For Alan and Angels....
Posted Friday, 30 November 2007 at 17:48
Today was the usual hectic Friday; however, in the middle of it all I was desperate to find time for someone special.
My morning started with the usual phone calls and then a visit to Colpac in Flitwick.
Colpac is a company which manufactures packaging for the sandwiches you buy in M&S etc.
Colpac, competing in the global market place, is growing at a rate they are just about keeping on top of. They need to extend their premises in order to cope with demand and create more jobs. A fairly large problem as there doesn’t appear to be any land in Flit wick that they can extend onto.
A problem which needs to be sorted as we do not want to lose a company which employs a hundred local people.
Meetings with constituents and a local agency and then I dived into Alan's house, which was a surprise to him!
Alan is a constituent who became a friend and has been rather poorly just lately.
I sat and listened today as Alan sang the praises of the ‘Hospice at Home’ nurses. He spoke of their genuine care and affection, and how absolutely nothing was too much trouble. He was so touched by the level of care and devotion he is being given, his nurses are angels.
We all know that the Hospice movement depends upon donations from the general public. So if you get the chance to ever put your hand in your pocket and donate to one of the most worthwhile charities in the UK, then do. We may all need an angel one day.
Posted Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 10:35
I began to feel sorry for Gordon yesterday. Sitting opposite him became almost uncomfortable. I can’t remember whose question it was, (we were about 20 minutes in), but Gordon answered the question and almost spat the words out; with a look of complete disbelief that anyone should dare to ask such a thing, he collapsed back onto his bench.
If you watch PMQs back on Sky you will see exactly what I mean. It takes him about four seconds to recover and then he starts to furiously sift through his notes.
Those notes…. Tony Blair had a pristine red folder and you could see from where I sit that just about every subject you could imagine was in alphabetical order.
Gordon Brown uses loose leaves of A4 paper, covered in post-its and writing.
The thing I don’t think he has quite grasped is that as Prime Minister you have to answer every question, the buck stops at your dispatch box.
The conversation in the Members’ tea room yesterday was that he will be collected from No 10, by men in white coats; and it wasn’t just Conservative MPs who said it.
I am sure that underneath the grumpy PM persona, there is a nice family man who cuddles his little boys on his knee, and shares all his hopes, and dreams, with his wife. The problem is he takes his control freakery to work and it is very obvious close up how he is struggling.
If you were to ask me, who do I think are decent likeable people from the Labour front bench I would say Geoff Hoon and Jack Straw. It was painful to look at Jack’s face, he was in agony.
I almost wanted to lean forward and say to David, there now, that’s a good boy, leave him alone... It was so painful to watch. Gordon will hate the Mr Bean taunt, absolutely hate it; he can do nothing about it and he will hate that even more.
Where will it all end?
Posted Wednesday, 28 November 2007 at 18:36
No time today to even dictate a blog on the hoof!
Writing a speech on rape for the chamber at the moment...
Will blog in the morning
Dreams and Plans
Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2007 at 11:33
The dreams and plans of politicians are nothing without business.
That was almost the opening line in a speech David Cameron has just delivered to the CBI.
Those opening words provide huge insight into how a future Conservative government would look and feel to the business community.
He said that the yardstick by which a British business would be able to measure a Conservative government would be this.
Is it easier to employ people?
Is it easier to grow?
And is it easier to meet regulations?
David's speech sparkled. When you compare it to the type of guttural long speeches we have become used to from Gordon Brown, the delivery was in a different league and it all made such good simple to understand sense.
Anyone listening to that speech would have been able to understand exactly what David was proposing to do and how it would work, you didn’t need an MBA to follow.
He spoke about going back to the beginning; how we have to get it right in right in schools in order for the country to have the skills and expertise it needs.
Millions upon millions of pounds have been poured into education, and yet still too many children come out of our schools unable to read and write properly.
A simple test at age six, can a child read, if so great, if not, a concerted effort to understand why not.
He spoke about a complete overhaul of our transport network, with more reliance on high speed trains and road tolls.
An overhaul of the tax system, looking at ways we can reduce the burden of taxation for small businesses, which was increased during the last budget. We have the highest tax burden in this country in peace time history.
