Saturday 23 May 2009

Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries' blog has been taken down at the request of the Daily Telegraph. This is quite shameless behaviour by the Telegraph. They started out doing us a service by publishing a lot of detail about MPs' expenses that might well never otherwise have seen the light of day. But they have really taken their eye off the ball since the first few revelations. They must have about 200 decent stories to tell about moats, duck houses, flipping and mortgages, but they have started to fabricate stories around the flimsiest evidence. To be fair, they have published a few saints as well as the many sinners, but it seems they are more interested in finding more sinners than in telling the truth. Their treatment of Jo Swinson, dipped in sexism and innuendo, demeans them, and so does, now, their treatment of Nadine Dorries. Dorries is a Conservative, a fairly right wing one, and I am a Liberal Democrat. I disagree with practically everything she says. But I defend absolutely her right to say it. The Telegraph have used an imbalance in the law to compromise freedom of speech. They should be ashamed, but I doubt they will be. They are now flirting with gutter politics as well as with gutter journalism.


Chris Paul said...

Hello Rob I'm not sure about this. Nadine's post accusing the Telegraph and the Barclay Brothers of doing all this because they support the BNP and UKIP is utterly ridiculous.

They may do, though the BNP line is hugely unlikely, but many publishers of many stripes would have bought these discs and got on with publishing them.

Nadine's tosh is highly defamatory of people with reputations to lose and money to burn - certainly actionable.

Can hardly blame the DT and the BB for wanting it removed or corrected and apologies made, or the ISP for ducking for cover when threatened. They'd be in the clear if they removed the one or two posts involved I'd have thought. Why won't they do that?

Seems to me also that Dave Cameron will want this barking bravado off line too. Are you sure it is the Telegraph wot done it?!!

The law is an ass. The tackling of ISPs like this is bullying and stupid when deletion/correction/apology would be a more effective remedy anyway.

Rob Parsons said...

You're right, what she says is utterly ridiculous. Using a sledgehammer law against her though smacks of a totalitarian attitude, particularly as, if they don't like what she says, they have their own platform on which to respond. I'd have a bit more sympathy if they were blameless on this front themselves, but their expenses stories, like the concoction about Jo Swinson, have become more than a bit desperate lately, and smack more of a politically motivated campaign now than truth seeking.

I'm sure Dave would want her off air, or at least tranquillised as soon as possible. But the injunction apparently came from the Telegraph's solicitors. So that conspiracy story goes off the pot - nice try though ;-)