Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Nadine Dorries Gets Out of There

So Nadine Dorries was right. As she predicted, she was the first celebrity to be voted out. Having eaten a camel toe, an ostrich anus and a testicle, been starved, subjected to numerous indignities the question is.. Was it all worth it?

When it was first announced that she was to enter the jungle, politicians and journalists lined up to pile condemnation and ridicule on her.

Apparently her appearance would demean the standing of Members of Parliament - a perspective which surely just illustrates exactly how out of touch some MPs are with how the general public view them - they don't have any respect or 'standing' there really is no good reputation to harm.

Nadine was also accused of sneaking off when she should be either in Parliament or in her constituency. However this accusation started to wear a bit thin when the media started listing numerous MPs who actually continue part-time employment whilst being paid to be MPs.

Examples included the MP for Bracknell who, it emerged to much consternation, still practices as a Doctor while being in Parliament and another Conservative who earns many tens of thousands every year as a barrister. Not to mention many others who accept significant sums for seemingly small amounts of time - thus prompting curiosity about the motivation that exists to pay them such sums and concern that payment is being received for inappropriate influence.

No doubt Nadine will have a few interesting meetings with her constituency association to look forward to, but overall I think there is little for the Conservative leadership to complain about.

As a result of the expenses scandal in particular, The MP 'brand' is not simply tarnished. Members of Parliament are generally viewed as a corrupt bunch of elitist liars who are completely, arrogantly out of touch with the public.

Nadine's hopes that I'm a Celebrity would provide a platform to discuss a range of political issues with a very large audience were not realised. However, I would argue that a far more important thing was achieved.

It would have been unrealistic to expect that whilst competing for airtime with 12 other celebrities over 11 days, that Nadine could completely change the public's view of Members of Parliament from a staggering low, to a point at which many would enthusiastically vote for her ahead of some reasonably established popular celebrity figures.

But, I think it's fair to say that she did, by her conduct, achieve some changes of mind. Before the series started, it might have been expected that the public would express their dislike of what Nadine represents (Politicians) by voting her for every challenge.

But instead they preferred the drama of Helen Flannagan's panic. Having endured one of the early challenges with surprising dignity Nadine was not voted for further punishment with the daily challenges.

Instead, Nadine quietly and without fuss established herself as a valued member of the group. She showed herself to be overwhelmingly normal and showed a very human and caring side to her nature which will inevitably have disarmed many who may have perceived her as a dreaded Tory MP - someone who would surely be intolerably awful.

So, whilst perhaps I'm a Celebrity was not the platform for airing issues, it was at least a platform to build on in rehabilitating the MP brand and Nadine made a very positive contribution to this by proving that she could muck-in with everyone else and wasnt an out of touch and aloof politician.

It remains to be seen if she will get any credit for this, or if instead she will be pilloried by the Conservative party. If she is, then I suspect she will shrug it off, and those doing the pillorying will just appear aloof and hectoring thus reversing some of the gains which Nadine has made, not simply for herself, but for all Members of Parliament.

After all anyone who can eat a testicle without screaming the place down deserves some respect!

Well done Nadine. You did exceptionally well and deserve some respect for having taking a huge risk and emerging with great dignity.


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