From the Daily Mail:
Tory MP Nadine Dorries has been accused of being a ‘marriage wrecker’ after confirming she is having an affair with a friend’s husband.
John Butler’s tearful wife Rachael said she learned of the romance only yesterday morning after he had repeatedly denied there was someone else.
‘I just want everybody to know that Nadine Dorries is not the saintly person she appears to be’ she said.
‘Because she’s an MP people think of her as a pillar of society but in fact she’s a marriage wrecker. I’m shocked and hurt. I know it takes two to tango but she shouldn’t have gone after a married man.’
…Mrs Butler admitted: ‘My marriage hasn’t been in good shape for some years. It died a death some time ago. But this doesn’t excuse Nadine for what she did.’
Dorries has featured on this blog a number of times: she has close links with the lobby group Christian Concern, and she is notorious for her blustering attacks on critics, whom she maligns with accusations of stalking and benefit fraud.
It’s clear from the above that Rachael Butler is slightly rambling, angry and distressed: on the one hand, Dorries is a “marriage wrecker”, but on the other hand she concedes that the marriage had “died a death” anyway. If Dorries wished to deflect the ephemeral criticism (or, more likely, mockery) that is likely to come her way, she could simply have pointed out this discrepancy and added (as she maintains) that the relationship in fact began after John Butler’s marriage had formally broken down. However, it seems that in Dorries’ mind the embittered reproaches of a broken ex-friend require maximum retaliation, and Dorries’ blog consequently pre-empted the article with statements from John Butler and from the Butlers’ adult daughter, denouncing Rachael as an abusive alcoholic and bad mother; Rachael Butler has admitted to alcoholism in a piece in the Telegraph, although it seems this was in response to the statements rather than through choice.
We all know that alcoholics often behave in ways that end up alienating even the closest friends and family; doubtless Rachael Butler’s family has suffered, and it is not surprising that there is resentment against her. Her family can’t be judged harshly for that, although it’s sad to note that the statements don’t contain even a formulaic expression of hope that Rachael Butler will overcome her illness and move on with her life. But Dorries’ post leaves a very unsavoury taste in the mouth – in particular, trumpeting an attack by Rachael Butler’s own daughter, whether justified or not, is overkill and repels with its ruthlessness.
On Twitter, Dorries explains that “I would never have discussed but was boxed into a corner”, and that she “Hated doing that, but had to to defend the kids from horrible lies”; the latter statement is a classic example of her self-serving hyperbole.
UPDATE: At the end of her blog entry, Dorries assures us that “I wont [sic] be making any further comments”. Alas, what she meant was “…aside from an article in the Mail on Sunday“:
…The appalling situation under which John was living began to show.
…I am a Christian and struggled to understand how the God I knew would think this was a good situation.
…Just before this Christmas, John told his close friends that he had made the decision to finally leave, once and for all . . . something we had been urging for literally years.
Later that week, he walked into a pub where some friends and I were having a meal.
As the pub door opened he was framed in the light and, as we looked at each other, I realised for the first time we were looking at each other in a different way. Maybe it was because he was now a free man and we could.
I hope Rachael and I can one day become friends again and she may understand it wasn’t me who wrecked her marriage.
Until she does realise this, she will be unable to accept the real reason and seek the professional help she so desperately needs.
But in the meantime, Dorries feels the need to tell us that Rachael has been violent, and that when they were friends she had “confided in me… that she had been seeing a man, an Australian, without John’s knowledge” [UPDATE: This in turn obliged the man concerned to make a statement of his own, denying the claim].
An accompanying article has further background, including a quote from Butler’s other adult daughter:
Amy, 24, said: ‘I am not against my father having an affair. But I am against the person he is having an affair with. I’ve never had a good relationship with Nadine Dorries.’
How long before we read an article by Dorries attacking her?
There’s also commentary from conservative moralist Anne Atkins, who is unimpressed:
…There is also the lack of dignity. Once you decide to satisfy your desires no matter whom you hurt, the least you can do is keep your mouth shut.
You have another woman’s husband, Mrs D: no need to ruin her reputation as well. Friends, families, those who should matter most will know whether there are extenuating circumstances. Why the need to justify yourself so tastelessly?
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