Shefford Hustings: “He’s behind you!” “Oh, no he isn’t!” #NadineDorries #GE2015

In the beginning…

Almost 5 years ago, during the 2010 general election, I attended my first ever political hustings meeting. Held in Flitwick, Bedfordshire, the panellists were all parliamentary candidates for Mid Bedfordshire. The room was full and buzzing with many locals including myself attending in the hope of questioning the incumbent, Nadine Dorries, about recent rumours of a police investigation into her expenses claims. This was the first time I met Tim Ireland (@bloggerheads) and the last time I wore “normal” shoes.

The meeting didn’t go as planned as the late-arrival, the incumbent Nadine Dorries, discovered the meeting was being filmed and broadcast by one of her more successful critics, Tim Ireland (with advance permission of the organisers of course, Tim is always extremely well prepared). For full context video of the now infamous event can be seen here.

Fast forward five years, and I find myself at a second  Mid Bedfordshire hustings event, this time being held in the pretty Bedfordshire village of Shefford (home of the Mid Bedfordshire Conservative Association office). The meeting was arranged and promoted by “Churches Together” and held in St Michaels Parish Church on the High Street. The candidates invited to attend were again-incumbent Nadine Dorries (Conservative), lovely Linda Jack (Liberal Democrats), gentle Gareth Ellis (Green Party), charming Nigel Wickens (UKIP), earnest Charlynne Pullen (Labour), delightful Ann Kelly (Monster Raving Loony Party) and an extremely brave and splendid chap who is now my partner, Tim Ireland (Independent). Yes, Tim Ireland. You heard me. Tim & I have been dating since April 2013 and living as a couple since August 2013 at our home in Harlington, Bedfordshire.

During our 2 years together I have learned many things about Tim. I had first been drawn to him by his absolute integrity and attention to detail. (Yes he’s pretty, too, but that’s not what first attracted me. Much.)  I have learned that he has a fabulous sense of humour, collects books (100s of them), can make ANYTHING out of bits of junk, and that he has been a victim of intense harassment for many years as a result of standing up for his beliefs. Indeed, I have witnessed it first-hand and had it directed at me as a result of our relationship. It is Tim’s desire for justice that has led him to stand for Parliament on an “anti-corruption platform” in his home constituency and frankly, it is a very appropriate choice of location.

#votetim

#votetim

Tim’s campaign is unique. His hand-made posters carry the simple message “#votetim” and (as required by electoral law), an “imprint” – this wording reads “Produced and promoted by Tim Ireland of 6 Lincoln Way, Harlington”, and it satisfies a requirement of electoral law that all printed material carry the name and address of the printer and the promoter in order reveal who is responsible for the production of the material (PDF). His “battlebus” carries the same simple message plus a little bit of fun in the shape of an arrow pointing to the driver (Tim). Yes, there’s even an imprint on the car. Tim’s a stickler for detail. He doesn’t have the funds to compete with the high profile campaigns of Nigel and Nadine and so is using his creative talent and considerable ‘vote other’ appeal to reach out to his potential voters, but while the campaign may be ‘outside the box’, everything is within the rules.

Tim’s first campaign video has had over 1000 views already and the campaign was going really well… until last Sunday. I won’t repeat the false allegations that were printed about Tim in our local paper as we are hoping for a retraction and an apology. (waits)

One wonders who the source of this ‘story’ was and what other falsehoods have been pitched to the newspaper in what can only be an attempt to harm voter confidence in Tim. Wednesday 15th April brought a further enquiry from a reporter working for The Independent on Sunday who was responding to a series of new and old allegations against Tim that had been pitched to them along with some local news outlets. The next day (16th April) upsetting articles along this line were published online by two local newspapers (without any offer of right of reply) and deleted by one them not long after for reasons unknown. Unsettled but determined, we chose to ignore the reporters for now and concentrated instead on preparing for the evening’s Shefford hustings.

