Friday, 8 May 2009

Nadine Dorries Struck Down by Dementia

Poor old Nadine Dorries seems to have fallen beneath the wheels of senile dementia this week.

First of all, the Conservative MP for Mid-Bedfordshire launched a broadside against Twitter in her blog, before making some strange comments about Trident on Question Time.

The attack on Twitter took the usual line of "I don't care that such and such ate a salad for lunch". Yawn.

Now I don't want to dissect her entire post like some blinkered, evangelical Twitter addict - that's not what I'm here for - but there are a few points she raises that reveal how clueless and out of touch our Dorris is:

Twittering has to be a symptom of a dysfunctional society. You know the one I’m talking about; when people don’t talk to, care about, help, consider or even interact with each other anymore.

Many people would argue that a bicameral legislature composed of doddering old fools there mainly through birth right and elected representatives who splash taxpayer money willy nilly on their own delectations is a symptom of a dysfunctional society.

In fact, Twitter is a symptom of a functioning society, whose citizens engage one another.

The idea that Twitter means "people don't talk to, care about, help, consider or even interact with each other anymore" is a baffling, contradictory argument to make.

Twitter is nothing BUT talking and interaction. Unfortunately for Dorries she seems to think it's all about talking TO people, rather than talking WITH people. You have two ears and one mouth. Use them accordingly.

The Twestival events in February clearly show that people do care about others and do something to help them. That's why Twitterers raised thousands of pounds for a water charity in Africa. Furthermore, I've personally made numerous connections through Twitter with people who care about the same issues as myself. It's now an invaluable tool for me in that regard and countless more users consider it in the same way.

She then goes on to say:

A survey last week found that the average Briton has three good friends. That’s the dysfunctional society I’m talking about. The one where it seems to me people are creating their own online virtual communities and friends.

What's wrong with creating virtual communities and making friends online? It broadens your horizons and introduces you to new, interesting people with shared interests and provides a platform and means to achieve things, anything.

At the beginning of her blog, she states that "I exclude from this observation those who use twitter to enhance their existing online presence". Well surely building online communities is an extension of an existing online presence?

Dorries ends her post by saying that she'll stick to blogging. In this case, her blog is just a vehicle to spout whatever bollocks she's thinking of at that point in time. A brief perusal of her posts reveals a well functioning comment section, but one that is devoid of any Dorries. Great engagement there, Nadine, thumbs up!

As the line between virtual and real life becomes ever more blurred, you'd be a fool to shun such networks as Twitter. It is something an MP should be embracing - the ability to engage with their constituents.

But not as big a fool as say, an MP who states that the Trident nuclear deterrent isn't a weapon of mass destruction, like, um, Dorries said on Question Time on Thursday.

I don't know what to make of this. It didn't sound like some slip of the tongue or muddled words, and she wrote only a few days ago about her worryingly hawkish support for Trident. Is she a proponent of doublethink? Or more likely, is it that nuclear warheads don't count as WMDs when they're in our hands, but if some phantom enemy in a desert in the Middle East has them, then it's cause for concern?

Go back to sleep Dorries.

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