But more importantly, he highlighted the fundamental problem which afflicts the country.
Government is too big.
David said that there comes a point when government becomes so big, it moves into arrogance and then complacency and then becomes indifferent to the law as to how its own Departments operate; business has to comply with all regulations, but government Department's begin not to.
Arrogance and complacency take over and governments begin to behave in ways which become unacceptable to the electorate.
Take the MOD. It spent £2.3 BILLION relocating to new offices, whilst the troops in Iraq were risking their lives in inadequate kit.
David made a very clear promise to the business audience.
He will make it possible - meaning he will create the environment within which business can grow unhindered and de regulated - for businesses to grow faster than the government and that way he will then be able to reduce the costs he imposes upon business.
Small government – big people. Magic!
Humble Pie II
Posted Saturday, 24 November 2007 at 09:57
I have now seen the personal email and she was right, it is gracious and he does sound sorry.
He has now removed the offending post from his site and issued a (not quite so gracious) public apology.
If not Gordon?
Posted Saturday, 24 November 2007 at 09:27
On Wednesday, after PMQs I had a quick lunch with a number of fairly senior MPs.
I mentioned to the assembled great and good that It had occurred to me, that maybe the Labour party, following the disastrous performances by the PM both at the dispatch box and in his overall handling of the government, would think twice about coasting in to a general election with Gordon Brown at the helm.
Opinion was divided, however, extremely experienced.
One ex Secretary of State said that he would put money on the fact that Gordon would still be PM.
The reason I asked is this; many of the New Labour MPs who came in ‘97 have been away from their previous professions for too long. Too long, should they lose their seats, to fit back in with any degree of ease.
There is a very obvious disquiet amongst Labour MPs, the normal arrogance and swagger in the step has all but gone.
Those who have safe Labour seats have become de-mob happy and don’t really seem to care.
Those at the top have a permanent ‘omigod how did this happen’ look on their face, and I bet they fall asleep at night thinking where is Tony, how did we get it so wrong?
What will they do? Will the ’97 intake of New Labour MPs sleepwalk into a general election defeat? If they remained -8 to -10 in the polls for a sustained period of time would they simply say “oh well, that’s life, win some lose some”. Like hell they will! No, I just can’t see that happening.
The old Chestnut of a question rears its head. If not Gordon who?
The Gap year student? No, he really is too much like a gap year student; Bob Marshall Andrews was bang on.
Posted Friday, 23 November 2007 at 22:49
I am too embarrassed to say. It appears the article in the Sunday Telegraph and my Minority Report may have had an impact!
Suffice to say they are more than double what they were last time we checked!!!
Posted Friday, 23 November 2007 at 21:24
My daughter received an apology today, via an email from Alex Hilton of Labour Home and Recess Monkey.
She called from her mobile to tell me, I haven’t seen it myself yet.
She said in her usual brief, I have a million other things to do way, “it was very lengthy and gracious, he sounded really really sorry mum – oh and by the way he says Tories are evil”
Right...… he sounds like such a well balanced young man doesn’t he?
Back To School
Posted Friday, 23 November 2007 at 13:40
Up until my child was four years old I nursed a romantic delusion that when she started school I might be able to have some input into what happened to her for the seven hours a day she was in the care of an institution, paid for with public money, earnt and handed over to the state by working parents.
I and my entire peer group of young mums were quickly disabused of this ridiculous notion, about thirty seconds into the first morning.
Twenty of us stood at the school gate, numb with shock. We staggered across the road to my house for coffee in silence, as the realisation that our precious children had been handed over into the Stalinesque care of a group of left wing robots, who regardless of what question you asked, issued forth an identikit robotic reply, the hidden meaning being ‘welcome to the state system of education - you are now no longer in control of your children.’
I have dipped in and out of the state and the independent sectors for various reasons. I have known good in both, and without doubt the more involvement parents were allowed to have, the better the school.
The independent schools my children were educated in were housed in beautiful buildings; the teachers were unique, intelligent and calm; school discipline was strict and you never heard the words health and safety mentioned by anyone.
Children were spoken to as individuals with respect, the school meals were simple, but tasty and eaten in a family setting, sport was a huge deal and the teachers spent a great deal of time conversing with and consulting parents.
