December 20, 2011

Dorries being Dorries again…

Filed under: Uncategorized — madaxeman @ 12:36 pm

My favourite MP really has gone too far this time. In Sunday’s Observer, she actually came out with the following:

“[Thanks to the expenses scandal] it’s a place of monks and millionaires. I was with an MP the other day, and his wife rang him. She was at the supermarket checkout and her debit card had been refused. They had no money in their account. He was just distraught, and all because he’s too scared to claim travel expenses, scared of what the local paper will write if he does. People are starving, poor things.”

That’s an amazing statement from someone who is actually supposed to be representing her constituents – many of whom are in low paid menial jobs, many more of whom are through no fault of their own unemployed. If the people of Mid Bedfordshire ever needed a simple demonstration of why they really must try to take elections a little more seriously in future, then there it lies folks…

Still, an MP’s life hangs in the balance, so let’s tackle Nadine’s claims head on.

The local paper Nadine will have no issue at all with an MP claiming legitimate travel expenses. Nor will I, and nor will Tim Ireland. Legitimate expenses are, well, legitimate. Your friend is perfectly at liberty to submit his expenses, and so long as he only makes legitimate claims, he has nothing to fear.

If he cannot see that, if in his judgement he really has to starve both his wife and himself rather than claim legitimate money that he is perfectly entitled to, then perhaps he should consider another role in society – he’s not cut out for life as an MP.

That these words could come from an elected representative of the people is shocking. If Nadine really thinks that people earning £65,000 a year are starving, then she really needs to come back and visit planet Earth some time…

On a personal note, I started a relationship with a young lady a few weeks ago. My girlfriend, whom we’ll call Kirsty for the sake of this conversation, is a teaching assistant at a school some ten miles from her home. She has a four year old daughter, a degree in Child Development, and works 20 hours per week. The cupboards have been bare – they were last week, which ended in my forcing Kirsty to accept a little help with a few things…

Kirsty is, quite rightly a proud woman. She should be – she’s doing an amazing job of raising her daughter, she’s holding down a job, she’s keeping a lovely clean home for the two of them – basically doing absolutely everything you would hope a mother would. She doesn’t like accepting help, and finds it to be a little demeaning. She feels, not unreasonably, that perhaps since she went out there and earned a degree, then came into public service in a vital role helping to teach our youngsters, that perhaps she really ought to have a tenner to herself every now and then.

The truth though, sadly, is very different. The truth is that I know Kirsty places her daughter’s interests ahead of her own. I know Kirsty has skipped meals so that her daughter would have plenty to eat. That’s just how things are at the moment.

Things are however going to get a lot worse, because it’s just been decided that Kirsty has been overpaid in terms of benefits, and so the government would like over £2,000 back, thanks very much. Apparently, the onus was on Kirsty to spot the errors in the assessment they carried out, and that they sent to her, when she opened it. The fact that Kirsty is not a benefits expert is not, it would seem, of any relevance here – and a good woman who is already skimping on her own food for the sake of her daughter has just been told that she will have to pay back £23 per week.

So, if this is how Kirsty, as a law abiding public servant, is to be treated, then I don’t really have a lot of time for MPs who are worried about their expenses. True, this is helped in part by the fact that I don’t personally believe Nadine’s story in the first place, but all the same – MPs need to stop bleating about their own petty self interest and get on with the job.

Yes – it is rough out there – the rest of us have bloody noticed!

If as a government you are happy to literally take food out of the mouth of a four year old over a mistake YOU made, then you know what?  I don’t give a flying fuck if you don’t find scrutiny to your liking. Deal with it – the rest of us have to, and if you’d like a tip we find that only making honest claims in the first place simplifies matters considerably…

Stop whining, stop bleating, and start doing your bloody jobs.



  1. I started reading the Dorries interview, then had to stop. To paraphrase the late and great Linda Smith: “I’m not that happy with her having the oxygen of oxygen actually”

    Comment by mazzawoo — December 20, 2011 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

    • I loved Linda Smith… Big fan of her when she used to appear on the News Quiz…

      I’ve got “I think the nurses are stealing my clothes” at home as well…

      Comment by madaxeman — December 20, 2011 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

      • If Linda Smith had said that quote about Dorries herself, Linda would no doubt have been accused of making ‘death threats’ :0

        Comment by mazzawoo — December 20, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

  2. Don’t get me started on Dorries, just don’t. I can’t abide the woman. And not because of the fact ( as she would have people believe ) that I’m a man and she’s a woman,
    nor because I’m for leaving women to make choices regarding their own bodies ( or pro-abortion as Dorries likes to label anyone who criticises her) and she’s in favour of hindering choices with legislation and having the people who lobby her right-wing fundamentalism so that they can take over the counselling of women seeking abortions in order to foist their archaic religious rhetoric on them in the hope that they can guilt them into having unwanted children,
    and not because I am part of some misogynistic plot to harry her at every given opportunity so that she might label me stalker and cry foul, but simply because she is a vile, manipulative, untruthful, narcissistic half-wit who is unfit for public office.

    Oh, I got started.

    My point was actually for Kirsty.

    be sure that she takes some advice from the local welfare rights office. She has the right to appeal any overpayment repayments made. At the very least the amount will be reduced to the maximum of £10 per week and it’s likely that it could be thrown out as when i was pursuing a similar case recently for someone I was told directly by an officer in the benefits agency that the onus actually is not on an individual to spot errors and overpayments and mistakes made are often solely the responsibility of the benefits office. Just don’t ignore it, it will cost nothing to appeal and welfare rights are nothing if not tenacious.

    Comment by Craig (@zootcadillac) — December 20, 2011 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for the assistance Craig. I spoke with Kirsty, and she already has spoken with them. The opinion seems to be that they should be able to get it reduced down to £10 per week, although obviously that will mean extending the period.

      I’m interested in any information you might have in terms of whether they are themselves liable for their own mistakes. It does not seem logical to me that they can claim to rely on the claimant spotting any issues, particularly when the claimant lacks their own expertise, and the mistake got past them…

      Comment by madaxeman — December 20, 2011 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  3. ” I don’t personally believe Nadine’s story in the first place”

    No, I don’t think it’s true, either. I think it’s (a) an invention if not an embellishment, and (b) really a moan about her own finances either way.

    If you recall, in September of this year, Dorries use a claim of being broke as part of an assurance to the House that she was not under any commercial influence from anti-abortion forces:

    “I do not have the press barons’ money to mount and fund a campaign. I have not received a penny. In fact, I am broke.” – Nadine Dorries (source )

    Comment by Tim Ireland (@bloggerheads) — December 20, 2011 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

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