Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire Nadine Dorries lived up to her reputation as an entrenched xenophobe when she appeared on BBC 1’s Question Time last night.
In the context of answering a question about whether racist rhetoric will stop now that the wave of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants has failed to materialise, Dorries thought it appropriate to imply that immigration is responsible for British citizens being flooded out of their homes over Christmas and in recent weeks.
After raving about David Cameron’s lack of power when it comes to setting immigration targets and accusing the European Union for its open door policy: “We have no idea how many people are going to come, but we do know how many millions of people have the right to come if they want to” says Dorries, clearly a woman who lives in constant fear that her back yard will be flooded with immigrants any moment now. Perhaps that is why Dorries next swerves incomprehensibly into the issue of flooding: “Now most, a large part of Britain this week has seen – well over the last few weeks and over Christmas – has seen flooding. One of the problems with flooding is we’re building on our flood planes, and so we have less and less area of the country were water can drain,” and then uses this to appeal for people to vote Conservative in the next elections in order to pull Britain out of the EU and stop immigration.
She made me feel so proud of being British. Not.
As fellow panellist, Daily Mirror ‘Fleet Street Fox’ blogger Susie Boniface said “The question about whether the racist rhetoric will end is plainly NO.” Like Boniface, “Frankly, I find the way we have discussed the migration issue utterly appalling, completely disgusting, obnoxious, offensive and very un-British.”
From what I have seen so far on British TV – including, disappointingly, the BBC, from what I have read in the papers and online, I have come to the conclusion that instead of taking the lead on promoting British values such as fairness, tolerance and open-mindedness, the Conservative party is caught up in a race with the UKIP for “Xenophobe of the Decade Award” with the likes of Nadine Dorries MP at the forefront.
Nadine Dorries is one of the most disagreeable people in politics. I support a lot of the (difficult) work the Con/Lib govt has done, but pandering to the anti-immigration lobby is a woeful mistake.
With people like Dorries and the utterly awful Michael Gove getting headlines all over the place I don’t give the Cons much of a chance at the next election.
Undoubtedly, Si. Every time she opens her mouth she becomes a liability for the Tories. Pandering to the anti-immigration lobby is a mistake, I agree. I thought that Labour MP Chuka Umunna made a good point about immigration being used as a proxy for people’s concerns about the economy, but I do think that unfortunately his party is doing very little to change the tone of the debate as well.
I just assumed everyone else knew as it was so obvious, 😉
I am certain that I have come across similar language in the past regarding Polish immigrants – who have in fact been a great benefit to the British economy and whose contribution both to the UK and Irish economies has been missed once they decided to return to Poland in great numbers during recession.
You are right, its always an easy target – “never happened until they came over”, but of course they have helped economies grow.
Absolutely. There have been a great number of surveys that have emphasised the benefits of immigration to the British economy in the past. Immigrants help economies grow. If anything, our government should be encouraging immigration rather than trying to curtail it. It’s an embarrassment that such rhetoric should come from our representatives.
Damn, that is wrong on so many levels.
I could not believe that an elected representative was actually uttering this and in the context of the question under discussion. This was not the only gaff she made in that programme. She also seemed unable to distinguish between what comprehends a market economy, as opposed to the underground, black market economy. She seemed to think that immigrants come to the UK and undercut British workers by getting paid under the table for the same work. I wonder how many employers out there might be offended by this. How is it appropriate to suggest that British companies would put their workers out of jobs and then give them to illegal (or even legal) immigrants. I am not sure where Ms. Dorries gets her advice from, but clearly she ought to put more thought into how she presents her arguments and in what order. I wonder what the PM thought about her antics during Question Time.
Sadly, we have some like her here as well.
It is a sad state of affairs when such issues are universal. What can you do? Hope the recovery is going well.
It is, I have no clue how people vote these morons in.
Not too bad, still have quite a bit of pain. One day at a time.
Indeed. Perhaps there isn’t sufficient choice. Not sure what could be done about that.
PS: how long does the recovery process take? Did they tell you?
I am going to attempt going to work on Monday
That soon? Best of luck. x
We are made strong up in here in the Tundra 🙂 Thanks xx
Unfortunately I have a suspicion that our beloved leader will have been standing and applauding both the pandering to the right wing of the Conservative party currently listening to that nice Mr. Farage, and the fearmongering tone that Ms. Dorries employs as a matter of course. The current trend in politics seems to be “Keep ’em scared of everything and they comply with anything”. I’m afraid I gave up on UK politics around the time of the miners strike. I’m firmly in the social-anarchist camp I’m afraid.