None of the above, apart from the buildings, cost a penny and I thought to myself almost constantly, why can't this be replicated in the state system?
State and independently educated children both sit the same GCSEs, both sit the same A levels - yet the distance between the delivery of the two systems is vast, and it is not because one set of children come from a different social background to the other.
Haberdashers' Aske's Knights Academy, a merchant/charity run school demonstrates that you can take children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds and via a routine of discipline, order, calm and respect - topped off with good teaching - turn them into the wealth creators of tomorrow.
Our education policy to hand the funding for every child over to state providers - thereby opening up the supply sde market - is the most exciting announcement to be made with regard to the prospect of state education in this country for some time.
Of course LAs will hate it, as will teachers. Education, along with the BBC, is a monolithic home to left wing think thinking and political ideology. It has to be, if it wasn’t the disastrous system of reducing all kids to the lowest educational common denominator - known as the the comprehensive system - would have ended years ago. Teachers and LAs have blocked all reasonable reform for over thirty years. The thought that parents and charities will have more control is an anathema to almost all who work within the teaching establishment.
Under a new Conservtive government that’s how it will be. New mums and dads dropping their children off for their first day at school will be able to do so in the knowledge that it’s the school they want and like, and one they can trust knowing exactly what the ethos and objectives of the school are.
We all know faith schools are sought after by parents and produce substantially better outcomes, try saying that in a Labour dominated education select committee, its hard to swallow after!
So, lets bring on more faith schools, we know they work. Lets have more merchant schools like Habadashers Asks. Maybe they will have an ulterior motive. Maybe they will have a Christian assembly everyday and say grace before lunch and a thank you prayer at the end of each day. Maybe Muslim schools will do the same. So what if the uniform code is strict. Children may have to stand when someone walks into the room and say good morning. New schools with purpose and ethos will almost undoubtledly wish to establish a framework of respect and order so that structured learning can take place.
Opening up the supply side to education will guarantee that we will see the reform education needs, but happening organically. New schools will open and parents will become genuine consumers, in the driving seat and empowered.
They will view potential schools on opening evenings with an imaginary £5,000 per child in their pockets. How good will that feel?
That money will be velcroed to their child from day one, wherever the child will go, so will the money. How many parents today know how much money the state pays to the local school to educate their child today?
For someone like myself who values excellence, who believes passionately in making sure every child reaches his or her potential - whether that is in academia or a skill - and as someone who craves to see a return to respectful behaviour and good manners in schools, this is the most exciting policy my party has produced and one I can't wait to see reach fruition. And by the way, my children are in state schools and almost my entire family are teachers. Sorry Mum and Terry, but you know Im right!
Posted Wednesday, 21 November 2007 at 16:10
Today I am the guest blogger for Cornerstone - click here to visit the website.
Posted Monday, 19 November 2007 at 11:25
Unfortunately, today’s blog is a rebuttal in defence of my family. As an MP I don’t mind it if people want to take a pop at me – it comes with the territory. However, not my kids.
Every young person I know has a Facebook profile, my daughters are no exception and use it to keep in touch with their friends. Unfortunately Alex Hilton, aka Recess Monkey, had no scruples about trawling through my daughter’s profile in order to damage her reputation.
My daughter’s face book account was the No 1item on his web site for a number of days.
A comment on my daughter’s site had been left by one of her best friends Chido Kawunda. Chido used the ‘N’ word when discussing this year’s Big Brother incident with Charlie.
Alex Hilton attempted to insinuate that the comment was made by my daughter in a derogatory way about black women. This is definitely not the case – ask Chido; and by the way, the issue is now on it’s way to Simon Smith at Schillings , to ask his advise as to whether or not this matter is libel and actionable. http://www.schillings.co.uk/Display.aspx?&MasterId=af8a38df-e12a-48da-953b-d4be1b79d6da&NavigationId=233
I suppose one wouldn’t expect anything else from the researcher of a Labour MP. It makes you wonder what kind of MP employs a person who spends his day going through Facebook accounts. Is this done on a Parliamentary computer I wonder? One paid for by the tax payer, in the time he should be working, again, paid by the tax payer?
