What A Day
Posted Tuesday, 31 October 2006 at 17:57
Phew! What a day! I’m shattered after a long day of media interviews and presenting my bill before parliament. I lost the vote, but that isn’t surprising considering the Opposition has hardly ever defeated the Government since they came to power.
The opposing speech was full of erroneous facts about my bill and shock tactics, and there were even Labour whips telling their clueless flunkies to vote against it.
I’m going to keep this blog short today, because I’m off to take my fantastic staff for a glass of bubbly.
Not that the defeat has turned me to the bottle! If anything, I am more spurred on than ever! I may have lost the vote today, but I certainly won the argument!
10 Minute Rule Bill Re Abortion
Posted Monday, 30 October 2006 at 11:29
I met Gloria Hunniford on the Heaven and Earth show yesterday, I could almost feel her pain. When I said goodbye I wanted to give her a big hug - you can tell that tears aren't very far from the surface. In the car on the way back to Woburn I let my thoughts drift to how I would cope if I lost one of my daughters, but I quickly went into reverse gear - I just couldn't go there.
An abortion rights organisation apparently think that my ten minute rule bill is the beginning of the end - that it is part of a concerted campaign to end abortion altogether. They really do need to get out more.
It's web site encourages people to lobby their MPs to attend the chamber on Tuesday when I make my speech and vote against me.
Given that public opinion is overwhelmingly with me, it will be very interesting to see what up until now, pro choice MPs do - especially those with marginal seats.
Will they vote pro choice or pro vote? Or will they suddenly have pressing business to attend to?
Posted Friday, 27 October 2006 at 14:52
I was told by a colleague that I would unleash the gates of hell if I tried to bring down the legal age of abortion from 24 to 21 weeks - looks like he was right. My staff have been told they will burn in hell, my home has been besieged by anonymous telephone calls, extemist groups have sent out inflammatory messages to their members - it has got so bad that we have had to alert House of Commons security and my constituency police.
Why such extremists think this kind of behaviour will deter me I have no idea. If anything it reinforces my conviction to carry on.
Posted Thursday, 26 October 2006 at 14:11
My heart goes out to Greg Barker. He is a lovely man, who last Christmas asked me to help him buy his wife's Christmas present. I have seen him with his son and his wife, and there is no doubt in my mind that he loves them all very much.
I am sure that whatever has happened in his life that it wasn't pre meditated and that there are many more things he would rather do than hurt his family.
I have sent him a message of support and I hope all of my colleagues do the same. Politics can be a lonely business and Greg must feel as though he is in some sort of hell right now. His private life is his business, his competence as an MP is that of his electorate, everyone else should back off.
Posted Wednesday, 25 October 2006 at 11:02
I decided yesterday that I am going to have my eggs frozen.
Every paper this week has run stories about how healthy and possible it is to have a baby at any age you want, and as I am feeling very broody at the moment what with all this scanning, why not?
Rang my three teenage girls to run it past them first. No3 answered the phone. The thing about being an MP in London and the girls being at home is that they can lie to me with ease because I can’t see their faces.
The conversations went like this;
Have you done your homework, packed your bag, put your shoes where you can find them had a shower and done your teeth – the answer to all was of course yes.
Then I heard the words in the background which strike fear into my heart. Daughter No 2 said to No3 “is that my top you are wearing”. A battle ensued that General Mike Jackson would have been proud of – The dogs joined in, it was hard to hear the shouting over the barking, I heard the hamster cage smash to the floor and put the phone down.
Mmmm, maybe not.
Meeting With Professor Campbell
Posted Tuesday, 24 October 2006 at 16:13
I am turning into a geek - I found myself thinking on my way to the office that I must do my blog!
Tom my intern and I are living a surreal life at the moment. We bowl from meeting to meeting trying to take in the facts, statistics, opinions and information people are throwing at us with regard to the whole issue of abortion. You may have seen the picture of Prof Campbell and I at his clinic this morning. It is an incredibly moving experience to see a new life for the very first time. I wanted to check out whether the claims of some pro choice organisations that the images maybe enhanced are true.
Well I have brought photos of the baby I saw this morning and scanned them into my computer using a bog standard scanner - no enhancements here, we haven't got a clue, putting them through the scanner was testing enough!! You can draw your own conclusions.
The weirdest thing that happened to me today was that when I went to reception to meet yet another eminent neonatal professor I walked straight into my predecessor, the former Mid Beds MP Jonathan Sayeed! He looked in good form and I am glad that he appears to have left his troubles behind him and made a new life for himself.