So, let’s fast forward to 6.30pm of that day of the hustings and get on with the show…

Here is the church and here is the steeple, look inside and there are the people. Well, most of them. Notable by her absence was the invited incumbent, Conservative Nadine Dorries who had belly-ached announced earlier in the week that she would not attend any event that Tim was at. She went as far as to request he be uninvited to the Shefford event but the organisers had no legal choice but to refuse her. Democracy, hey? What a bummer. Nadine gives the outward (and highly vocal) appearance of being afraid of Tim, yet has been told in no uncertain terms by Bedfordshire Police that he is of no threat to her and never has been (though this does not allow for any threat he may present to her career). We have paperwork that reveals their often-stated position that he is merely holding her to account, as is his right. (Yes we can back this up. It’s all about evidence, you know.)

Quite why Ms Dorries continues to push her dangerous and damaging falsehoods at each and every opportunity even when Tim is making no public mention of her is anyone’s guess. (If one were speculating one might think “book sales” but that would just be silly.)

Where was I? Oh yes, the church slowly began to fill up with constituents of all ages, and the candidates mingled prior to taking their places on the panel. Before the meeting began, two young women (later identified as the younger daughters of Ms Dorries, Jennifer and Cassandra) and one young man (Ryan Austin, a former critic turned intern of Ms Dorries) began distributing leaflets and one of the young ladies delighted in handing one to me. I happily accepted the gift with a broad grin, but the contents stunned me. These home-printed leaflets carried no imprint (remember that annoying little election law thing?) and under the pretence of giving Nadine’s apologies for her absence, not only defamed Tim and myself but, I believe, sought to turn the audience against us both. The Chairman David Foskett swiftly asked for them to be destroyed or handed in as they were unauthorised. Naturally, some of them were retained as evidence.

The hustings began with the Chairman introducing the candidates and explaining that Nadine would not be present. At this, the event almost immediately took on the air of a poor am-dram, even pantomime at times. People who other audience members described as “obviously planted objectors” took their turn disrupting the proceedings before storming out or being asked to leave. I am of the view that some of these objectors broke the law (yes, that pesky rules thing again).

First up was an older lady who interrupted the Chairman’s introduction and demanded to know where Nadine was (despite being told twice already). She declared the event a “farce” before stomping off. As Linda Jack began her introduction, she was interrupted by the second in line, a very angry chap reading from a script (I won’t repeat what he alleged at this time). He was asked to leave and shouted down by the crowd who had already had enough of the disturbances. Finally the meeting was allowed to begin, and we were back to Linda (who handled the disturbance with her typical humour) followed by Tim (who introduced himself by reading a bible passage about evangelism and intimidation and declared that he would not hide his light under a bushel for ANYBODY!). The moment Tim had finished speaking, another ‘plant’ began declaring that Nadine was “prevented from coming” before storming off. Barely seconds passed before yet another ‘plant’ asked why Nadine wasn’t there (despite his already knowing before being told several times). He mentioned the leaflet and started shouting down the Chairman who was repeating their position on not taking questions from the floor and asking the man to sit down or leave. The man loudly concluded that it was a “complete and utter waste of time” before being escorted out. Each of these events were met with an isolated ‘hear hear’ and anaemic applause, both of which came from Dorries’ own children, who tried and failed to spark dissent in a room full of people who were already sick of their shenanigans.

There was an appropriately-submitted question on defence next, which was answered with passion by Linda (an ex-servicewoman) and Tim who movingly informed the audience of the lack of after-care interpreters in the Iraq conflict had received from our government at the time. Then, yes you’ve guessed it, another one. This one asked how “YOU” (Tim) could dare to stand “in the House of God”, read the bible, and talk about justice. Well, forgive me if I’m wrong but a church seems to me to be the perfect place for such an activity, and in any case it was Tim’s own bible and his right (and his turn!) to speak about justice or anything else. That man left with his partner before he could be escorted out, and peace ensued for about 20 minutes.

