Nadine Dorries MP has yet another unintentionally amusing post up on her blog. Her thoughts on fellow Tory MP John Bercow’s candidacy for the speakership are drenched in an odd mixture of partisan and personal vitriol and, without wanting to get too pompous, suggest a thorough lack of respect for parliamentary norms.
Dorries speculates on the political views of Bercow’s wife. She writes:
“John Bercow’s wife is reported to be a socialist. Does this matter? I think it does, a great deal.”
This is the woman who just a few weeks ago was complaining about the media attitude to the expenses scandal being reminiscent of McCarthyism. Such hyperbole then; such hypocrisy now.
She has also convinced herself that Bercow is incapable of being neutral on the issue of abortion and would therefore use his position as Speaker to scupper her anti-choice agenda:
“Can we trust a Speaker who has such strident zealot views on such an issue to be fair, if he regards those in favour of reducing the number of abortions as prehistoric? I think not.”
Remember that one of Dorries’ claims to fame is being a prominent campaigner around abortion. She was filmed in a Dispatches documentary in 2008 teaming up with the biggoted, dinosaur-denying fundamentalists of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship during her attempts to cut the legal term limits.
She then shamelessly declares:
“I shall make my commitment to guarantee, by any means at my disposal, that should John Bercow become Speaker, I will do my best to make sure that it is one of the shortest served appointments in the grand, and glorious, history of that coveted chair.”
Such a statement surely contravenes all kinds of conventions of the Commons.
I understand that Speaker Martin was seen as a failure and needed to be forced out when the expenses scandal came to light. That event was not driven by partisan concern.
Dorries, however, seems to want to politicise the Speaker through her unreasonable and pretty desperate attacks on Bercow’s opinions on abortion and even on his wife’s political outlook. To declare so brazenly that she will seek to undermine the Speaker if she does not approve of him or her is astonishing.
We can’t be sure of who the next Speaker will be, but if there is to be a competition for dimmest and most ridiculous MP then surely Dorries is in there with a good chance. She truly is the Sarah Palin of British politics (though I suspect she would take that as a compliment).