Nadine Dorries. The name is known to many. She's the Conservative MP who cheated on the Channel 4 programme Tower Block of Commons, which aimed to give MPs a taste of living in the same conditions as the poorest of their electorate, by hiding £50 in her bra. But her repulsiveness doesn't end there.
Like many politicians, she used twitter to boost her profile and communicate with people during her campaign for re-election. I like twitter. It's a great leveller, a place where celebrities, politicians, and big-shot journalists mix with anyone else who feels like having a say on an equal playing field. I really appreciate those politicians who take the time to update us on their thoughts directly in this way, it is inclusive and empowering. Evidently Nads didn't have quite the same idea, and saw it, much like divorcing her husband of 23 years when he developed MS, as a means to an end, a way of advancing her career, helping to ensure her re-election and hence begin in earnest the work of getting her fundamentalist Christian agenda influencing the statute book. If she really wanted to use social networking to connect with ordinary people, why would she delete her account immediately after her success in the election? Here, for reference (and with a hat-tip to Tim at Bloggerheads for providing it on twitter) is what her final few tweets looked like:
That last tweet she posted before her disappearance just demonstrates what a nasty piece of work she is. She's referring to our own Dr Evan Harris, who is not only alongside George Monbiot in my own pantheon of personal heroes, but is beloved nationwide for his tireless campaigning for equal rights and rational evidence-based policy (he was described by Stephen Fry in his marvellous post on which way he intended to vote thusly: "far and away the most persuasive and impressive parliamentarian in the cause of good and open science and enquiry that we have had in the past decade. He has been central to mould-breaking and inspirational multiparty cooperation in issues of scientific concern since 1997. It seems to me (almost!) that he should be elected unopposed like the Speaker"). There was a cross-party outpouring of sadness on twitter at the moment he lost his seat. I don't mind admitting I was crying my eyes out. And Nadine Dorries was making triumphalist slurs.
I have a queasy feeling about the next few years. This woman is heavily funded and backed by pro-life lobbyists, and considered a 'rising star' in the Conservative party. Much like her fellow fundamentalist Philippa Stroud, whose startling history as head of a church which aimed to cure gay people by exorcism thankfully stopped her becoming an MP, she's been named as a key influencer of David Cameron and tory party policy. And with only 58 Liberal Democrat MPs, and no Evan, the bill she is bound to put before parliament for a second time on reducing the time limit for abortion is going to be that much harder to oppose. And I have a feeling that's not the half of what horror she's going to try to force on us. Damn.