The Grand Finale:

 

The uncomfortable wooden pews were beginning to cause people to stir a little in their seats and a few people left quietly when we were approaching the hour mark, but the audience was still approximately 100+ strong when the last disturbance began. A female voice this time, one of Nadine’s daughters loudly announced that “Nadine would like to be here, BUT”. She and her sister proceeded to point accusing fingers at Tim, each making false allegations against both of us (again, we have concerns about the law here, but Tim’s immediate reaction was sadness that Nadine had apparently involved her children so deeply in the matter). Both girls singled Tim out and accused him of being a stalker during this final disruption. I had a brief moment of déjà-vu at this point, remembering the Flitwick hustings.

Notably, by this time the audience had absolutely had enough and the two girls were booed out of the church. With still over 100 audience members present, the hustings continued without further interruption and the debate finished at 9.50, followed by a chance to chat with the candidates or leg-it home to catch up on the other political debate of the evening (you know… the one that Cameron & Clegg chickened out of).

In Summary:

 

We are mindful of the law and don’t wish to fall on the wrong side of it ourselves, but with no newspaper covering the event and a lot of chatter going on, we thought it important that a  detailed record of the event exist. There is a lot of talk about what did and didn’t happen at the Shefford hustings and we wish to protect the wider public from potentially finding themselves in difficulty  by innocently speculating on what actually happened, or perhaps repeating some of the reports of the event tweeted by Nadine Dorries and parties who were directly involved in the disruption. It is safe to say that these reports are far from accurate.

You may arrive at conclusions about where this event leaves some people with regards to the law, but you are urged to not make any declaration about any of that, particularly about any of the candidates involved. This post is designed to inform the public about the events as they unfolded, and we ask you to handle the information delicately and appropriately.

Bedfordshire on Sunday, if you’re reading this: THIS is your story, and it’s a real one this time… with physical evidence and hundreds of witnesses. With this in mind, I suggest you do your job and finally report on it. And if you have time, Tim is still waiting for that retraction and apology. Pretty please.

** UPDATE **  (added 10th May 2015)

I can confirm that there is a police investigation into these events in progress and we look forward to a conclusion in the not too distant future.

In other news, there has been no apology from the Bedfordshire on Sunday for their defamatory article written about Tim during the election period and no reporting of the above events, although one of their reporters has privately admitted their hands are tied on this due to legal constraints.  HC

* UPDATE * (added 11th May 2015 )

Both Tim & I have been subjected to intense harassment from unnamed parties, right from the beginning of our relationship, this harassment increased during the election period and Tim has written on the subject here: j.mp/peaceoffer

 *** UPDATE 31ST MAY 2015 ***

The inquiry by Bedfordshire police into the events at Shefford resulted in a file being passed to the CPS who concluded that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a case. The Sunday Mirror covered this story today.

 **UPDATE 1ST JUNE 2015**

I can now confirm that a parliamentary election petition has been lodged by Tim against Nadine Dorries. More information about petitioning the result of a general election is available here: Electoral Commission .

Election Petition

This blog post written today by Richard Bartholomew is worth a read for those wanting to find out more: http://barthsnotes.com/2015/06/01/election-petition-challenging-nadine-dorries-some-context/  

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Nadine’s Adventures in Makingitallupland #Dorries

[In this episode, the role of Alice will be played by Nadine Dorries]

There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever going to get to bed.

“Having given up claiming expenses, I’m blowed if I’ll pay £300 for an hotel!! I’d rather sleep in an car. London, get your act together!” said Alice. 

Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged alibi, all made of solid glass; there was nothing on it except a tiny golden key, and Alice’s first thought was that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any rate it would not open any of them. However, on the second time round, she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted!