It is not lost on me that he chose to highlight the Facebook account of my 22 year old daughter. However, has he been through the Facebook accounts of all of my girls? One of them is only 15 – and if he has – there’s a word for people like you Alex.
Take me on all you want, but mess with my kids…..
Posh Nosh Part 2....
Posted Friday, 16 November 2007 at 20:53
I sat next to Andrew Rawnsley of the Observer and The Sunday Edition.
Andrew is a man totally devoted to his wife and three daughters. When he talks about them his face lights up. He is such a lovely family man.
On the other side of Andrew sat a rather beautiful lady with rather, err, generous assets.
During the meal Andrews’s potatoes parted company with his fork and made a suicidal retreat to a darker warmer place about the body of the beautiful lady next door!!!!
Andrew looked suitably embarrassed and apologised. “Not at all” she trilled and giggled, moving her assets nearer, whilst evicting the errant potato.
Andrew looked completely non plussed and carried on eating and talking.
Guilt obviously got the better of him and a couple of moments later he leaned over and said, “Look I really am dreadfully sorry about that”. “Oh no, don’t be, please” she purred…. as she moved even nearer. “I am waiting here in excited anticipation wondering what will land where next” she managed to say this through the hugest pouting smile.
At this point I leaned left into Andrews’s ear and whispered “now that is definitely going on my blog”. I left the table at that point, and turned back to see poor Andrew choking on a lamb chop.
Don’t worry Andrew, she was way out of your league; she’d have had you for mash!!!!
Andrew and I chatted about the future life of current affairs via the medium of TV. The following day it was announced that ITV are to axe the Sunday Edition because of falling viewing figures.
There is a reason for that.
More on Monday.
Posted Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 12:24
The Press Association has just interviewed me. They made me read my blogs into a recording machine. From what I gather you will be able to listen to this somewhere, on a plane I gather.
It’s bad enough having to listen to my voice at ground level, at 35,000 feet that would be very distressing!
I am off to the Spectator Parliamentarian Awards lunch at Claridges….get me. I don’t often do posh lunches, I don’t have time, but this is one not to be missed.
As Ming Campbell said the other day when we were judging the Channel 4 Parliamentary awards "The place is stiff with them" which is true; but there are some which are considered the creme de la creme and they are the Specie and Channel 4.
I will blog on the event after its over.
Posted Wednesday, 14 November 2007 at 15:28
I am now a member of the Innovation University and Skills Select Committee.
It’s the ‘University’ bit that interests me. That’s because I never went to one.
No one from my estate did, apart from one boy who went to Cambridge – I have no idea how that happened because most of us didn’t even know what a university was!
Over lunch today I had a chat with the Shadow Minister for Universities and Skills, John Hayes MP. I felt I needed to warn him and make sure he knew what my thoughts on University education in this country were before I spoke in the committee.
I told him we needed fewer universities, not more and that half of the courses on offer should be scrapped. That universities should be centres of academic excellence. Arbitrary targets set via a process of so called educational reform of making sure over 50% of children enter university should be abolished.
I said that we should be paying our brightest students to attend university via a reinstatement of the grant system, enough money in order to eat, study and keep warm; and not charging them or putting them into a position whereby they start their working life up to their necks in debt.
I suggested that we should expand the FE college system to offer true and proper skills based courses so that we don’t need to import Polish plumbers, but can train up our own.
I believe that half of the students at university in this country are attending inappropriate courses, and are being forced into a system of education which makes them unhappy, shatters their confidence,and belief in themselves; and that is because university life is being held up as some kind of ‘must have’ if you are a well balanced teenager.
If we were sending all these kids to a place of comfort and prestige things might be slightly better. The room in my daughter’s hall of residence was smaller that a prison cell, with the décor of a prison cell, only difference was a prisoner would not have put up with the cockroaches.
Government targets are making our kids miserable.
My evidence for this? Walk around any halls of residence at the moment and spot the unhappy students, the ones who don’t have the social skills needed to function on a campus of 10,000+. Speak to the student welfare officer and ask how many students are on anti-depressants, look at the drop out rate by the end of the first year.
It’s not rocket science is it?
Now that’s one course you can’t study at many universities. In order to accommodate the golf course management courses many university science departments have closed.
