The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Irritated, a foiled May still plots an election
Posted Monday, 21 January 2019 at 14:10

White-faced and red-lipped, on the night of the snap 2017 election, Theresa May told her advisers: “I don’t look strong and stable now, I just look stupid.” That defeat did not deliver the thumping majority she expected. It lost us 13 Conservative MPs and our majority, necessitating a confidence and supply arrangement with the DUP for the Conservative Party to survive and to save the country from a Marxist government.

That night must have had the most profound and deep impact on such a proud and private woman. A dedicated public servant who has given her entire life, working and waiting for a very different outcome to arrive.

Last Tuesday, along with 117 other Conservative MPs, I voted against May’s EU withdrawal deal. It was 
a bad deal for Britain, but even more so for Northern Ireland as it contained the problematic Irish backstop, repeatedly rejected by the DUP. If the deal had passed, the Conservative Party would have sailed into very dangerous waters. The DUP would have had no alternative but to end the supply and confidence arrangement. At the least, its MPs would have sat on their hands and not joined us in the voting lobbies. In these extraordinary days, the 118 Conservative rebels were voting to keep the party in power, while the whips and No 10 were leaning on MPs to vote for the deal, lose the DUP and create chaos. Why?

Winning the vote would have been a massive boost for May, here and abroad. It would have created the perfect storm: an emboldened and respected prime minister, having delivered the seemingly impossible, with her government and party in free fall as the DUP walked out the door. These would have been the ideal conditions in which to call another snap general election, with May at the helm.

A general election would mean seeking a public endorsement for the withdrawal agreement from a country that voted leave. It would be a huge, stonking risk and one that would send an icy chill down the spine of almost every Conservative MP.

Recently, it was reported that May attended the 1922 committee and stated that she understood that MPs did not want her to lead the party into the next general election. She said she was disappointed. MPs were stunned when she said she had wanted to do just that. She viewed it as unfinished business, to put right her mistakes in 2017.

My colleague Adam Holloway asked the prime minister to confirm that she would not lead us into any election, not just the one due in 2022. He pressed her twice and, with feeble voice, she failed to answer him. Her eyes were down, her body language evasive.

It was very unlike a previous meeting after the election when, with eyes forward and voice strong, she announced: “I got us into this mess and I will get us out of it.” It was obvious to those of us who voted against her in the recent personal vote of confidence that if it had been her intention not to lead us into 
any election, she would have been unambiguous in her response to Adam.

As the chief whip whispered the result into the ear of the prime minister after the withdrawal agreement vote last week — the worst defeat of any government — irritated, she abruptly shrugged her shoulders in response.

The following day, when the vote of confidence in the government arrived, Michael Gove gave the speech of his life. Make no mistake: that was not just his leadership bid, it was the first shot fired in an election campaign as he exposed and excoriated Jeremy Corbyn. It’s not winter that is coming, it’s a general election and May’s advisers will attempt to ensure she leads us into it.

(This article first appeared in yesterday's Sunday Times.)

 
 
My Vote This Evening
Posted Tuesday, 15 January 2019 at 16:19

We were once told that no deal is better than a bad deal. I still believe that’s true.

As evidenced by comments from the EU negotiators, we haven’t even tried to negotiate a good deal, one that could pass the test of Parliament. 

From the moment the calamitous Chequers proposals were published it’s been clear the government is seeking an arrangement that is too close to the EU, following EU rules and adhering to EU standards.

The withdrawal agreement as it stands leaves us 
subject to Brussels’ laws but with no voice and no say in making them. That is the worst of all possible worlds.

My fear is that we will end up locked into alignment with the EU, at the mercy of 27 member states whose interests clash with our own. That fear was only made worse when I read about the provisions of the backstop.

I am a Conservative and Unionist MP. I cannot vote for an agreement that would treat Northern Ireland as a second rate province, the first step to imposing the unification of the island of Ireland.

I supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum because of the potential of trade agreements we should be making around the world but can’t because of Brussels’ inflexibility. Within the backstop we would remain subject to the EU’s trade policy and still unable to forge our own destiny.

As if all that weren’t enough, if the withdrawal agreement is ratified we will be landed with a £39 billion divorce bill. I just cannot accept this is a reasonable amount.

The size of the divorce bill sums up Europe’s approach to the negotiations. Of course, they have been admirably united. And why not? It’s in the interests of all the other 27 states to keep milking us for as long as they can, then take advantage of us on the terms of the withdrawal agreement and hope to do the same thing on the future trading arrangements.

It’s time we pushed back against this, as we should have from the start.

If the deal is voted down tonight, I suspect the EU may miraculously come back with better terms. It’s what they always do. We can then consider if they are good enough. If not, we will reject them again. Remember, no deal is better than a bad deal.

Leaving the EU on WTO terms has been portrayed by Remainers in such blood curdling terms even they can’t really believe them. An inverted pyramid of piffle, as Boris might say.

If the best way to build a positive, balanced future relationship with Europe is by leaving on WTO terms, so be it.

There will be no suspended flights, no shortages of food and, as the deputy mayor of Calais assured us, no long tail backs of lorries. What there will be however, is the opportunity to strike profitable trade deals with countries around the globe, to the benefit of prosperity and jobs in the U.K.

For all these reasons I will be voting against the withdrawal agreement this evening.

