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12 May 2012

Nadine Dorries channels Churchill

"The criticism of cowards didn't affect him. It certainly doesn't affect me."

By Jon Bernstein

Nadine Dorries, MP for Mid-Bedfordshire and baiter-in-chief of the “two arrogant posh boys” who lead her party, is in danger of over exposure.

Fresh from her appearance on this week’s Have I Got News for You — playing to perfection the part of the awkward, rictus-sporting politician (a part previously performed by Tom Watson and Louise Mensch among others) — Dorries pops up in this morning’s Financial Times.

She tells the FT that her critics make her “blisteringly angry”. But drawing on the life of Winston Churchill — though not, she insists, making a direct parallel — she notes: 

People used to talk about him in the corridors and laugh about him. He was ridiculed . . . he was a lone voice in the House of Commons.

The criticism of cowards didn’t affect him . . . It certainly doesn’t affect me.

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Whether her own criticisms of David Cameron and George Osborne affect the PM and the Chancellor is less clear.

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She avoids mentioning either of them by name in this morning’s interview but does talk of politicians who “haven’t ever earned their own money” which sounds like it might be aimed at Osborne. Meanwhile her praise of Boris Johnson, an acceptable posh boy apparently, is an indirect attack on Cameron. 

Boris can connect with people’s concerns . . . He’s more sensitive and more caring than some other people.

Who are “some other people”, I wonder? 

Dorries never wanted Cameron as leader: “he represented everything that through my life . . . I’d been suspicious of”, she once said.

Prior to the 2010 general election, the New Statesman named her as one of the “10 people Dave should fear” (“Dorries couldn’t be further from media-friendly compassionate conservatism”) but unless she can gather allies around her to pose a real threat to Cameron’s leadership she’s in danger of becoming a noisy but ineffectual lone backbencher.