"One more squeak like that and he will have the whip taken away from him so fast his feet won't the the ground. It's just incredibly frustrating when people say things like that".The Telegraph is reporting that Cameron is also deeply displeased with Nadine Dorries for comments on the media today. That would be a very loose interpretation of his comments indeed. He actually said nothing of the sort. But his warning to other MPs who are minded to speak out was stark - in effect he said, do it, and prepare for the consequences.
I don't agree with all that Nadine said, or the way she said it, but the real point is that the public are not in a mood to listen to many of the points she or any other politicians have made, despite some of them being very valid indeed. Politicians would do far better to leave it to others to speak out in their defence. The Archibshop of Canterbury has done so this afternoon.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of what the Telegraph have done - and I remain of the view that they have done us a public service - the public is on their side and they want all politicians to acknowledge they have done wrong. It matters not whether politician A or politician B are totally blameless, the public regards them all as condoning a system which has been used to line their pockets. Of course Nadine is right that the ACA has been considered a salary top up by MPs, and the Fees Office and party whips encouraged MPs to view it that way. But it doesn't matter. The public view it as wrong, so there's little point in banging on about it at the moment.
It sounds an odd thing to say during an election period, but a period of silence is probably called for from politicians, and where better to start than a Bank Holiday weekend. No one wants to hear from them. The public don't want a running commentary. They don't want to hear any politician defending the past, defending the status quo or feeling sorry for themselves.
Along with hundreds of thousands of other people today, I got my postal vote ballot paper. I voted Conservative with some enthusiasm, largely because Dan Hannan is number one on the list in my region. But I know full well that many people will be giving the main parties a bloody nose, and relishing the experience. The die is cast for June 4th and there is little anyone can do about it. Let the party leaders take the strain, but for the rest of the political classes, they might as well zip it. And perhaps that goes for bloggers too!