, the day party politics takes over is the day that both sides have lost the argument.

    The thing i don’t get is why the Church in its slavish devotion to pro-lifery, does not actively promote age appropriate sexual and emotional education. I think a better understanding of the whole act, and consequences (not just scare stories about STDs) is superior to the mixture of unreliable sources we relied upon in my day.

    I don’t think that the mechanics as taught by school do the job effectively. There is a really good South Park episode about the whole thing.

    One point I want to make is that I am against the act of abortion, but for the right of women to make their own decisions about their own bodies. So, please do not paint me as a “pro-abortionist”, as Barry O said the other day.

  9. Chris' Wills

    Ideas of Civilization wrote “it’s doubtful people would be supportive of allowing abortions because the child was female or disabled for example”

    In the UK the fact that an unborn child has a probability >25% of being mongoloid is grounds for abortion, for other disabilities the probability may differ. The concept has been fostered that certain lives aren’t worth living and the state happily supports this eugenics approach.

    The fact that it results in healthy babies being aborted is considered acceptable by some, for me the reasoning is sick and the sign of a declined immoral society.

    Toms point is fair though, abortion shouldn’t be a party issue.

  10. Yes, Tom, I call it as I see it. I realise (for obvious reasons) that the pro-choice movement would rather we thought of abortion as just another surgical procedure. Pretend that the object being removed is a tumour.

    Btw, by ‘witter on’ I wasn’t criticising your writing style. What struck me was the banality of political rhetoric versus the monstrous scale of the abortion epidemic.

    Brad – One man’s impassioned plea may well be considered a rant to emotionally-stunted men.

    To be against the slaughter of innocent babies is “A little bit like the Taliban, but less tolerant” in your view.

    And your opinion is worth more consideration than mine?

    And why do you presume I’m a Catholic? I’m not. Many people are able to see the evil of abortion, although clearly not people like you who buries his head in the sand and pretends it’s a woman’s right.

    Normal women have a gentle, caring, motherly nature and wouldn’t consider culling their offspring.

    You should find out who is behind the “equality” agenda. Here’s one I wrote earlier in reply to a blog entry by major feminist Mary Honeyball MEP.

    Read the bit about Marie Stopes. This clearly disturbed person is one of those responsible for the present belief system – your belief system.

    If all you have in your argument arsenal is “a woman’s right” and the Taliban, then you might as well admit to the truth that abortion is murder, because you don’t have any sensible excuse why the unborn should be slaughtered. That’s understandable, as there is none.

  11. braddogley

    According to the official statistics which have been compiled since the change of the law in 1967, less than 1% of abortions were carried out after 18 weeks in 2007 in Scotland. This is around 10o a year in a population of around 5 million. The fact is that late abortions tend to take place for a complex set of reasons, rather than as an act of gay abandon.

    So, like many of these moral issues, we are blowing the reality way, way out of proportion. However, as someone will no doubt say, that is 100 abortions to many at that stage.

    One final thing, because I am boring myself now and that is never a good sign; i wish people would be more open about their position. Rather than mealy-mouthed arguments about reducing the limit, i would rather they openly said they would like to ban it. Alaska could be a nice location if that is your position. Because the governor is not going to change on 04 November.

    Or, alternatively we could increase the limit to 48 months……..and bring in retrograde action for miscreants………

  12. Paul

    They don’t call her “Mad Nad” for nothing!

  13. The link to the photo of the eleven week old aborted baby has disappeared from my initial comments.

    I know it is sometimes highly offensive to see what man is capable of, but in this case I think it is valuable to appreciate the reality of the situation.

  14. Rapunzel

    Ideas of Civilisation invariably says what I am thinking, but expresses it so much better than I ever could. It’s so refreshing to read a blog where intelligent people put forward rational and well argued points. Although I know you get your ranters as well. But I just don’t read them.

  15. Lucifer

    The devil is in the detail, Mr Dogley!

  16. braddogley

    Stewart, i don’t know where your hatred of women comes from, but it is very, very sad that you see women as primarily being vessels to receive sperm and create babies.

    There is a lot of paranoia going on there. if you read my comments, i talk about respecting opinions. You, on the other hand illustrate my argument with your petulance.

    What I am saying, and I will say it again so you can follow, “It is not your, nor my place, to tell women they can or cannot have an abortion”. That is pretty clear I think.

    So, calm yourself down and understand that the way to change minds is to persuade, not insult, pontificate and resort to the plaground.

    You are entitled to your opinion, but when someone disagrees it is not an attack on you personally. Nor does it make you morally superior to those of us who do not agree with you. Morals are a relative value. Stewart Lee speaks very eloquently on the subject.

    I know both sides of the argument, having an uncle (now dead) who was a priest and an 2 aunts with learning difficulties, including one with Down’s Syndrome. Both of these were born because their mother, my grandmother, made a choice to have them.

    A choice. She made a decision of her own. That is what I am defending. Do you get it now?

