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Friday, 11 May 2012

Free speech does not mean freedom from criticism

The Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire, Nadine Dorries, surprised many last night when she tweeted "I have now left the HIGNFY after party. As I looked over my shoulder, Reginald D Hunter was talking to my daughter.#wheresmyshotgunman".

Ms Dorries who meant the tweet as a joke and the "man" on the end of the hashtag was probably referring to something in the programme which is due to be aired tonight on BBC1 at 21:00. show it probably was a joke.

Problem is many people saw this as an inappropriate and some suggested even that is was tantamount to racism. One of her followers pointed out, as its turned out correctly "I predict that that is not the smartest tweet ever..?" replying that tweet Ms Dorries said "you are so PC and boring, you are now blocked".

Recently Ms Dorries sprang to prominence after she referred to the Prime Minister, David Cameron and the Chancellor George Osborne as "two arrogant posh boys" with "no passion to want to understand the lives of others" their "real crime" was to show "no remorse" about their lack of insight beyond Westminster.

However in February 2010. Ms Dorries was accused of being a "benefits cheat" when she took part in the Channel 4 programme Tower block of Commons. She was meant to live on the amount of money people of benefits have to. But Ms Dorries thought nothing of taking an extra £50 onto the programme to help her along. So Ms Dorries is really the last person who should be lecturing anyone on understanding real people's lives.

Personal attacks aren't particularly pleasant but Ms Dorries seems to believe its one rule for her - one for everyone else. Condemning anyone who criticises her. Whilst at the same time indulging in personal attacks on members and the leadership of her own political party. To be honest her behaviour is nothing short of hypocritical.

Free speech is something we should all fight for but Nadine Dorries seems to mistake free speech for freedom of criticism. Her tweet may well of been a joke, despite many seeing it in such bad taste however Ms Dorries must accept if she wants free speech to say what she likes other people are also entitled to free speech and to criticise what she says.