The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Two tales from America..
Posted Saturday, 7 June 2008 at 11:18


Whilst I’m typing about America I am listening to and kind of watching 


It reminds me of the Captiva Island coast when I love it best, straight after a storm – and  9/11



Last night a true friend and neighbour took me for dinner at the Birch in Woburn. He is the kind of friend who understands my job and doesn’t mind if I don’t have time to return his calls. Ergo, I abuse his friendship, but he knows I don’t mean to


Every now and then he puts his foot down and texts to me a time and a place. I know I had better be there or I may lose something which is important to me.

After a bad day he will often meet me from the train late at night and over a glass of red listen to my moans – what a rubbish friend I am!!


There wasn’t anything we didn’t talk about last night. Family, hopes, aspirations, friends, dreams, fears, love, and hate - we did the lot.


Out of the evening came a tale which touched on a ‘there but for the grace of God’ feeling I get a lot in my job.


Closely related to my friend but at one time lost and out of touch, was a close female relative living on the east coast of America. On a snowy Boxing day morning 20 years ago she woke up six months pregnant to a cold empty bed, five daughters, a son and the realisation that no matter how much she cried or pretended it was otherwise, her husband had left her and she was on her own. He had taken the contents of her purse, the bank account, a young woman from the town - and there was no food in the cupboard.


She called neighbours in a futile attempt to track her husband down, but to no avail.


Sat at her kitchen table desperate wondering what on earth they where going to do,  there came a knock at the door.


It was the pastor from the local church which she had never attended, he was with his wife. They were in two cars and left her the keys to one, along with brown paper bag after bag of food.


They set up an account at a local supermarket and paid the bill until she had sorted herself out.


Every day she and her seven year old son cut logs and kept the furnace going with green wet wood as best they could.


Ten years later, married to a caring but impoverished tradesman, she developed breast cancer. So advanced was she that the doctor ordered an ambulance to take her to the hospital straight from his office.


It was like a McDonalds drive thru. She was wheeled up to a window, asked for her Medicare card which she couldn’t afford and didn’t have and despite her advanced state, was turned away and taken back home by the ambulance.


Would one face of America exist without the other?


She was finally treated by the State; however, she is paying $300 per month for medication which she has to fund herself.


A British woman living on the east coast she has no delusions about America. She would be the first to say the American dream is not what it seems and yet, it is so much more.


It is not uncommon an as an MP to have sat in front of you late on a Friday afternoon a constituent who, as a result of whatever circumstances, has no money and is in a state of extreme distress. As MPs we know that to call upon the State on a Friday afternoon in a financial emergency would be a futile waste of time.


When this happens, we are the fourth emergency service.


An MP will often empty his or her wallet, whilst at the same time call upon the local church or Salvation Army. People who make no judgment, pass no opinion and leave behind parcels of food, kind words and the keys to a helping hand whenever it may be needed.


Many of us have cases where we cannot get the best drugs a constituent needs to treat breast cancer.


I wonder if those who enjoy America bashing ever consider the parallels between both societies?





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Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Telephone: 020 7219 5928

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