On an entirely different subject - beware of the iphone. If it were the other woman it would have long hair, and if you have long nails you can’t use them.
Friday night pre dinner drinks and prep!
Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 17:40
I've been working on a speech on abortion for the Queen's Speech debate this evening so no time to blog.
But here's a picture of me and my girls before the Mid Beds Annual Dinner.
From front to back: Pippa Collett, Stephanie intern, Pippa D, Me, Jenny D, Jess, Cassie D and Lynn my friend from the Cotswolds.
The glasses contain Champagne!
Promise I'll blog tomorrow!
Mid Beds Annual Dinner
Posted Monday, 12 November 2007 at 17:10
Bit of a mad day, only time to post quick blog.
Here is a photo from Friday night, in order of appearance, left to right: eldest daughter, youngest daughter, Adam, Jess, John Major, Intern Stephanie (in green dress), above Stephanie, my middle daughter.
Best moment of the night was as follows:
Young Harry, proudly wearing his tour of duty medal, has just returned from Afghanistan and gave the loyal toast. He stood at the lectern and said to 220 assembled guests “My Lords ladies and gentleman – the Queen.”
An American accent belonging to my Intern Stephanie broke the silence with
“Omigod, is she here, where?”
Don’t you just love her? We do.
I need a wife!
Posted Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 20:57
A quick note to apologise for my absence!
It ‘s a good job I made a quick recovery – dinner with John Major on Friday night, lots of pictures to post on Monday.
Meeting in Biggleswade today to talk about how on earth we find some land in Bedfordshire, 10 acres to be exact, to find space for a BMX track – pictures of that meeting and more information later in the week.
Sunday morning I will be laying a wreath at the remembrance ceremony in Ampthill.
A conversation with a fellow MP went like this today, him to me “I don’t do any housework laundry or anything domestic. How can you possibly do this job with the hours it takes and that kind of stuff as well?”. Me to him, “I’ve no idea”.
I was loading my shopping into the trolley at Tescos at the time, praying that I could get another load of washing in, empty the dishwasher, walk the dogs and wash the kitchen floor before I left for Biggleswade.
I need a wife.....
Bug Stops Blogging
Posted Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 15:00
Unfortunately, Nadine is ill today due to a nasty bug and regrets that she will not be blogging.
The Office of Nadine Dorries MP
Step away from the husband
Posted Wednesday, 7 November 2007 at 09:27
As I waited to pre-record an interview in Millbank, I listened to the Jeremy Vine show through the headset. The topic of discussion was loneliness and grief following the death of a loved one.
Tony Benn contributed in the understated and pragmatic way he always does, when speaking about a lifetime of devotion to his wife Caroline.
Many people phoned in and told their stories of how they felt after a partner had died after ten, twenty or fifty years, as though grief is measured in degrees of severity, the longer you were together before someone died, the greater the grief.
Every week I hold the hand of someone in my surgery who has lost a partner. Someone they loved. Not only through death, but through divorce or separation. Someone who finds themselves in a situation they never thought they would be in.
Many unable to cope with the daily practical problems which threaten to overwhelm them because they are consumed by grief and unable to focus on the day to day tedium of life.
All I can do is hold their hand, and in an attempt to stem the tears, find the right words of comfort and hope.
For me personaly, the most difficult part of being divorced is becoming single.
I manage by submerging myself in work from morning until night, but always in politics, the social side rears its head and I have to brace myself to attend yet another drinks party, alone.
It never ceases to amaze me how many women suddenly fall madly in love with their husbands as I am taken over to be introduced.
They may not have held their husbands hand for weeks, but will be seized by a sudden urge to hang on to his arm, hold his hand and brush back the imaginary stray hairs from his almost bald head as they talk to me.
Her body language yells through an imaginary loud hailer ‘step away from the husband, he’s mine’!
I want to say stop, don’t worry, he has a pot belly, bad breath and a face only his mother and apparently you could love. You really aren’t in any danger of me or any other single woman running off with your clinically obese husband, he really is all yours.
But of course… I don’t.
It’s enough to see the sudden involuntary arch of his eyebrows as he laps up attention from the wife who forgot who he was until five minutes ago.
