The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Liverpool, Jack, Terry and the past
Posted Monday, 5 March 2007 at 17:48

The Whip Column in the Sun has got me today – with a photograph. I am beginning to wonder if my blog is just becoming effortless copy for journalists who replace investigating with cutting and pasting - and effortless chamber fodder for government ministers who can’t be bothered to do their research.

 

At least the journalist from Friday’s Daily Telegraph met me for a quote and asked my opinion before he wrote his own piece:

 

As Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw was noted for having something of a soft spot for his US counterpart, Condoleezza Rice.

 

But now he is confined to Westminster as Leader of the House of Commons, he is taking a close interest in the work of another female politician:  Nadine Dorries , the Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire.

 

Yesterday - for the second week in a row - Straw quoted from the blog which Dorries publishes on her website at Business Questions in the Commons, and some are now jokily talking of him as a cyberstalker.

 t

"He does seem to be getting a bit obsessed with my blog,'' Dorries tells me.

 

"It's all very flattering, but hasn't he got more important things to do?''

 

Now, on that theme, my uncle ‘Sherlock’ Terry has pointed something very funny out to me. Click on this http://www.dorries.org.uk/ND_PMQ_065.asx  and watch what Jack straw is saying as the PM answers me. The pamphlet Jack is taking out of his top pocket is a directory of MPs from the 2005 intake. It has  pictures on the left and profiles on the right. Mmmm, very interesting!

 

My uncle Terry is a teacher, a socialist and one of the best amateur football referees in Liverpool. He is sixty nine and doesn’t yet look fifty. It’s from him that I inherit my passion for politics.  I visited his house, the family home, on Saturday after I had spent the morning campaigning at a by-election in Liverpool.

 

He wasn’t in when I arrived.  We don’t see each other very often, but we do speak on the phone. He is the role model perfect father and good citizen. If every man in the country were like him, we would live in the ideal society.

 

Whenever I visit Doric Rd, I am always swamped by an overwhelming sense of melancholy in the midst of a house always full of laughter. I see people who were there before. My Irish grandmother, long since dead lifting me onto the draining board in the kitchen to wash my knee and make it better with a magic kiss. The ghost of my brother running up the path in persuit of the scraggy dog, Scamp, trying to reclaim his teddy from the dog’s mouth; and my father and grandfather - granddad in the big leather chair, and my father on the dining chair, leaning forward, elbows on his knees taking earnestly about something serious which went straight over my toddler head. Laughter wasn’t always so close to hand.

 

I saw Terry arrive before he saw me. He turned the corner and opened the gate I used to swing on as a little girl, pushing it back on the same squeaky hinges to make way for Jack, his grandson to run up the path. Terry smiled as he watched over Jack, his face a mixture of benevolence and joy.

 

A cerebral light flashed and my mind took a snapshot, the picture is there, ingrained on my brain. For as long as I live, whenever I think of Terry, I will see the image of him walking up the path, smiling at Jack, bathed in sunshine.

 

It will replace the image that was there up until today, taken on a dark night in the midst of grief; above the noise of police radios, and an ambulance siren, and people panicking. The one I took just before I slipped into a temporary period of grief- induced insanity, when just for a moment, through the tears, we looked at each other -  the flash went and I took the picture that has stayed with me over the years, refusing to be replaced, until now.

 

Years have now passed since that night and memories fade.

 

Terry is a hard line Labour man and I, his niece, am a Conservative MP. Our difference of political opinion is nothing compared to the bond we have through blood, love and shared experiences. We discuss politics in nothing other than a friendly affectionate way and our discussions, void of point scoring or backbiting, race ahead and excitedly identify problems and find the answers and solutions. If only Parliament could capture the spirit of political discussion, born from something deeper, and more substantial, than the shallow personality and media-driven drivel which all too often replaces political discussion today.

 

As I kissed him goodbye at the squeaky gate I looked up to the box room window and saw a little girl on her third birthday with blonde curly hair, staring ahead, her chin in her hands, the window her vantage point to look as far as she could see up the entry (scouse for alleyway) opposite. She was waiting for a family friend, Joe, who had said he was bringing her a present.

 

I turned to look towards the entry and saw Joe come into sight, spotting her at the window, laughing and raising the present above his head, it was her first play nurse’s uniform.

 

Joe never knew I became a nurse.

 
 
 
Dave said:
Responded: Monday, 5 March 2007
Nadine could you please explain the paragraph after 'bathed in sunshine'....i lost the thread at that point and wonder what terrible event happened that night.
 
 
Carl Cross said:
Responded: Tuesday, 6 March 2007
Like so many things written from the heart, incredibly moving and genuine.
 
 
John said:
Responded: Tuesday, 6 March 2007
I sometimes wonder Nadine, if you are not missing out on a fortune in royalies? Your blogs read as pages from a bestselling non-fiction novel, one you just don't want to put down. Don't worry about Jack, along with his cronies, Blair, Brown Ainsworth, Clarke, McNulty and McCartney (all who are void of web addresses)they are all probably auditioning for the remake of 'Lost in Space' renamed ' Lost in Cyberspace' to promote their thespian skills when they loooooooooooooose the next election.
 
 
Rita said:
Responded: Tuesday, 6 March 2007
Nadine, Read your blog most lunchtimes they always make me smile and often take me back to another lunchtime beans on toast with fried egg on top....keep 'blogging'
 
 
Nadine said:
Responded: Tuesday, 6 March 2007
Beans on toast with a fried egg on top....you know me don't you?
 
 
Hugo said:
Responded: Tuesday, 6 March 2007
Nadine, This has to be one of the best blogs out there. You have taken blogging onto a different level. You are always thought provoking and if not, very very funny. I saw you in Tescos in Flitwick and nearly came over to tell you, but I bottled out!
 
 
rita said:
Responded: Thursday, 8 March 2007
Re Beans and egg if I said Mesham would that ring any bells??
 
 
rita said:
Responded: Thursday, 8 March 2007
Re Beans and egg if I said Mesham would that ring any bells??
 
 
Nadine said:
Responded: Thursday, 8 March 2007
RITA!!!!!! Does it mean anything!!! How is your auntie V, your mum and dad, Lorraine, Eileen little William and your Billy? I remember 7 Kenton and bunking off school and you pushing me through the tiny kitchen window and the beans on toast. I remember being in the school play and your mum coming to see me - I will never forget that> I remember the Lilac bridesmaid dresses at your neighbours wedding and Dyserth and the Yellow Primroses that grew in your garden. I remember butcher Dave also, how far do you want me to remember!! Omigod - you didn't marry him did you? Do you remeber the gorgeous ice cream amn? bet he's a big fat splodge by now!! Gosh, this is like friends re united!!! Did you know Sue married John Lutas? I bet your mum is not one bit surprised I am an MP. I remeber helping her to make sandwiches on her birthday to take into Plesseys and being told off for putting to much marg on! I remember her sitting on the bed and singing to us when I was sleeping at your house after her and your dad came in from the club and we were hysterical laughing... Email me, we must talk, dorriesn@parlaiment.uk and I will give you my private contact details.
 
 
 
Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at: nadine.dorries.mp@parliament.uk
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

 
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