How Not To Dodge A Hard Question...
Posted Tuesday, 13 September 2016 at 16:28
While I have fought against the Labour Party my entire political life, I have also respected the party, many of its politicians and some of its principles. I believe that our system of parliamentary democracy requires a strong opposition to bring about good government.
It was therefore tragic and quite embarrassing to witness the Shadow Foreign Secretary appear on Sky News over the weekend. Unable to name either the French Foreign Minister or the South Korean President, Emily Thornberry was shown to have a poor grasp of her brief.
What did she do? Accept she had been caught out and take it graciously? No, for Thornberry is a Corbynista and they never seem to accept any blame for any failings. She accused the presenter of being ‘sexist’ for daring to ask her basic questions about her brief.
Before any keyboard warriors on Twitter get their undergarments in a twist I’ll admit I probably couldn’t have named the two people mentioned off the top of my head on a Sunday morning. But I’m not the Shadow Foreign Secretary aiming to present myself as member of a government in waiting.
What’s worse is that there is still a huge amount of sexism about in Westminster and much of the rest of the country. It needs to be called out wherever we find it. But to just use a knee-jerk accusation of sexism as a disguise for basic ignorance of your brief is to de-value the term.
The Labour Party was once the party of Barbara Castle, fighting very real injustice for women and I, as a Tory, am still thankful for their work. How a once-great party could fall so quickly from Barbara Castle to Emily ‘White Van’ Thornberry is astonishing and deeply sad.
On a different note, my office is still getting requests from constituents for the tours of ‘Big Ben’ offered by the parliamentary authorities. Unfortunately these are now fully booked until December, when the Elizabeth Tower closes for lengthy renovation. While I can’t for the time being arrange tours of the tower, I will very happily arrange tours for constituents of the rest of the Palace.
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
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