“Also found flat key under desk in office, so, no more hotels. #thingsarelookingup” said Alice (8 days later)

 alice-in-wonderland-01

Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest London flat garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head though the doorway; (as her ego was SO massive) `and even if my head would go through,’ thought poor Alice, `it would be of very little use as I haven’t got a brain without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only know how to begin.’ For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.

There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she went back to the pub table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at any rate a book of rules or a police constable for shutting people up like telescopes: this time she found a little bottle of red on it, (`which certainly was not here before,’ said Alice,) and round the neck of the bottle was a paper label, with the words `DRINK ME‘ beautifully printed on it in large letters.

It was all very well to say `Drink me,’ but the wise little Alice was not going to do THAT in a hurry. `No, I’ll look first,’ she said, `and see whether it’s marked “poison” or not’; for she had read several nice little histories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by STALKERS wild beasts, and other unpleasant things, all because they WOULD not stop finding stuff out about Alice remember the simple rules their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if your hold it too long; and that if you cut your finger VERY deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked `poison,’ it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.

However, this bottle was NOT marked `poison,’ so Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) she very soon finished herself off it off.

Image

With thanks and apologies to Lewis Carroll

Occasional Table sourced from Occasional Flat. Key of Convenience to Room of Sudden Alibi Requirement appears courtesy of Imaginationland Industries, a subsidiary of Averbrook & Avinalaugh

“Purely Business Partners” is an anagram of “BFFs” #nobodychecksanagrams #Dorries

Poor old Nadine Dorries MP is in the doo-doo again, she seems to have forgotten who her friends are. Yesterday’s Sunday Mirror exposed a bizarre triangle between Nadine, her “landlord” (and previous local party chairman), the millionaire Andy Rayment and one Romanian “Ramona Ladin”, a mobile hairdresser who it transpires may not just offer blow-dries.  

I digress.. under pressure from the Mirror to talk about their relationship, Nadine denied “I do not believe I have ever met anyone called Ramona Ladin” (who calls Nadine her BEST FRIEND – although to be fair, “Ramona Ladin” could be a made-up name, sounds too working-girl to be true) and stated that “Andy and Ann Rayment are two of my closest friends.” – Hmm, funny just a few weeks ago Nadine told the Standards Committee that Andy & Ann Rayment are ““My business partners, who have nothing to do with me personally-he is just a business partner, with his wife-were very clear that, in going into business, they did not want to be brought into the public domain via my political position.”

I thought I would help Nadine out by refreshing her memory..  Andy & Ann Rayment have been your friends  for many years, as far back as 2009 the Rayments held a party for you at their home in Westoning, inviting 125 guests. Much fun was had by all and the photos were proudly posted to your blog for all to see. You also invited the Rayments to a “Dinner with Davis” in 2011 where this charming photo was taken of you two BFFs.  I’m sure you will be *so* happy to be reminded of this wonderful photo, you may even like print and frame it. They also “rent” you their specially purchased large detached house in Westoning, the one that your dog & daughter reside in, you remember the place surely? You moved in just after your relationship with another best friend’s millionaire husband went belly-up. Andy was also your local party Chairman for several years, he supported you 100% through your many expenses scrapes and –  some would say, “saved your bacon” with the local party on more than one occasion.  He also ignored pleas for help from one of your victims critics on your behalf, so he is clearly a good and loyal friend.

Hope that has helped, I’ve no doubt you will send the police round again thank me in good time, Humph

Nadine and Andy 15th March 2011cropped

Nadine Dorries & Andy Rayment March 2011

(I am certain that this must be an “inadvertent” error that the Standards Committee will be informed about immediately by Nadine. If she’s too busy, I’m sure there will be plenty of others lining up to help her out..)

dorries-rayment

** UPDATED 20/11

Dear Nadine, I’ve found another for your album! This is you with Ann Rayment in 2009, what a lovely pic of you both 🙂

Nadine and woman party

Nadine Dorries & Ann Rayment 2009

You’re welcome, Humph

Couldn’t have put it better myself… #Dorries

So I didn’t.. I was sent this today to share with you –  an email written to the Mid Beds Conservatives in regard to our AWOL “Member”, Nadine Dorries..