My Latest Blog.
Posted Monday, 23 October 2006 at 15:36
I made the huge mistake during my 'one off' conference blog by asking the question, "let me know if you want me to continue blogging" - you have, and you do - either that or it's the Beds on Sunday winding me up and setting a man trap (or woman trap) which, considering the Machiavellian techniques used by my local Sunday newspaper would be one of their milder tactics of journalistic seduction!! Only kidding Steve! (Steve Lowe is the Editior).
All this blogging - I just don't get it - why? What can I tell you about my day that would be even remotely interesting? To those of you who have asked me to do it, here goes and it serves you right!
It's 4.00pm and we are already in usual Monday mode - manic. Did an interview with Andrew Neil for the Politics show this morning who said he was exhausted when it finished! Too many late nights with Michael and Diane!
Busy negotiating with various lobby groups and MP's re my ten minute rule bill to bring down the legal date of abortion from 24 weeks to 21 and to introduce a period of informed consent - is nothing in this life easy? I suppose the art of politics is the art of the impossible and therefore if I can just move the whole issue of late abortion just that little bit higher up the agenda it will have been worth it.
More to follow....
Posted Wednesday, 4 October 2006 at 16:16
Loved it! It was measured and thoughtful - not the usual barnstormer, tub thumper people expect from politicians. I expect that he will save that for nearer election day. Especially loved the bits about the NHS, faith schools, the armed forces and marriage.
Pertinent to me was David’s comment right at the beginning of his speech that we are not New Labour, so we don’t mind when people go off message - in light of my comments on BBC News night earlier in the week, I find this particularly reassuring.
With the conference over, I am looking forward to getting back to Parliament next week.
If you have any views about whether I should continue with my blog beyond the conference season then please contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted Wednesday, 4 October 2006 at 11:06
Final day and I am exhausted! Last night was a round of receptions which began with a dinner with journalists from Anglia TV and then onto News International where I spent the evening chatting to Rebecca Wade and other very illustrious journalists. I found it all a bit overwhelming to be honest!! Its David’s big day today and there is much anticipation regarding what he is going to say. Rumours are it’s going to focus on the NHS – as an ex nurse I really, really hope so. I will post my final conference blog just after the speech if I can get access to a computer.
Posted Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 16:34
Thank heavens for the Ordnance Survey stand! If it wasn’t for the lovely people manning the stand I wouldn’t be able to blog - they are letting me use their computer and feeding me chocolate at the same time - bliss!!
Newsnight have just sent me a text to say that my ‘film debut’ is on their programme tonight, slightly worried, but am I bothered? Watch Newsnight to see the relevance of that comment!!
Today’s meetings have been about sewers, breast cancer, cervical cancer, HPV virus, children in care and developments in the constituency. I’m “meeting-ed” out now and am seriously beginning to lose my voice. More tomorrow. Nadine
Posted Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 12:18
Ok so I am a rubbish blogger! Note to self – I must try harder!
It has been frantic for me since I made my last entry and I can’t even begin to bore you with all I have done. I spoke at a prayer breakfast yesterday, and for once in my life I was fashionably early. My PA, bless her had made a typo on my schedule and put me down for speaking from 7am-9am. It should have been 8am! So having had not a lot of sleep the night before due to preparing for the speech and a TV interview I was up at 5.45 and I could have had a whole hour more! My researcher, Peter Hand, was insufferable all day due to the fact that he made an excellent speech on the environment from the platform (See it here), I’m not bringing him again! The atmosphere here is very upbeat, the conference is slick polished, well organised, and today is a beautiful day!
To make up for being so completley hopeless at this I am going to get some practice in and make another entry later today!
Posted Sunday, 1 October 2006 at 19:52
Well it's day one and I am one of the lucky ones to have secured a pass!
Which is just as well as I had to chair a fringe meeting hosted by the NUT (who I referred to as the TUC at one point!!) with David Willetts. The meeting went well with many points raised by individual parents highlighting the problems they experience simply trying to access and secure a decent education for their children.
Steve Sinnot the General Secretary of the NUT hosted the meeting and at one point stated his amazement at the comments made by David Willetts, stating that " these are not comments I would ever have heard a Conservative make even two years ago" Thats because we are going in a new direction Steve!
This evening I am hosting a get together with the Mid Beds crowd and then I am unashamedly going to attend all the posh glitzy receptions I have been invited to!
Until tomorrow, Nadine