I never spend too long talking to couples, it's never that comfortable - but as I walk away I always want to turn around and say, "you should fall asleep holding his hand every single night. You should hold his hand often, every single day, because you're very very lucky".
But of course….. I don’t. I walk away and over to the next couple....
Posted Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 22:37
It appears that someone has sent a comment to a blog site in my name, except they got the spelling wrong and almost my email address! The only reason I know this is because I know the person who owns the site and they thought it was an odd comment from me -and they know that I know how to spell my own name.
This brings home even more to me how the culture of commenting on blogs without any checks or verification is questionable, when anyone can say anything they want.
If I ever start to accept comments again, I would want to put in place some kind of 'registration', so that I had details of the people leaving comments and knew who they were.
Posted Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 17:03
It’s the State opening of Parliament today and I was invited to the House of Lords for lunch.
I was both bedazzled and bemused by the dresses and tiaras. Most of the women I know don’t get married in dresses as posh as some of those worn by the peers’ wives!
It was drinks first in Lord Strathclyde’s office, then with the Lords Chief Whip, and then lunch.
It’s all so much more genteel over there.
It’s all about speeches today, however, none will top the stonking speech made by David Cameron.
Every day Gordon Brown looks further diminished and less of the statesman he did the previous day. There will be nothing left soon!
My intern Stephanie went into the Stranger’s Gallery to watch the debate.
She has just gushed back into the office in her All-American way talking about how she bumped into David on his way to the Chamber.
Steph wasn’t looking and was delving into her purse, David was shuffling his papers, and the near collision occurred.
Profuse apologies followed and a near faint on the part of Stephanie, who hasn’t shut up about a thirty second encounter for the last hour. God help me and save me from impressionable star struck interns!
Posted Monday, 5 November 2007 at 09:58
I was woken yesterday morning at an ungodly hour with a text message from a fellow MP. It read ' there's a picture of you in the Sunday Telegraph, the size of a North Korean dictator.'
I rolled over and tried to get back to sleep, I feigned noncholance and indifference - it didn't work. I was at the Post Office within three minutes.
The size of the photo was a shock and frankly, a North Korean dictator would have looked so much more attractive and appealing.
The article was well written though and I did find the Bridget Jones comparison funny - not as funny or indeed as childish as some of my colleagues, according to the text messages I had to endure yesterday ( hysterical gentlemen, thank you.)..... But funny nontheless.
If I am the Westminster parallel to Bridget, does this mean a Mr Darcy is on the horizon? If Mr Darcy only has the photograph from the Sunday Telegraph by which to find me he wil be looking for a female MP who resembles a zombie with lank hair, glazed eyes, a grey fish face and an oversized hand growing out of her ear.
It's the state opening of Parliament tomorrow and the Queen's speech.
Every single day I walk into the House of Commons I have to pinch myself. I am stil overwhelmed and amazed that I am here. It is such an honour and a privilege, which is brought home to me even more so on the day of the state opening.
Some of the older female MPs do the full monty in reverse. They go the whole hat and gloves hog .Why would you want to wear a hat and gloves in the chamber? The roof doesn't leak and it's not cold. Last time I asked in the nicest possible way, why were they wearing a hat indoors? I was treated to a collective look from a row of bobbing straw creations, which was obviously meant to wither me into an old crone. I shan't ask again. If my Mr Darcy is walking around Westminster looking for me the crone thing might put him off.
I will be in my usual business suit and when all the traditional pomp and circumstance, which I love including the mutterings offside from Denis Skinner, are over it will be back to work, hatless!
I have a message for Bedford Mayor Frank Branston. There really is no need for you to drive to Woburn, seek out a local resident (ex-employee of yours and a new friend to me) pretend you're in Woburn because you have an appointment with me and ask him to show you which house is mine!!!
Let me know when you're coming, I'll put the kettle on, bake a cake and give you a guided tour!
No Tiananmen in Bedfordshire Today
Posted Saturday, 3 November 2007 at 13:27
OK, by way of an explanation for what is on the local BBC news - I have NOT called for students to start a revolution!
The interview was all about what if. What if you could invite four famous dead or alive people to supper, who would they be? What if you could start a revolution, what would it be?
I said that mine would be students against tuition fees. They should block up the M25, paralyse London and say no, we aren’t paying it, and stay on the M25 until the government give in.
