A couple of days ago I wrote a blog entry on how Nadine Dorries MP had smeared the blogger Tim Ireland as a stalker, and persisted even though Tim has himself been targeted for personal harassment by someone using her false allegation as his justification. Tim recently wrote to Andy Rayment, the chairman of Dorries’ constituency party, but was dismissed both by him and by Dorries as a “nutter”. Rayment’s response also featured in a local newspaper.
One of Dorries’ constituents, who writes online as “Ms Humphrey Cushion”, followed up with an email to Conservative Party HQ:
I am writing to share my disgust at the letter written to Tim Ireland by Mid-Beds Conservative chairman Andy Rayment, as featured in today’s Beds on Sunday. I believe Mr Ireland is an intellegent individual who seeks to right wrongs, not stalk MPs! A quick look at his blog will prove me right on that.
…I am a constituent of Mid Beds and Vice Chair of the Luton & Mid Beds Co-Operative Party and Blogger for the Mid Beds CLP. I attended the hustings where Ms Dorries made very vocal accusations about Mr Ireland in full view of the entire audience. No apology for her outrageous smears has ever been made. Again, this is something I expect you to investigate.
I look forward to your reply. Regards
Tim blogged on Dorries’ extraordinary behaviour at the hustings here.
In the article, in which I very clearly define the reasons why MPs should not blog or Twitter (yes, I know ) I mention someone who has posted 22,000 tweets in four months.
Today, someone has emailed my office with the details of a political/personal Tweeter who has posted 35,000 tweets in a similar amount of time.
…Is there such a thing as Twitter addiction? How can anyone live a normal life who can do that? Surely these people cannot be in employment because if they are, how can they work? if they aren’t then it’s time they got a job which involves being sat at a key board because there’s nothing much up with their fingers, brain or attention span!!
Ms Humphrey Cushion is a prolific Twitterer with currently 34,500 Tweets to her name, and she has posted many Tweets mocking and criticising Dorries. However, a politically-motivated “outing” of a critic as an alleged welfare cheat who ought to be working might be seen as a shabby ploy to silence or discredit an opponent – the phrase “someone has emailed my office with the details” is a device to create a bit of distance, and I suspect refers to a staffer who has been given the job of compiling information.
The pretence of distance was further maintained with the help of Paul Staines, the right-libertarian blogger known as “Guido Fawkes”. Staines shares Dorries’ dislike of Tim Ireland, and on two occasions he has tried (and failed) to suppress information on Tim’s blog by threatening to use England’s distinctly unlibertarian libel laws. Staines was more than happy to smear Ms Humphrey Cushion on Dorries’ behalf (link added):
Nadine Dorries is trending on Twitter after she attacked benefit claimants who Twitter all day. “Ms Humphrey Cushion”, one of her constituents, has tweeted nearly 35,000 times in the last six months, often about nights out and her life of unemployed bliss.
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.
Could this be this era’s “on yer bike” soundbite. @HumphreyCushion, get off twitter and get a job…
Numerous abusive and anonymous comments are posted beneath.
The baton was then passed back to Dorries, who would have us believe that Staines had made the connection without any help from her (includes NSFW link):
So, Guido found one!
…The left wing Twitterati have apparently gone into overdrive today, and so they should. Guido informs me that his expose claims to be a Labour activist web site organiser for Bedfordshire – or something similar, AND she writes porn http://wordejaculation.wordpress.com/ Nice lady.
…If you are genuinely disabled, or like my mum, retired and love to use the internet to chat to friends etc (she makes me look like a luddite) then that is fantastic and I wish you many hours of pleasure.
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.
Alas, however, it turns out that Ms Humphrey Cushion has a job: she’s waiting for an operation so that she can get back to work as a carer. She writes:
….I am currently awaiting 2 operations on my feet as arthritis has crippled them. I have waited since March for these operations, sadly the hospital has been relieved of its “18 week guarantee”, thanks Coalition. I struggle to stand and walk, I also have arthritis in my neck. I am a home carer. I love my job although the pay is dreadful and working with dementia clients can be as distressing as it is joyful. My company are holdng my job open for me, I wish I could work from my chair at home but sadly the clients cant come to me!
…I miss working. I also miss walking. I miss days out with my kids. I miss going to their sports days and plays. I miss having the life I took for granted just a year ago. But I have Twitter and I thank God for Twitter every day.
As for disability benefit, she wrote in June that
If I were entitled, I would use my allowance to pay for transport as I can only walk short distances and struggle to drive. I do not qualify however as I currently only score 6 of the necessary 15 points, despite being signed off working as a carer as I can only stand for 5 minutes at a time. Once my shoulders completely freeze and I can no longer raise my arms above my head, I will qualify.. something to look forward to then.
Also, she adds today that
…I do not now, nor ever have received disability or any other “health” related benefits. However does claiming disability benefit mean you are not entitled to enjoy a night in the pub?
…Nor have I ever attempted to ask for a loan from the Social Fund. A tweeter suggested that I should ask for one this week as I couldn’t pay 8 months rent as a deposit on a house I had viewed. The reason I was asked for this extortionate amount is because I am a part-time employee. The same rule applies to people on incapacity benefits and the unemployed. I was incandescent with rage and so tweeted about it this week.
Dorries appears in the latest New Statesman expressing her admiration for Sarah Palin, and she has been mocked as a UK Sarah Palin or a UK Michele Bachmann. Judging from the above stunt, maybe we should add “UK Andrew Breitbart” to the list.
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