If the EU come back with a deal that removes the backstop, reduces the divorce payment and allows us to negotiate free trade deals, I will happily vote for that.

 
 
Thuggery. Abuse. Threats. Unacceptable everywhere. But no-one came to Brexiteers’ defence when we were victims.
Posted Tuesday, 15 January 2019 at 16:07

 

This is my article from ConHome, which can also be read here:

“I want to see you, trapped in a burning car and watch as the heat from the flames melts the flesh from your face.”

Just one of a huge number of threats I have received since the day I became an MP. I decided not prosecute the originator of that remark, since he pleaded that his wife was pregnant, that he had just started a new job and his life would be in ruins if I took action.

That was the moment for me when Twitter transformed from being a platform of debate to one of abuse because within weeks, I had inherited a stalker who stuck with me for eight long years. I wasn’t his first victim. He had targeted his local female MP for three years before me, but she didn’t have a Twitter account and wasn’t on social media, so he moved across the country, rented a house, yards from my own, and then began eight years of intimidation and torment that affected me, my family, my job and my wellbeing.

Did anyone care? Was anyone bothered? Did anyone understand? No, not a bit. Especially not the Crown Prosecution Service, which appeared to believe that, since as an MP I was accountable to the electorate, it followed, unfortunately for me, that this accountability could manifest itself in a variety of ways. I had to move out of my own home and constituency because I was terrified – and it appeared, I was entirely on my own.

I didn’t think things could get much worse after that.  But then came the EU referendum, and it was as if the floodgates of abuse had now opened to the full, leaving my own stalker looking like a third rate amateur.

In addition to the social media and email onslaught, I have barely been able to use my own office for over a year, thanks to the ‘Stop Brexit’ campaigners outside of my window – meaning that, most of the time, I am displaced as I work on a canteen table, or in the Commons library. Month by month, the threats have intensified and they reach the darkest corners of the all-abusable me.

Forget the ‘C’ word. That comes as standard – usually as a subject header on an email. I have become immune. Forget the death threats – for goodness’ sake, there are, so many; so gruesome. It had become very obvious, by the standard of notifications on social media and the comments aimed at me as I walked to Millbank to give interviews, that something was afoot. The language of social medial via the immunity of the keyboard was becoming normalised. I haven’t given an interview on College Green for months, thanks to the stop Brexit protesters. I haven’t walked to Millbank without a male member of staff for over a year. What people would once only have said in private, they have been saying in public, as discourse noticeably deteriorated.

This Christmas, I deactivated my Twitter account. It hurt. There are things I care about, deeply. When you post a tweet that has 10,000 likes and almost three quarter of a million impressions, you know you have an effective platform. To advance my views is one of the reasons I became a politician. Not to duck down behind the sofa, but to jump on the parapet, to put myself in the public space of debate. What’s the point otherwise?

However, the abuse became so bad that I felt the need to stop giving media interviews, writing articles and to remove myself from the public arena. To get off the bus. It was all too much. People were becoming far too angry.

And it’s not just here in the UK. You only have to look around the globe to see how the internet is empowering people – not always in a good way. How minority groups can bully and dominate social media platforms to establish acceptable norms on so many issues. In politics, the paradigm is shifting. Walking the corridors of Westminster is like trotting through quicksand, and many are struggling to understand the new politics.

The Remain Metro Elite thought it was all absolutely fine to project fearmongering, scream “Stop Brexit”, campaign for a second referendum and present themselves on TV to systematically denounce and traduce the result of the referendum and to even, via the courts, try to have the result overturned.

Alastair Campbell of dodgy dossier fame, who proclaimed that the will of Parliament alone was enough to take us to war in Iraq, now endlessly calls for a second referendum, yet no one has died as a result of the referendum vote. He campaigns for a second poll so that the people vote again until they vote the establishment way. The metaphorical equivalent of removing the pin from a hand grenade.

The BBC thought they could spout pure unadulterated bias. Give Gary Lineker a free pass as he abuses elsewhere those 17.5 million people who agonised over their vote, and believe that there would be no consequence as a result. Broadcasters describe working classes leave voters as “gammon” and thick, and so much more besides. Well, I am gammon. I am working-class and proud. I never for one moment thought that these developments would end in anything but tears, and the very worst is still to come.

The handling of Brexit. The fudged negotiations. The deceit, the lies, the attempt by Number Ten to Brexit in name only will soon come home to roost.

People said it was impossible for America to elect Donald Trump, that it would never happen.  That Angela Merkel would go on and on and on in post. Emmanuel Macron was a slap in the face to the French establishment. Shifting political sands.

People here in the UK have reached their own tipping point. Some will become totally disenfranchised, remain at home and will possibly never vote again. Some will vent on social media and the abuse will continue. Others will step away from the keyboard and out onto the streets, and that is already happening. Journalists, Westminster elite, MPs, Prime Minister – we are all to blame, as while we fiddle, Westminster may burn. And someone not at all committed to democratic norms – someone we haven’t yet thought of, or maybe we have – will rise from the ashes, and we will only have ourselves to blame.

 

 
 
 
 
 

 
My Recent Posts
Posted Monday, 21 January 2019 at 14:10
 
Posted Tuesday, 15 January 2019 at 16:19
 
Posted Tuesday, 15 January 2019 at 16:07
 
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Posted Thursday, 6 December 2018 at 08:57
 
Posted Friday, 1 June 2018 at 13:16
 
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