August 28, 2011

She’s at it again…

Filed under: Uncategorized — madaxeman @ 3:55 pm

Nadine Dorries MP (oh, how that irks me…) has published an article on her blog here , commenting on an article in the Daily Telegraph that can be found here.

Let us get one thing straight – Dorries is not trying to make counselling with one of her “alternate” counsellors mandatory for a woman. Many people seem to have ran away with the idea that this might be the case, but it doesn’t seem to be so, and we should recognise that. No – instead she is trying to make it mandatory that women should be offered counselling from an “independent” counsellor, and also that organisations who financially benefit from the provisions of terminations should not be able to provide counselling.

Now, as soon as someone starts saying effectively “In the interests of independence, only those people I support will be able to provide service X…”, I sit up and take notice – it leads to the nagging suspicion that they might be talking bollocks. Since this is Nadine we’re dealing with, I’m hardly reassured… However, on this occasion, perhaps she might have a point…

Of course, one thing we need to get straight is what this “independence” should look like. It’s not hard at first glance to imagine how a body that is paid to provide terminations might come to act improperly when it comes to counselling women who are trying to decide, at an extremely traumatic time, whether they should have one. On the other side of the fence though, these counsellors are regulated, both by their own professional body and also by HM Government, so it seems that any impropriety should be easy enough to identify. The fact that there has yet to be a case where either have found BPAS or Marie Stopes to have acted in such a manner is of course relevant here as well. We either have a system that is working fine, or we have a failure of regulation – in part by HM Government.

If the regulators are failing, then, in the first instance, that is what should be corrected. Even if you move counselling services out to other “financially independent” groups, you would still be left with a regulator that is not fit for purpose.

Unless, of course, there isn’t a problem with the regulation of these people, in which case why are we even having this discussion?

It’s an important question. Whilst the Pro-Life movement might well be able to offer services, possibly very good services. I think they are even less independent than BPAS. They are, after all, committed on principal to stamping out terminations – which makes them just about the last people you would want anywhere near the counselling of vulnerable women. At least BPAS are not ideologically opposed to people NOT having terminations – as evidenced by the many, many women who through their counselling decide that termination is not for them…

So I’m sorry Nadine, but I just don’t believe you. I think you’re playing with this counselling issue to try to further your other aims. You are, by your own admission, a Christian who is opposed to abortion. Even if your bill made sense, and I do not believe that it does, you actually harm it by your own involvement.

But anyway – back to Nadine’s post…

The comment by Ann Furedi, CEO of BPAS, that ‘if her organisation was prevented from advising women about terminations it could be impossible to gain informed consent, as the independent counselling was not compulsory’ is frankly, breathtaking.

It’s not breathtaking at all – it’s a bloody good point. Before carrying out any sort of procedure, a clinician is required, by law, to establish “informed consent”. What this means is that the patient should understand what action is proposed, together with the possible outcomes of such action, along with any risks that such actions might present. No responsible clinician, from BPAS or anywhere else, will be sure of the counselling that has been provided by another party they are not connected with. They perhaps could try to remedy this by providing their own counselling at the time, but no – Nadine’s bill would prohibit that. If a clinician cannot be sure he/she has informed consent, there is no way that they undertake a termination. This is not an example of BPAS threatening or intimidating anyone – and more a matter of their simply exercising proper care and governance. Oh – and let’s remember both that Nadine feels they aren’t capable of this because all they see is pounds and pence, and also that Nadine and the rest of the pro-life folks didn’t even consider this an issue.

Up until now we have had the pro-choicers creating the false impression that what we are proposing is compulsory. Outed as being outrageously deceitful, they now spin a reason why not being compulsory and a matter of choice is a bad thing. Not only that, they throw in a scare tactic in the form of a lie with an implied threat, ie, if a woman dares to take up the offer of being counselled by someone who has no financial interest in her ultimate decision, Bpas may not be able to carry out the abortion because they wont have informed consent.

I take issue with the suggestion that people have deliberately moved to misrepresent what the bill sets out to do, but I agree that it has not been very well understood – hence my clarification at the top of this post. That’s only a minor point though compared to what I think about the rest of that passage…

How dare Nadine Dorries claim there is an implied threat here? BPAS couldn’t care which band of sky-pixie worshippers you might take advice from as a pregnant woman considering a termination. It’s a free country, and you’re free to talk with whoever you like (until the bill passes of course). All they ask, as I explained above, is that they can establish informed consent before carrying out a termination. That’s not so unreasonable, is it? Or does Mrs. Dorries expect clinicians to merely take it on trust?

Once we see exactly who Mrs. Dorries has in mind for providing these counselling services, we’ll all be in a better place to decide as to their suitability. That’s one of the problems here – these new providers haven’t been identified, and as such are a bit of an unknown quantity. Far from implying or threatening anything at all, BPAS are merely trying to sound a well intentioned note of caution.

