Friday, 23 January 2009

Tale of two MPs (2) Dawn Butler

I have to say that I hadn't heard of Dawn Butler the Labour MP for Brent South until yesterday when the blogosphere got very excited about an apparent endorsement from Barack Obama! It seems that last summer Mr Obama met Ms Butler and another MP for about ten minutes. On that basis we are led to believe that she received these glowing words (click on link below)

dawnbutler.jpg (image)

Fact Number 1: This endorsement was apparently written on House of Commons paper - this is illegal so far as an MP is concerned anyway because she is using it for self promotion on her website, look on her website now and the same message is there but with the portcullis logo etc cut off! So Obama somehow found some HoC headed paper to provide this ringing endorsement.
Fact Number 2: The wording is not the way Obama, that master of language, would have written it. Notice how "we" changes to "she" in the last sentence! From all accounts Ms Butler is known to be someone who is not particularly literate. Coincidence?

Now Ms Butler has more or less admitted that she and Obama's staff agreed a form of words before she met him and that she asked him if he would sign it at the end of the meeting. Look at the wording "She is bright, intelligent and determined" - that judgment could only be made after a meeting took place yet she reckons that Obama's people were quite happy with this form of words before the then senator had set eyes on her. Really! This is all stretching credulity to breaking point.

It is quite possible that she got his autograph but having obtained his signature by whatever means I suspect she then added the words but very sloppily in my opinion. I would hate to find myself voting for someone like her. One of the many problems about politics today is this insistence that both genders and all ethnic groups must be represented in the HoC and I would agree this is a fine thing to aim for providing the potential MP is of the right calibre. But this idea that we must have a black female MP regardless is just plain stupid in my opinion. Having said that the other black woman MP in the House Diane Abbott is quite highly regarded and someone I have a degree of time for.

Full marks to the bloggers who have made this whole thing public in the first place, an excellent example of the power of blogs!

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