“Dear Sir/Madam,

I am absolutely appalled by the news that Nadine Dorries has seen fit to abandon her constituency to further her own media profile by appearing on the current series of I’m a Celebrity. I do not think this is a fitting activity for a serving MP. Particularly in the present climate when so many of her constituents are struggling to find work and make ends meet. For her to swan off to Australia – whether or not it is Parliamentary half-term – and to claim that she can continue to represent us while doing so, is at best breathtakingly arrogant and at worst downright insulting. Is she really so naive as to think the show will be edited in any way as to be representative of her views? Does she really think this is the best way to serve the people of this constituency? This seems to me to be nothing more than another example of shameless self-promotion.

I am not a Conservative party member, I did not vote for Nadine Dorries. I am, however, one of her constituents and expected better. I hope you will recognise that this is an abject dereliction of her duty as our MP and move to deselect her.

Yours in disgust”

 

Another via “Mr @Quinsjim”

Dear Sirs,

I am neither a Conservative voter or supporter, but I am a constituent of Mrs Dorries’ 

You will understand by bewilderment, anger and dismay to discover that she has absented herself from her responsibilities here within the constituency to take part in a tacky gameshow.

There can be no excuse for our elected representative to behave this way, seemingly failing even to ensure that adequate cover for her absence was provided by the other local members of parliament.

Unfortunately, as the right to recall has not yet been taken through parliament, the ability to remove a failing MP has not yet fallen to the electors of a constituency, and the ability to effectively terminate the contract of an errant MP lies with the local associations or constituency parties.

I therefore write to ask that you consider the damage that Mrs Dorries does to Bedfordshire, Parliament and, it must be said, the Conservative Party.  I believe that no other sanction but deselection would be appropriate and I urge you to consider it, identify an honourable local Conservative to stand for election – which I feel sure they would be successful in and allow the people of Mid Bedfordshire to enjoy real representation again without the vacuous razzmatazz that has surrounded the current incumbent
.

Yours Faithfully

 

 

A Tale Of Two Tories.. #Dorries

Nadine Dorries in her usual deluded fashion has today compared her publicity-seeking, self-indulgent, highly paid trip to Australia (to appear on “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here”) to the Ministerial work of fellow Bedfordshire MP, Alistair Burt.  This is what Alistair has to say about himself and his work on his website:

Alistair Burt MP

“As MP for North East Bedfordshire my main job is to represent the constituents of the area, and I hope you will find this website helpful in seeing what I do and where I have been in the constituency in recent weeks. You can also find contact details for my team, and details of advice centre appointment booking.  I also have the honour and privilege of being the Minister for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia in the Coalition Government, which gives me responsibility for our links with 30 countries.  Travel takes me away from Westminster more than Bedfordshire, and I endeavour to be as available as ever for constituents.  In my absences, my team of  Eve, Katherine, Mandy, Tessa and Jonathan are available to assist you.”  Taken from http://www.alistair-burt.co.uk/

Let’s do a quick comparison shall we? Alistair is a MINISTER, Nadine a back bencher. Alistair has a fantastic team of assistants who cover his constituency in his absence. Nadine employs her daughter Phillippa on a generous, tax-payer funded salary to run her office, despite the fact that Phillippa actually works full-time as a trainee lawyer for Mischon De Reya.  They both claimed just over £158,000 in parliamentary expenses 2008/9 , Dorries as a back bencher, Burt as Assistant Chief Whip and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party with responsibility for Internal Development.

Alistair is a Burt, Nadine Dorries is a Berk.

The Strong hArm Of The Law… #Dorries

On the 12 of July 2010  Nadine Dorries wrote to Gillian Parker (then Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police), complaining about “a huge volume of internet attack” and asking for help.  The “attack” amounted to tweets & blog posts that she declared had been going on ” for a number of years by three individuals”, one of whom she stated as being me. 

