Today, the BBC report that she explained away the discrepancy between her online comments that suggested “she spent the majority of her weekends in the constituency” and her statement to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards that “nearly all weekends were spent in her main home” with the memorable phrase:
My blog is 70% fiction and 30% fact.
Following complaints by a BNP spokesperson that “she lied about where her second home was and made inappropriate claims” and after a 15 month inquiry, the commissioned cleared her saying she “was not in breach of the rules of the House in claiming against Parliamentary allowances for her constituency home”. However, the commissioner did criticise the misleading comments on her blog.
She has explained that the blog was “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.
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.
In a blog post this afternoon, Ms Dorries opined that
Everyone is getting very excited about my comments regarding my blog. Not that it had anything to do with the complaint lodged by the BNP.
My blog conceals IDs, times, dates, and is often out of synch. This is because I have had more than my fair share of inappropriate attention to deal with. For example – when I do blog exactly where I am going to be – we find ourselves having to deal with some very strange and un invited people.
I suppose if any of my blog were truly fiction, I could call myself a journalist. The fiction, in terms of locations etc, is done to protect my family and staff.
Bet tomorrow morning’s papers take issue with her attack on journalism!
Alan Meban. Tweets as @alaninbelfast. Blogs about cinema and theatre over at Alan in Belfast. A freelancer who writes about and reports from civic, academic and political events, reviews cultural performances, chairs discussions, and live-tweets, streams and records lectures and conferences. He delivers social media training, coaching and consultancy, produces podcasts, is a member of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland, FactCheckNI board member, and is a member of the Corrymeela Community.