The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Off The Record…
Posted Friday, 19 October 2007 at 13:20

Last night a very famous journalist fell right into my lap.

But first, let me explain. As you will be aware, there is a code amongst MPs, and journalists known as "off the record" - it’s never broken. If an MP wishes to have a chat with a journalist, but not have that conversation reported, he or she will always pre-empt the conversation with "off the record" first.

Why would we have off the record conversations? Well, the lobby journalists talk to everyone and often can know more about a particular issue than the MP. Take John Pienaar, BBC Five Live political reporter for instance. He is incredibly intelligent, been around for a while and knows everyone and everything, but more importantly, gets right to what is driving the political agenda on any one issue very quickly. He has a nose for it. It can be education, defence, whatever, he will know the subject in depth and probably predict the outcome accurately. John Pienaar would make a very good minister of just about anything - and he is also one of the nicest journalists in the House.

However, something very strange is occurring. Recently I bumped into John in Milbank, we started chatting and he said to me, "Off the record." Now this made me laugh. He wanted to make sure that what he said to me didn’t go into my blog! How extraordinary!

I was sat in the Pugin room yesterday having a meeting with two others who both needed to go outside and answer their mobile phones.

A very good looking man was outside the door, turned, saw me and strode purposefully towards me with his arm outstretched saying, "Nadine, can I just introduce myself? I am blah blah from the blah blah" - like I didn’t know who he was!

At this point, about two thirds of the way towards me, he tripped up over his own feet, stumbled, steadied himself, took a step, got his foot caught in the handle of my PA's handbag - which was on the floor - fell, flung himself over a chair, knocking the cushions onto the floor, banged the table, which I, as cool as a cucumber, put my hand out to steady, as he lurched upwards and landed over the chair with both hands on the green leather sofa seat next to me.

He then said with his face at an unusual angel only inches from mine "off the record that OK?"

Throughout this acrobatic procedure I sat in total amazement with eyes agog laughing.

Off the record, yeah right, let's settle for unattributed.

Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 19 October 2007
He can hardly complain now that you've referred to him as 'very good looking' can he?!
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 19 October 2007
Bagged and his style! Bet he won't be the last to fall for you.
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 19 October 2007
Tell Peter he should be more careful where he leaves his handbag :-)
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 19 October 2007
We all sigh whilst reading, lucky b****r!
Matt said:
Responded: Friday, 19 October 2007
It would happen to you. I still laugh at your Ribena story.
Anonymous said:
Responded: Friday, 19 October 2007
You seem to have an amazing effect on most men Perhaps you could see what would happen if Gordon Brown got close to you, preferably whilst sightseeing on top of a cliff! Maybe he too would fall for you (over the edge).
Alison said:
Responded: Friday, 19 October 2007
There is a very sad website on which about five people talk to each other, they obviously haven't heard of Facebook. One of them works for the Baptist's. She says, in anot very nice way, that if the election had been called you told the school you wouldn't have gone today, is that right?
Nadine said:
Responded: Friday, 19 October 2007
It was democracy week at the school Alison, (I think I met your daughter!) If the election had been called I could not have gone to the school as the MP, because I wouldn't have BEEN the MP!!!! This is because when an election is called the PM asks the Queen's permission for the dissolution of parliament. I would be exactly the same as any other candidate wanting to become the MP.I am only elected to serve one term and have to be re-elected each time. Although I would have gone to the school I would have gone as Nadine Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, not Nadine MP. As it was democracy week, it was an important definition to make! It was another great day at the school, my third visit. The art work just gets better, 96% in the tables for maths, a school to be proud of!
Anonymous said:
Responded: Sunday, 21 October 2007
Who was the unusual 'angel' ? Or is that off the record as well ?
Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at:
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

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