I first heard of Nadine Dorries when I moved into her Mid Beds constituency during August 2009.  I opened my first twitter account in December 2009 and made my first tweet about Nadine just before the May 2010 election.  During May 2010 I wrote 9 blog posts in total,  5 of which were about  Nadine Dorries following the now infamous “Flitwick Hustings” and general election.

http://mshumphreycushion.blogspot.com/2010/05/twitterarmy-triumphs-dorries-fails-to.html    23rd May 2010

http://mshumphreycushion.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-05-23T12%3A24%3A00%2B01%3A00&max-results=7  18th May 2010  (this is the letter Nadine sent to all  new MPs, trying to garner support for unseating John Bercow as Speaker, in which she includes her mobile phone number*)

http://mshumphreycushion.blogspot.com/2010/05/labour-of-love-nadine-bargery-dorries.html  Link to more video footage of the Flitwick Hustings. 9th May 2010

http://mshumphreycushion.blogspot.com/2010/05/its-fliiiitttick.html  6th May 2010  Fliiiitwick Hustings.

http://mshumphreycushion.blogspot.com/p/letters-to-beds-on-sunday-they-did-not.html  May 2010. Letters about Flitwick Hustings, unprinted by Beds On Sunday.  

Of my 5 posts in June, none include Dorries. Of my 8 posts in July, not one is about Nadine Dorries. I wrote 7 posts during August,  none about Dorries.  In September I wrote one in support of Tim Ireland which brought the wrath of Nadine upon my head. During the whole of September I wrote 9 blog posts, 3 (inc the T.Ireland one) were about Nadine Dorries.  Wow I was busy in October, writing 19 posts..  7 were on Dorries.  In November, out of 11 posts, one was about Nadine.  December 10 blogs, none about Nadine.  January 2011 14 posts, one in regard to Nadine  (This post is more about Mrs Butler and her treatment by the press, Mrs Butler being the woman who’s husband left her for Nadine and who has subsequently left Nadine… ) . 

11 posts in February, 0 on Dorries. 3 in March (started new job so too busy to blog!) 1 in April, 2011.  Since then I havent had the time  nor computer access to blog sadly and I miss it!

Sorry if all that was a tad dull, best to lay down the facts methinks (something Nadine Dorries could take on board tbh).  Right, so on with the story;

21st October 2010 after a *lot*of flack regarding her 70/30/100% fiction blog relevations (after John Lyon found her guilty of lying on her blog but insufficient evidence (he should read this) to find her guilty of fraud) she said on local TV that she had reported FOUR stalkers to the police… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUj9suBKYaA#t=3m22s 

That is FOUR stalkers now, not the three in her July letter to Gillian Parker. In November 2010, 3 months after declaring she had already done so, (and following many calls to provide proof of doing so) she finally officially reported her “four stalkers” to the police as Tim Ireland will reveal in full detail shortly. (Interesting to see how long it took the police to investigate, they must have taken her allegations *so* seriously)

Right, where were we?  Oh yes, Bedfordshire Police..  I have always had tremendous respect for the police and indeed wanted to join the force when I left school.  My height was a bit of an issue though and my Dad threatened to disinherit me if I did, so I entered the retail sector instead.  I lost my respect for the police on the night of my foot operation.

In bed, in tremendous pain that night, having been through what I can only describe as a horrific ordeal, two police officers stormed into my bedroom.  They had ordered my frightened children to let them in and asked where I was.  They then attempted to force me to accompany them for a recorded “voluntary interview under caution”. I refused. They threatened to arrest me if I didnt go.  Again I refused, showed them my surgeon’s letter stating that I was to remain in bed for a minimum of 3 days and they left, informing me they would be in touch.  Shaking and crying I phoned my friend David (@Gaijinsan21 – no linking to his account as he has sadly left twitter) who is a criminal lawyer. 

