Oh dear, Violet Elizabeth Nadine Dorries is in a bit of a snit at the moment…
The press conference yesterday almost became a fiasco.
To be perfectly honest, I hadn’t really expected anyone to turn up. So when I walked into a room full of cameras and journalists, it was a bit of a shock to say the least.
I arrived in the room just as a jobs-worth security guard from the Himmler school of charm and diplomacy, called the Palace of Westminster police to escort the cameramen off the estate.
It took a call to the deputy Sergeant at Arms to discover that we could audio record only. And the use of that would be what? In case I forgot what I said?
It appears the House of Commons’ authorities had decided that my press conference was OK for radio. But not TV.
Just who are these faceless people who occupy hundreds, nay thousands of offices in this Palace, which belongs to the people, and the representatives of the people?
Who are these nameless bureaucrats who tell an elected MP sent to Parliament by the people, that I can’t film in a room which broadcasts committee meetings every day to the nation, from five permanent suspended cameras?
Who are these people sat in plush offices centred around the chamber whilst MPs walk miles to and fro each day, and camp out in corridors and the library; and by what right do they tell me that an event planned to launch a major campaign, aimed at amending legislation, cannot continue?
Someone who has a democratic right, a far greater right than any jobs-worth officious rude security guard, to be here.
Who has the right to run this place? Is it the people or the bureaucrats?
Well it seems Nadine’s ‘who’, the ‘faceless people’ and ‘nameless bureaucrats’ have names after all, so without further ado let’s name them.
Mr Frank Doran MP – Aberdeen North (Chairman)
Janet Anderson MP – Rossendale & Darwen
Rt Hon Mr Nicholas Brown MP – Newcastle upon Tyne East and Wallsend
Mr Simon Burns MP – West Chelmsford
Mr Christopher Chope MP – Christchurch
Rt Hon Tom Clarke MP – Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill
Derek Conway MP (?) – Old Bexley & Sidcup
Mr Brian H Donohoe MP – Central Ayrshire
Mr Neil Gerrard MP – Walthamstow
Mr John Heppell MP – Nottingham East
Mr Kevan Jones MP – North Durham
Rt Hon Greg Knight MP – East Yorkshire
David Lepper MP – Brighton, Pavilion
Mr John Randall MP – Uxbridge
John Thurso MP – Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
Pete Wishart MP – Perth and North Perthshire
Of course the whole business of issuing permits for photography and filming on the parliamentary estates isn’t handled personally by any of these MPs; that’s the job of Parliamentary staff, but overall responsibility for parliament’s photographic and filming regulation resides with the Administration Committee, the members of which I’ve listed above.
It’s said that only a poor workman blames his tools and its only a lousy MP who blames the staff of the House of Commons for her own rank incompetence in failing to make the proper arrangements for a press conference and then comes the hectoring ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ act.
The answer last question being almost certain ‘Yes – and I don’t give a fuck!”
You know, I can just hear Ma Boswell’s opinion of Dorries, ‘All fur coat and no knickers, that one… and no mistake”.