I sympathise with your choice. As Belgium proved a few years back, a country can go on functioning just as well without a government. As to Mr Farage – it is a constant source of wonder for me how people of that character make it into politics at all, leave apart as the leader of a party. Although considering the type of party he leads, and their racist agenda, perhaps it is less surprising a development.
Nothing surprises me when it comes to politicians, let alone politics. I’m afraid I’m rather a battered old cynic, and in the main I think that as a consequence of a general disinterest in politics as a society, we have ended up with the politicians we deserve, but perhaps I am being too harsh a critic of myself for not doing more to protest and change the status quo – I know I could do more 😦
It is a pity that the state of today’s British politics have lead to widespread apathy amongst citizens and most people have come to believe that their voice does not count.
For quite a few decades now politicians have been encouraging people to think of themselves as consumers, where our only stake in society is an economic one.
This however could not be further from the truth. We may be subjects, but we are also citizens and since politics affects every single aspect of our lives, it would be a mistake to allow a few professional politicians to dictate policy without holding them to account for their actions.
Yet it is key that we hold those in power remember that they are not rulers, not the owners of power, but have been entrusted to serve the people they represent and from whence they derive their legitimacy.
The good news about democracy is that voting for yet another series of politicians is not the only way we can get involved as citizens.
Alternative avenues are opening up every day – I am sure that each and every person in the UK and elsewhere can find a way to make their voice heard.
That’s all part of the bigger picture, it’s part of why I’m bringing my writing out of the shadows and getting more engaged with social media
It’s a very good place to start. 🙂
Doing my best, you know?
I am certain of it. Look forward to reading more of your poetry.
Thank you, it is the aspect of writing I worry about and stress over most. I don’t have the academic understanding of structure. meter, rhythm etc. so I’m kind of fishing in the dark which is why they tend to be written as I would perform them :s
You may have noticed a slight political slant to my poetry 😉
Your post just goes to show that xenophobia and doltish stupidity transcend geography!
In Australia, we have a new government where our PM Tony Abbott seems only capable of mouthing slogans that prey on fear and paranoia. “Stop the boats!” “Stop the carbon tax!” got him elected and our treatment of “illegals” (desperate people fleeing persecution) is appalling. This shiny new government has abolished our Climate Commission and thinks climate change is all terribly cyclical and natural.
Sometimes, when I read of such examples as you shared, Lee-Ann, I wonder if our politicians are up to the job they are elected to discharge. One would think that we could do better than electing and re-electing representatives who speak first and think later, and instead of having a vision for the future, do little more than regurgitate the same fear- instigating rhetoric. Thank you for your comment: puts things into perspective on a broader scale.
See what Nigel’s saying about Bulgarians:
Hi Julien, thank you for the link – will go check it out.
PS: Thank you for the reblog.
Reblogged this on Bulgaria and commented:
See what Nigel’s saying about Bulgarians:
Ooh, that woman – she makes my blood boil, she really does. I can’t even begin to list the numerous, utterly ridiculous comments she’s made. Blaming immigrants for flooding is exactly what I’d expect. I’m only surprised she hasn’t also blamed Bulgarians for the disappearance of the bumble bee, Poles for the hole in the ozone layer and Romanians for her personal experience of the limitations of botox. (Ouch! Saucer of milk, Table Two!)
I couldn’t stop laughing for five minutes straight after reading your comment – thank you for injecting some much needed humour into what is a rather dour situation. 🙂
We are all strangers to somebody some where; great post vic
We are indeed, Eddie. Thank you.
The real racists are the Internationalists, they want a world filled with coffee coloured people, all nations and cultures bulldozed into uniformity and the safety of knowing that once internationalism is complete there will be no threatening nations. These racists accuse everyone else of racism. See Dont do it!
I am not sure what you mean by “internationalist” or “coffee coloured people”. The curtailing of freedom of movement is historically a recent development and was only legislated for in the 20th century. Before then anyone who had the means to travel could do so. I also am unsure as to what you understand by “racism”. From the context of your comment it appears to be something other than discriminating against people on the basis of the colour of their skin. I take it that you disagree with migration and would rather see Britain isolate itself from both Europe and the rest of the world. Britain has always been a trading nation and has always extended and deepened its ties with other countries, from whence derives its wealth and greatness. While there are many socio-political and economic issues that are in need of attention in this country, I doubt that closing down borders would resolve any of those issues.
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