I also think only half the students we have at universities should be there and that universities should be institutions of academia. We are short changing our teenagers who need skills based qualifications by forcing them through a wholly inappropriate system which neither meets their needs or those of the nation.
Of course, the BBBC are running this on 3counties radio news as MP calls for students to revolt!
Just in case any one is worried that the student population may heed my words, may I just say that my two students are still in bed and haven't heard them. There will be no Tiananmen in Bedfordshire today.
The Sunday Telegraph
Posted Saturday, 3 November 2007 at 08:53
The Sunday Telegraph sent a reporter and a photographer to my home yesterday to interview me.
They were lovely, really professional, and I could tell they were both trying to put me at my ease to get a decent interview.
I just couldn’t help thinking all the way through, why me? What is their hidden agenda?
I just wasn’t at ease at all and I know exactly why.
When I first became an MP a particularly unpleasant reporter totally stitched me up within the first few weeks.
She wrote an article using quotes from me which I had never even heard before, never mind spoken! And then, tried to accuse me of something I hadn’t done. She was deliberately trying to harm me, I can only assume for political reasons. If her editor hadn’t stepped in it could have got nasty
When I opened the door to Roya I was immediately put in mind of this young woman and I just knew I wasn’t going to be myself, even though Roya was obviously in a different league.
I tried my best. I can talk forever about the issues I am interested in, but when it comes to talking about me, I don’t find that easy at all.
So, to Roya - I am sorry if that interview was a bit like puling hen’s teeth. It was nothing to do with you and everything to do with my in built young female journalist alarm.
A constituent asked me today why I had stopped accepting comments. One of the reasons has a lot to do with people posting the same comment 30-40 times and blocking up the email account. Another has to do with the amount of anonymous comments, over 50%. Commenting brings out the strange in people and some of the comments I have are too rude/weird/ odd to be posted and it was becoming truly tedious having to wade through the rubbish.
We have had some articles in from constituents for my Saturday guest blog spot – over this weekend I will read some of them, however, they are all about 1000 words too long!!!!
This morning I am off to BBC 3Counties to be grilled on their version of ‘Desert Island Discs’ - 'One Night in Heaven'
A desert island, now that would be nice….....
Posted Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 12:33
Yesterday was the most incredible day, over thirty interviews to radio, TV and print.
I thought the day was starting with the Today programme. The car came for me at 5am.
I reckoned that I would do Today, pop back to the office at about 8am and then have a shower and breakfast.
I got into the car in an old pair of trackie bottoms, a big sloppy jumper, no make up, messy hair and threw my suit bag and tool kit into the boot.
I had the first inkling that the day was going to get busy when I realised that local BBC stations from across the country were vying for an interview before I got into the Today studio.
All this I have to say was going right over my head, until BBC Three Counties phoned - this is my local radio station, and as Roberto and Catherine come across as a decent pair of presenters with no hidden agenda, I jumped onto their programme and did the interview just before we hit Millbank.
By the time I had got out of the car the hour had panned out to Today, Nicky Campbell on BBC Radio Five live and BBC Breakfast TV.
"You can’t do breakfast TV", the vanity lobe in my brain screamed, "Your wearing no make up and the dog walking jumper."
With a guarantee that it would be head and shoulders only, I threw the suit jacket on, tried to make my face look presentable and, through gritted - how did this happen? - teeth, did the interview.
From then on, the day just snowballed, I never stopped talking.
The funniest interview of the day was the Jeremy Vine show - having talked abortion non stop all morning, I was kind of thrown when Jeremy asked, "So Nadine, how do we stop MRSA in hospitals?"
Back in the constituency today and it is nose down to incinerators, police, housing and social services.
No More Comments
Posted Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 00:00
I am no longer going to post comments on my blog.
Please don’t send any more comments - It’s a time thing, I don’t have any.
I have to rely on the patience of others to read and post the comments for me. I am never in front of a computer for more than a couple of minutes at a time and this has now made reading the comments before they are posted impossible.
Knowing that there are comments on my site which I may not even have had time to see, makes me uncomfortable.
If any one wants to contact me you can still do so via the email facility on the home page.
I will continue to blog each day as I can do that on the run!!