Nadine in the Jungle

N.B. Today’s post comes from our our first guest blogger, Alice Young. Read on for comment on the scandalous behaviour of Conservative MP Nadine Dorries.

Nadine Dorries is not only incredibly naïve for deciding to appear on I’m a celebrity, get me out of here, she is also apparently short-sighted and reckless. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the show, and I think it can do a lot to boost the images of many b-through-z list celebrities – I like to imagine the producers are aware of the irony when terming the variety of side-show acts, has-been musicians and supermarket ad-stars ‘celebrity’ – but in my opinion there is something plainly wrong with a sitting, and let us not forget, paid MP taking substantial time away from their constituency and from parliament, to prat around with Ant and Dec in the Australian outback. Nadine Dorries has grown too big for her back-bench boots, and this brash move is threatening not only her reputation, but the reputations of others.

So why is she doing it? To raise awareness, or so she claims, of her political agenda – reducing the time limit on abortions by four weeks to 20. ‘I’m a celebrity…’ is watched by millions, therefore the subjects she chooses to bring up whilst sitting around the campfire with her new chums, chewing on kangaroo testicles, will reach a larger audience than the few who follow her Twitter, or have caught some of her recent outspoken comments in the news. Miss Dorries, I believe, is mistaken in her blind faith that ITV will decide to air her lengthy intellectual debates over the usual flirty conversations between younger contestants and images of bikini-clad models bathing in lagoons. TV producers seem to have a low opinion of the intellectual rigour of the viewers of such a show, and so editing occurs to suit the entertainment needs of the lowest common denominator. What is more, ITV will be bound to some extent by their advertisers, who may not wish to be associated with such strong political ideas. The result will be then that little, if any, of Nadine Dorries’ issues will be aired, and no doubt where they are they will be cut, for entertainment purposes, to make her seem ridiculous.

Nadine Dorries is an elected official who was chosen, one would hope, on the basis of her ability to represent her electorate’s views in parliament. It seems her decision to appear on ‘I’m a celebrity…’ is part of a narcissistic ploy to boost her image; however it will do her reputation no favours. Just look at the last time a sitting MP turned his back on his constituents to appear in a reality TV show – yes, George Galloway, I’m talking to you – he’s now just as famous for crawling around of the floor with Pete Burns, meowing like a creepy kitten, as he is for any of his politics.

Politicians should be respectable and dignified, but Dorries threatens to bring the public image of MPs into disrepute, particularly at a time when public confidence in politicians is already at a low. The Tory party are right to suspend her, and she will have a lot of questions to answer when she returns, not just to the party but to the people whom she represents.

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