There are two very basic problems with Nadine Dorries…
1. She’s a liar who will say just about anything to cover her own arse.
2. Every by the generally low standards of most liars, she’s completely crap at lying.
Earlier today, Tim Ireland reported that, in line with a number previously unconfirmed reports, Dorries had indeed been investigated by the Crown Prosecution Service as a consequence of a complaint lodged by a former employee but that the CPS has decided that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution.
This evening, Dorries posted the following response to Tim’s article on her own pseudo-blog.
For anyone who cares to know, blogger, Tim Ireland, who chooses to write blogs which are malicious, un-founded and for the most part totally untrue, has been warned by Police not to enter Bedfordshire.
However, this doesn’t stop him from wasting tax payers money via freedom of information requests and then letters of complaint to the information commissioner when they don’t work. Stopping that comes next! My poor staff 🙁
I’m not going to comment overmuch on the allegation that Tim ‘write blogs which are malicious, un-founded and for the most part totally untrue’. If you visit Bloggerheads yourself you’ll very quickly find that Tim’s an ‘old school’ blogger, which means that he is always most assiduous in linking to his source material. You can, therefore, decide for yourself whether or not you believe Tim to be on the level based on the supporting evidence provided in his blog posts, which is considerably more than can be said for most of the contents of Dorries’ pseudo-blog.
What’s considerably more interesting is the claim that Tim has been ‘warned by Police not to enter Bedfordshire’ which, if there were any prospect of being true, would constitute one of the most egregious violations of civil liberties seen in the UK since, perhaps, the Miner’s Strike. Put simply, the Police do not have the power or authority to warn anyone off entering any county in the United Kingdom unless a court of law has already put in place an injunction, non-molestation order or ASBO/CRASBO.
There is, to the best of my knowledge, no such court order in place and even in the extremely unlikely event that Dorries were to obtain such a court order, it would be almost entirely without precendent for such an injunction to exclude an individual from an area (Bedfordshire) of 477 square miles.
Dorries’s claim is not simply a lie, its a desperately bad lie; one so divorced from reality as to make its falsity obvious to all but the most gullible and credulous of her readers.
In the circumstances, Tim would be entirely justified in calling Dorries out as a liar on this general understanding of the law, but knowing Tim he’ll go to the time and trouble of contacting Bedfordshire Police and obtaining formal confirmation that no such warning has ever been issued so as to leave absolutely no room for doubt.
As for the claim that Tim is wasting taxpayer’s moneyon FOIA requests and letters of complaint to the Information Commissioner, this relates to a rather unpleasant series of smears, threats and harassment visited on Tim as a result of his involvement in exposing a terrorism-related story that made the front page of The Sun newspaper as a fake perpetrated by an amateur ‘terror-tracker’ named Glen Jenvey. It’s a long and rather complicated story, albeit one covered in considerable detail by Tim over the last couple of years, so I don’t proposed to recap the events leading up to this point in time. For our purposes, its enough to understand that certain claims were made by one of Tim’s harassers which gave him good reason to issue Dorries with a subject access request for any personal data relating to Tim held by her parliamentary office, including any email correspondence.
Tim made this request more than twelve months ago and has yet to receive any kind of response from Dorries and/or her ‘poor’ parliamentary staff, least of all any acknowledgement of the request itself, which was submitted under s7 of the Data Protection Act, and not under FOIA as Dorries claims.
The legal position here is abundantly clear. Dorries should have responded to Tim’s DPA request within forty day, even if all she had to report was that neither she or her office held any personal data relating to him. She failed to respond at all and, more than a year on from the subject access request, can have no complaint whatsoever in regards to Tim’s decision to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner on grounds of non-complience.
I could go further here, but for now I’ll resist the temptation to add a snarky comment or two on the subject of ‘wasting public money’, suffice to say that the cost of servicing a DPA request is a relevant issue only if it would require a disproportionate effort on the part of the data controller (Dorries) to supply the information relative to the data subject’s (Tim’s) right of access. Even if this were the case, and it seems unlikely in this case, the law still requires the data controller to process and respond to the subject access request by providing the data subject with notification of whether any personal data is being processed together with a description of the personal data, the reasons it is being processed, and whether it will be given to any other organisations or people and details of the source of the data, if this is available.
There are other exemptions that could be deployed by way of a refusal to supply Tim with the information he has requested – in which case Tim would have to be notified as such – but few, if any, would appear to be even arguably applicable in this case.
So, bearing all that in mind, I think we should end with a song to suit the occasion (dedicated to Dorries, of course)…
…which happily give me a perfect excuse to offer up a choice piece of Sex Pistols riffage from 1977.
Tim’s been in touch to point out that he did submit an FOIA request in addition to his DPA request.
The FOIA request should, of course, have been dealt with within 20 working day of receipt even if the only response amounted to ‘sorry, don’t have that information’ or notification that the information requested was covered by one of FOIA’s many exemption clauses.
As you might already have guessed, no response of any kind was forthcoming on this request either.