Over the next two days I learned from David that there was absolutely no justification for calling me for an interview under caution.  No justification for recording it and no justification for treating me in such a fashion. With David’s help I sent a series of emails to the police officer in charge, challenging him on this and eventually he admitted that I was merely a witness to an alleged offence.  He settled for a written (emailed) statement from me detailing how, when, where and why I was in contact with Tim Ireland and how it came about that Tim was in Fliiitttwick for the hustings.

He was there at my invitation.  Mine and several other constituents (whom I shall not name here) who were fed up to the back teeth of Nadine’s lies and unaccountability and had been emailing and tweeting each other with ideas of how to record her in action so to speak.  Several days before the hustings I watched a live stream of another hustings event at Goldaming, put online by Tim.  Although the quality was awful it made me think maybe we should do the same with the Flitwick event and so I put the wheels in motion, asking the Chair for her permission etc and twisted Tim’s arm into making the journey.

Tim arrived in Flitwick, not “loaded down with sophisticated camera and recording equipment”  but holding merely a briefcase, I was shocked at how small his equipment was tbh *disappointed face*  😉

To sum up:  Yes I blogged about Nadine Dorries. Yes I tweeted about Nadine Dorries. No, I didnt break the law. No, I didnt lie about her.  Can she say the same about me?

BTW, this made me laugh today.. (Nadine Dorries the Bully, on Bullying)

The Winner Takes It All.. too far?

Wikipedia statistics show that 15% of alcoholics commit suicide. Fact.  As many as 25% of alcoholics suffer from severe psychiatric disturbances.  The most prevalent psychiatric symptoms are anxiety and depression disorders. What leads an individual to take his/her own life is a subject for another day, this post is about one alcoholic in particular. Her name is Rachel Butler.

Rachel Butler is an alcoholic.  She is also a woman whose husband left her just after Christmas (just 2 weeks ago).  She has not only lost her husband which, although the marriage was (in her own words) long dead, she has lost her dignity to boot.   

For most people, a relationship breaking down is painful and stressful enough. Add to that alcoholism, betrayal and mistrust (regarding dates) and what have you got?  A terribly vulnerable woman who, rightfully or wrongly gave an interview to the press…

A former friend is now openly having a relationship with the available husband John (but only SINCE he left the family home we are told ). Upon being informed that Rachel had given an interview to The Mail, this friend posted press releases on her blog-page which state that Rachel is an “abusive alcoholic”.  Amongst these is one from Rachel Butler’s daughter Lucy in support of her father’s new relationship, denouncing her mother. Heartbreaking.

The statements were then published in full, in The Daily Mail and many other national newspapers since.  In response, the distressed Rachel has admitted she is an alcoholic, declared that she would name her former friend on the divorce petition and labelled her a “marriage wrecker”.  The Daily Mail again acting as host.

It’s all gone a bit Jeremy Kyle with this publication (but without the patient doctor waiting in the wings to offer his help). Nor are there bouncers at hand to prevent the parties from further blackening not eyes but reputations on all sides.

Time for our media to grow up and take some responsibility, this is not a side-show, these are real people, one of whom at least is extremely vulnerable.  They should not allow or encourage even more damage to be done to an already damaged woman, in the name of readership figures and “entertainment”.  Why not? I refer you back to my first paragraph.

I truly hope that the rest of this sorry tale can be played out in private, with all sides finding the help and happiness they deserve.

If you would like to speak in confidence about an alcohol problem you can contact Alcoholics Anonymous here.  The NHS also offer advice on their “Live Well” page, which has links for your local area.

* Since finishing the post I have discovered this Daily Mail article..  “on and on it goes, where it stops, nobody knows”: Willy Wonker.

** This post has been edited since first publication as it contained my personal media experiences which I have since decided to delete.

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