No. I haven’t been living under a rock or on the moon. I am familiar with MadNadGate. I would like to point out though that there is a context to this story and acknowledge that she was somewhat provoked. She has frequently made the point that plenty of male politicians made obnoxious comments and their words were not seized upon and devoured by the ‘blogosphere’ or the wider media (maybe it’s something they’d like to happen to them or maybe they have an extra layer of skin). Does this mean that female politicians are attacked more or is it that they are over-sensitive?
Having read extracts from her blog, I concede that she is not the brightest star in the sky, and she seems to belong to the “All is right with me, therefore, all is right with the world’ brigade. So lacking is she in basic intellectual acumen, that what some of her more extreme detractors are doing seems ugly and unkind: like pulling the wings off butterflies or eviscerating small animals. Given that, someone, somewhere elected her to public office and I find that slightly disconcerting.
The basic facts are these: Nadine Dorries MP became embroiled in an online feud with someone who happened to be a member of her constituency. This constituent has been laid off sick, is suffering from arthritis in the feet, awaiting corrective surgery and posts rather a lot on the social networking site Twitter. Dorries appears to believe that being ill and twittering are incompatible. She asserts, in her first post on this subject: ‘In the meantime, do you know of anyone else who has Tweeted more than 35,000 times in less than six months? If so, email my office and let me know. Or, better still, if it’s someone you know is on benefits, contact the DWP.’ As an aside, someone should remind Ms. Dorries that the DWP do not look kindly on malicious complaints from members of the public and the funding of any investigations that arise out of such complaints is also drawn from the public purse. So should someone in Dorries’ position be inciting people to do this?
A gallant blogger: Paul Staines leapt to the defence of our Damsel In Distress: ‘She claims that she has chronic arthritis but it clearly isn’t affecting her thumbs. If she can operate Twitter there are plenty of jobs she could be doing on a computer. Alarm bells should be ringing at the Department of Work and Pensions.’. As a health care assistant I’ve watched people screaming out in agony at the pain that can be caused by arthritis and if it’s got to the stage of an operation then that’s one Mid-Bedfordshire constituent who is in a lot of pain.
In her next post Ms. Dorries is busy digging a deeper hole for herself: (Put the spade down, Ms. Dorries….you’re surrounded) ‘If you Twitter all day, every day about claiming disability benefit in one tweet whist arranging a night out in the pub in the next. If you tweet about claiming six months rent from the social fund whilst tweeting how bad your hangover is and if you stride into political meetings and shout the odds with energy and enthusiasm with no sign of any physical disability and if you claim to work for the Labour party and write porn at the same time as claiming your disability benefit – then don’t expect someone like me not to a) inform the authorities and b) tell you to get of your Twitter and get a job.’
It occurred to me though that Dorries might be an idiot savant. In the latter blog post she implies that to be in receipt of any kind of disability benefits one must have a ‘visible physical illness’. Not a whisper devoted to those who are disabled as a result of mental illnesses.
Aside from the ability to use Twitter, arranging a pub night out with friends is another criterion that should preclude any prospect of disability benefits. I spent a short time on one of the local radio rental wards recently and every Wednesday night some patients would leave the hospital, walk down the road and go to the pub. As most, if not all, of these people were in receipt of disability benefit, it follows that they were collectively defrauding the system. And not only that: the nurse who gave them permission to go is an accessory before, during and after the fact. Other accessories to this crime would include the HCAs, the staff nurses and their fellow patients. Bring on Captain Dorries and her DWP Stormtroopers.
And, given that she appears to deny the validity of mental illness itself, they should bring a few bulldozers and raze the hospital to the ground. After all, what use is a hospital designed to treat illnesses that do not exist? ‘But what about the patients?’ I hear you cry. Well, they’re not patients anymore, are they? How can you suffer from illnesses that do not exist? Besides, we’ll get them jobs. After all didn’t eminent Rheumatologist Dr. Paul Staines assert that, ‘Anyone with two working thumbs can get a job.’
And what begins in sleepy Mid-Bedfordshire could be rolled out over the entire country. NHS psychiatric hospitals should be shut down, their patients released into the waiting arms of all those eager employers who have pledged employment to people who, a few minutes ago, were Chronic Mental Patients. And there goes your first round of cuts. Starting at the bottom.
Moving up the ladder, there is the hierarchy of professionals established to treat and serve the ‘mentally ill’. Take psychiatry out of the the NHS altogether and you wriggle free from the ring fence. Imagine all the cuts you could make there: psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, therapists, HCAs, psychiatric social workers, community nurses, occupational therapists, housekeepers, cooks, maintenance men, cleaners…Oh, don’t worry, they’ll find jobs – they’ve got working thumbs.
Now, Nadine, I’m not an economist, but if you do what I have outlined above, you won’t have to go near child benefits or winter fuel allowance. You provided the germ of the idea, Nadine, and I nurtured it into fruition. Don’t worry, I’ll let you take the credit. Run, Nadine, run, take this plan to your leader. He’ll see in you what no one else has ever seen: true genius.