Dolly Parton was in town at the weekend for the Strictly Come Dancing launch show, and I hope she found time to read the Mail on Sunday before flying home. If so, she will have found the inspiration for a song, if not an entire album, in the engaging form of Nadine Dorries. In keeping with her first name, the Tory MP has has become that most beloved of Country & Western cliches – the adoring woman who believes her cheatin' fella when he tells her he's sorry and won't ever break her heart again.
Writing in the MoS, Nadine reports that, after humiliating her at PMQs with that innuendo about her being "frustrated" over the failure of her abortion amendment, David Cameron sent her messages of contrition. "I am genuinely, desperately sorry," ran one text. "It was an entirely innocent mistake." This Nadine, God love her trusting heart, believes. "I know when someone is being sincere or not in an apology, and he definitely was." Others will connect the PM's smutty putdown with her recent public criticism of him as "gutless" for not supporting her amendment. "I didn't respond to 'gutless'," Mr Cameron also texted her, inadvertently revealing that "frustrated" was clearly an act of vengeance. Nadine, Nadine, Nadine, Nay-deeee-eee-een / Give up that wretched man, an' don't be blue. Parlay the hideous publicity into a career as a minor celeb, and you may one day follow Widders and Edwina on to Strictly.
* Nadine is less forgiving when it comes to George Osborne's ribald wit, describing him on her blog as "infantile" and "tacky" for his semenal speech on becoming GQ's Politician of the Year. The Chancellor, you will recall, observed that the only pages over which the mag's readership fails to ejaculate are those concerning politics, since these contain enough "wankers" as it is. Regarding Mr Osborne, Nadine is known to agree (I once rebuked her for referring to him, on the Today programme, as "a masturbator", although she might claim her words were "a mass debate, er..."). As do we all. Now zip it with the jesting, Jissum Georgie, and crack on with destroying the recovery.
* If the Downing Street double act have one Wildean cabinet rival, it is Liam Fox, who once treated Christmas partygoers to the riddle: "What do you call four dogs and a blackbird?" ("The Spice Girls"). Sadly, the Defence Secretary was in less playful mood last week over the report into the army's torture and killing of Baha Mousa. While accepting its other recommendations, the good doctor defended the practise of shouting at suspects at a volume designed to break their resistance. A senior commission has now been offered, according to MoD sources, to Brian Blessed. He'll try anything once.
* Meanwhile, is anyone else confused by the Tory right's lack of outrage over the prison sentence given to Donald Payne, the only soldier convicted for war crimes over Mr Mousa's killing? Surely 12 months for kicking a man to death looks soft to those who relished the four-year terms handed down to the two idiots who tweeted encouragement to rioting that never took place? One expects penal hardliners like Dr Fox to sympathise with corporal punishment. Doing so with Corporal Payne by not railing against such leniency is harder to comprehend.
* While wishing the Murdochs luck with selling Wapping, any prospective buyer is advised to examine the air vents for brain-damaging chemicals. The amnesia afflicting long-time staff is even worse than Andy Coulson fans feared, judging by the Media Select Committee evidence given last week by departed News of the World lawyer Tom Crone and its closing editor Colin Myler. They could barely remember a dickie-bird (no Leslie Welch himself; Google it) about the finer details of the Gordon Taylor payout. Perhaps in a couple of years, when any monthly payoffs have ceased, all will flood back. Let's hope so. If the neurological damage is reversible, this would limit compensation paid to staff who launch a class action for exposure to those chemicals.Reuse content