  17. braddogley

    Oh and pictures would scare any human being. Never mind foetuses, have you seen a cancerous testicle or penis? So, I am afraid emotional blackmail won’t persuade me. I prefer rational thought.

  18. “Stewart, i don’t know where your hatred of women comes from.”

    I don’t hate women; I think they are a fine gender. I have a hatred of abortion.

    It would help this discussion if you would see the distinction.

    I can see both sides of the capital punishment debate (for murderers who have been found guilty after a fair trial) but I’m afraid I don’t have any respect for pro-abortionists.

    A death sentence, undeserved and without trial, doesn’t get one iota of respect from me.

    You prefer rational thought, but without thinking about what abortion actually entails.

    You keep on refuting your own arguments.

    Like I said, you have nothing to justify slaughtering unborn children in cold blood.

  19. Johnny Norfolk

    I think with modern contraception available to all, free in many cases. The abortion time limit should be reduced. The fact that abortion is increasing just shows so little regard for human life. I think you will find in our world the tide has turned and most people want it reduced.

  20. Jane Spencer

    Interestingly Tom, the now retired Kezia Dugdale attempted to polticise abortion by claiming the SNP, and Alex Salmond in particular, were a bunch of radical pro-lifers.

    It appears you walked into the same lobby as Salmond, which completely debunks her argument, but this demonstrates that Labour is not completely above such base politics either.

  21. Crazily, I want to comment on Tom’s actual post.
    And what a post – nailed the whole pathetic self publicising charade, nice work.
    You can agree with a person’s principles and question their methods – is it too much to ask Nad Fans to do a bit of questioning?

  22. braddogley

    I cannot believe she is so stupid as to fall for a photoshopped picture. I say bring back Brass Eye!

  23. Bedd Gelert

    Tsk Tsk Tsk – surely ignoring Nadine ‘Bonkers’ Dorries is better than giving her the oxygen of publicity by responding to her pathetic ‘politics of hate’. Although advice I found it difficult to follow myself when she started whipping up race hatred against the gypsies in her locality..

    The annoying thing is, this woman thinks she is a kind of ‘British Sarah Palin’ just waiting in the wings to be deployed to high office by a Conservative party desperate for connecting with supporters in the ‘football mum’ demographic in the UK…

    Luckily there seems to be absolutely no danger of the Tory party being stupid enough to put her any where near the ‘front bench’, but ‘eternal vigilance is the price of freedom’ and all that…

    Keep ’em peeled, Mr Watson…

  24. Excellent post Tom, and especially great to see a MP taking to task such a nasty piece of work that is Nadine Dorries.

  25. Bedd Gelert

    Sorry, that joke backfired, rather – it should of course have read ‘Dr Watson’… Well, maybe I should have left that dropped brick where it was…

  26. davidc

    1 legalised abortion was we were told, never to be ‘on demand’ but for only clearly defined medical reasons – physical and mental.
    in practice abortion is available on demand and has become another birth control option as it did in the late unlamented soviet union.

    2 a 21 week foetus if delivered alive has to receive every medical attention to help it survive which is why it has to be killed in the womb prior to abortion.
    if it were to be delivered alive then every effort must be made to keep it alive – in the womb it has no rights , out of the womb even with only a tenuous hold on life it is a human being with every right to life.

    3 funny old thing ethics particularly when religion, politics, science and morality all get mixed up together

  27. It’s all very well for you, Tom Harris, to condemn what you excitably term the politics of hate on the abortion question but you conveniently ignore the vitriol, abuse and inappropriate treatment routinely meted out to Labour Pro-Lifers and Catholics.

    Labour MPs are supposed to have a free vote on abortion but it has long been known among Labour Pro-Lifers that this is ignored. Years ago, MP Ronnie Campbell blew the whistle on this, calling it an absolute fiction.

    He was absolutely right, it’s been going on for years and things have got worse not better. We saw for ourselves not seven months ago, that Labour MPs had to battle for something which should have been theirs by right: a free vote on the HFE Bill.

    And that’s saying nothing about the appalling amount of poisonous anti-Catholicism which goes unchecked in the Labour Party. Practising Catholic Labour politicians, from Ruth Kelly to Jon Cruddas come up against it again and again.

    I remind you that Labour MEP, Mary Honeyball, has called for Roman Catholics to be discriminated against, has falsely claimed that the HFE Bill was detailed in the Labour Party’s election manifesto, has impugned individual Catholic Labour activists, uses her position to conduct a campaign of anti-Catholic bigotry and boasts of her support for a porn industry-funded notoriously anti-Catholic group.

    In all seriousness I ask you how someone like Honeyball can represent practising Roman Catholics. I ask you how Roman Catholics can be expected to vote for a party which allows anti-Catholic bigots like Honeyball to hold elective office and put it to you that if there is a politics of hate, it exists as much within the Labour Party as without.

    I would appreciate it if you could answer my questions. I’m a Labour Party member but like so many of my co-religionists in the party I am feeling increasingly alienated from it.

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