Village People: Dorries and the damned
So much was happening in politics yesterday that the latest thoughts of the Tory MP Nadine Dorries, below, which she shared with the Catholic Herald, were in danger of going unreported. She describes her own mood as a "bit low" after the hammering she took during the expenses scandal and the more recent revelation of her affair with a married man.
But Dorries was in feisty form as she berated church leaders for failing to take a moral lead – not on the sanctity of marriage, but on abortion. Dorries has been fighting a lonely fight to have abortion laws tightened.
"The churches have been pathetic, pathetic, during the abortion debate in their support for what I was trying to do," she complained. "The Church of England was the worst and the only person in the Catholic Church who made any comment was Cardinal O'Brien. Everybody was silent because the churches were weak and cowardly."
Of journalists, she said: "I can't believe that journalists, by and large, can be happy people because I don't think it's possible to write in such a vitriolic and hateful way and be happy, and for good things to happen to you."
Oh dear, the world is really letting this poor woman down.
It did not pass completely unnoticed yesterday that earlier in the month the Labour MP Tom Watson wrote a blog in which he made two forecasts – based, he said, on reliable information from high in the Government. One was that Andy Coulson would resign on 25 January, the other that there will be a general election this year. On Coulson, he was only out by four days.
Vow of silence
Tim Cheetham the Barnsley councillor who may be in line to take over the seat being vacated by the convicted expenses cheat Eric Illsley, is going to have to learn to bite his tongue, because he expresses himself with a freedom that would get a serving MP into serious difficulties.
On his blog, he describes himself as the Barnsley cabinet member for "everything nobody else wanted and that the leader can't be arsed with". He would not get away with quips like that about Ed Miliband.
Worse, the Sheffield Star has dug up one of his old tweets, from 2009, in which he described Catholics who kissed the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux as "slobbering zealots".
This he plainly regrets. "I apologised and I continue to apologise without reservation," he said. "It was a particularly stupid thing to say. I hate causing offence to anyone. I was mortified to have done so on that occasion."
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