Friday, October 22, 2010

Today's fake: British MP says her blog for constituents is "70% fiction"

Here's something I was fascinated with. A British MP has a blog she uses to publicize her activities and her positions on issues -- just as most politicians now do. But after being cleared of allegations she misled Parliament on some expense account-related matters, she blithely announced that her blog is "70 percent fiction" anyway and it shouldn't have been used as a basis for the charges, which had to do with whether she spends most of her time in London or in her district.

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, who represents a district known as Mid Bedfordshire, said:
"My blog is 70% fiction and 30% fact. It is written as a tool to enable my constituents to know me better and to reassure them of my commitment to Mid Bedfordshire.

I rely heavily on poetic licence and frequently replace one place name/event/fact with another.

In the light of the bullying onslaught of the Daily Telegraph (which reported the claims about her expenses) I used my blog to its best effect in reassuring my constituents of my commitment to Mid Beds. My commitment is absolute and is always my first consideration regardless of where I sleep at night. However, I have always been aware that should my personal domestic arrangements become the knowledge of my political opponents, they would be able to exaggerate that to good effect. Hence the reason for my blog and my need to reassure my constituents.
Isn't it for situations exactly like this that the word truthiness was invented?

What I love about this story is that she is completely blithe and unashamed that she told lie after lie to her own constituents. In her mind, her blog fulfilled its purpose perfectly -- it told her constituents what she wanted them to believe about her positions and activities. What actually happened is totally beside the point, to her -- the important thing is that she got her message across.

Of course, it's nothing most people don't do -- obfuscate the truth to construct a larger truth, a constructed, smoothed-out version of reality. It's what we do in letters and phone calls to our parents, because (to use a now clichéd phrase) they can't handle the truth. We do it to anyone whom we feel entitled to patronize, in other words. But for a politician to be so unapologetic when caught red-handed really does expand the boundaries of shamelessness.

Frankly it's unsurprising that it's a conservative British politician, with their sense of entitlement and scorn for what the (British) CEO of BP called "the little people," who was caught at this.

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