Matthew Norman: Now, now, do try to keep it clean, Nadine

Related Topics

Troublesome as BP has found stopping that Gulf of Mexico gush, David Cameron may find it harder to staunch the flow from the honeyed mouth of Nadine Dorries. Among the more supple political thinkers of the age – you may recall her identifying the expenses revelations as a "McCarthyite witch-hunt" – the Tory member for Mid Bedfordshire is livid about her government's threat to the lifelong right to council houses like her childhood home in Liverpool.

Yesterday's Mail on Sunday piece was a delight for the glorious line, "Margaret Thatcher knew all about the Big Society. She started it." Oh but she did dough, didn't she dough? Right up Thatch's street, utopian idealism. On Saturday, Nadine went on Today and was asked by John Humphrys if she'd discussed this issue face to face with George Osborne. "I haven't, John," she replied. "As you very well know, this is a masturbator..." One appreciates her avoidance of the w word, and a character reading others reached a while ago. But it won't do for a Tory MP to call her Chancellor that on live radio. An apology is required, and the last thing I want to hear from Nadine is any nonsense about meaning to say: "This is a mass debate, er..." Take the shame, Nadine, and for heaven's sake pipe down.

* As part of Lembit Opik's brave rearguard against his own crippling bashfulness, he has taken a job on the telly. The reticent asteroid fancier will present A Simple Question (yeah, like he could handle any other kind) on the station owned by Iran's government. "I don't see that Press TV is 'controversial'," so a peevish Lembit tells a so-called rival, adding sternly: "It is not for one media organisation to pass judgement on another." How exceedingly true this is. Were it not, one might pass judgement on Lembit earning from the persecutors of the Baha'is, "who are pretty much excluded from higher education", as Hansard records him observing, "and tend to suffer random arrests in considerable numbers".

* While Nadine surges towards the front bench, Jack Straw's journey the other way is very sad. How we'll miss the man hired by Barbara Castle for his low cunning who later proved that, along with the slithery survivalist talent, went so much else. There was his... and his, umm... look, there was always much more to Jack than ingratiation, buck-passing, and never quite knowing what he knew about the torture of British nationals. No political memoir since Norman Fowler's has been as keenly awaited. What he does believe in will, come publication day, be a joy to discover.

* That lovable Minder extra Alan Johnson is cross with Ed Miliband for suggesting that Labour was careless with our civil liberties. "Well, he never said that in three years sitting around the cabinet table," sniffs Alan to The Times. "I can't think of a single issue on which Labour got the balance wrong on civil liberties." Aha. Anyone wondering about early onset Alzheimer's, chill out. Alan's fine. It's merely that when he insisted he isn't bright enough to be PM, this was a rare instance of a politician following the teachings of the philosopher Callaghan (Harold, that is, of the LA police) that a man's just gotta know his limitations.

* Good to see Radio 5 Live still eschewing the easy phone-in options with Nicky Campbell asking whether all prisoners deserve protection inside, regardless of their crimes. This was the most intelligent enquiry of its kind since Nicky's colleague Victoria Derbyshire wondered, with the nurse Beverly Allitt in mind, if it's ever right to fire someone for something done in the workplace.

* Elsewhere in the Beeb, the calf is being fattened. Alex Ferguson is reportedly close to ending his boycott of the BBC in response to a 2004 documentary questioning the ethics of his agent son, Jason. God knows how Match of the Day survived without Fergie's captivating 30-second post-game analyses.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Read Next

i Editor's Letter: A huge step forward in medical science, but we're not all the way there yet

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
David Cameron has painted a scary picture of what life would be like under a Labour government  

You want constitutional change? Fixed-term parliaments have already done the job

Steve Richards
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album