That one comment and tactic by Ann Furedi, CEO of BPAS demonstrates how utterly reprehensible and money grabbing her organisation is, as the fear of losing revenue makes her resort to despicable measures, which includes issuing veiled threats to vulnerable women .

No it doesn’t – see above. However, your attempt to portray her comments as some sort of threat actually reveals quite a lot about your own rather lacking standards in this debate. Yet again Mrs. Dorries, you engage in the smear tactic. You tried this with Tim Ireland, and lost. You tried to suggest that those of us who communicate with Tim are having our communications monitored, and lost.

You might be as nutty as a squirrel’s wet dream Nadine, but speaking more myself, my own opposition to you is based more in how you act than in the actual policies you promote. While ever you continue with this kind of playground politics, you will continually be outed as the laughing stock you are. Deservedly so.

If that comment weren’t enough, you will hear a quote on one day that 20% of women who approach Bpas, decide not to abort and then at the next interview,15%, depending upon which figure suits.

Ha ha ha! Really Nadine? YOU – Nadine Dorries – are seriously accusing someone else of making up evidence to support their view? Can someone send me a new irony meter please – the needle on this one is well and truly buried in the side wall lol!

I almost feel guilty for picking her up on that point. Debating with Nadine is often much like shooting fish in a barrel – but these particular fish seem to be glued to the bottom of the barrel, and already dead…

Ann Furedi will also trip of her tongue the fact that BPAS are the largest independent providers of abortion in the UK, whereas MSI, state that this is in fact incorrect and that they are.

See above.

All this, from a woman who takes a financial package, including pension, car, expenses etc, paid for by the tax payer, circa £200,000 and yet refuses to be transparent and declare exactly how much tax payers money, our money, she is paid.

Ann Furedi works for a private organisation that works in the public sector, and does not hold public office. Her salary is therefore a private matter. I wish this were not so – and personally I would support leglislation requiring full disclosures of all salaries EVERYWHERE in excess of £150K per annum, but that’s another argument. Ann Furedi, under the current laws of our country, is entitled to her privacy.

Excuse me while I change to green text to make a relevant point here…

Nadine Dorries on the other hand DOES hold public office (MP for Mid Bedfordshire), and is therefore accountable under law. When I recently submitted a Freedom of Information request to ascertain how much time and public resources had been expended in efforts to monitor the communications of non-supportive individuals such as Tim Ireland and I, I thought it a relatively simple matter. I sent off the request, and quietly waited for the response. None was forthcoming in the time allotted by law, so I contacted Nadine again to ask what was happening with the request, as she was legally obliged to have contacted me by this point…

It’s at this point that I received an email from Phillipa, Nadine’s office manager, come political researched, come daughter, the entire text of which read :

Dear Sir,

Only to correctly drafted FOI requests, which are in accordance with act. This was not, and therefore we are under no liability.


Philippa Dorries

That’s Nadine’s attitude toward openness and accountability right there for all to see…

Since I happened to have read the law, I responded quoting sections which made it explicitly clear that my request was valid, and that furthermore if there was a problem, Nadine was legally obliged to assist me.  I eventually received a response that no time at all had been spent on such activities, which when combined with the Bedfordshire Police statement that they hadn’t been monitoring us either does seem to suggest that someone was lying…

Oh, and Nadine (and Phillipa), I had decided that I wasn’t going to bother publicising that exchange. I only changed my mind following your own actions in this article…

Back to Nadine’s post again…

Ann, if you are reading this, instead of bombarding my office with solicitors letters, paid for by the tax payer in your desperate attempt to silence me and prevent me from doing the job I am elected to do, why don’t you just print on your web site a breakdown of your financial package?

Well, she made the same allegations of bombarding her office against Tim Ireland. I’m convinced he is innocent, and therefore suspect Anne Furedi is as well – and that if any solicitors letters have been sent they will be found to be a perfectly reasonable attempt to bring a measure of civility into these matters.

As for disclosing her package, if Anne Furedi is so minded, I would encourage her to do so on the condition that Nadine reveal who is supporting the Right To Know campaign first. After all Nadine, you’re the one in public office – and it’s all about transparency, isn’t it?

I suppose we should all be grateful. Ann Furedi, wife of Frank Furedi, humanist and founder of the Revolutionary Communist Party in her own way  endorses the reason why no woman in a crisis situation who needs to access unbiased advice, should be allowed anywhere near Bpas.

That doesn’t actually make sense Nadine – not that I should be surprised I guess. Oh, and your supposed link to Revolutionary Communist Party a) Doesn’t work, and b) Points to content on your own site, and therefore likely biased.

Anyway – a least he’s not a Conservative – so there’s hope for his soul yet…

As for the Revolutionary Communist Party, I don’t really care what her husband does – or more accurately did – that particular party actually having been disbanded in 1997. It’s beside the point. If you can’t criticise Anne Furedi’s actions (sorry – I meant to say if you can’t truthfully  criticise her actions), then you should shut up.


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