Thursday, November 22, 2012

@NadineDorriesMP is out of there... some after-thoughts

So Nadine Dorries is finally out the jungle and more than likely right now relaxing in warm dry bed somewhere having eaten a luxurious meal on the ITV account.

The furore has not of course died down, especially for the outraged plebs (tm A. Mitchell) who range from the always angry Daily Mail readers, to Guardian loving lefties, to her own personal Internet Hate Club (membership of which requires one to consider anything the woman does or utters to be wrong simply because it was said or done by her and boy oh boy we will retweet it across our little echo chamber until the cows come home).

So now, as the dust still flies and is yet to settle let's take a little look at some of that outrage.

Before we begin kids let's first lay some cards on the table. I know Nadine. I have her mobile number. She lives near me. I even had dinner at her house once in the kitchen - this was the house that had an aerial shot printed in the Telegraph and looked like a mansion, although in reality it was actually a small end of terrace but we shan't let reality get in the way of a good story.

Given all of this you may choose to read this thinking any one of the following:
  1. As Nadine is a 'mate' everything that follows should be dismissed out of hand. Dizzy's circumstances of association mean that his argument is wrong, period.
  2. This is all spin on behalf of Nadine and probably orchestrated by her.
  3. This is just a blog post that is Dizzy's personal opinions on some of the things thaat have been written and said.
Good? Understood? Excellent! So, there are quite a few absurdities that exist around this little tale in my view, so here are the ones I can think of right now:

1: Nadine 'abandoned' her constituents - Really? Seriously? If you believe this then you have, iny view, a very odd idea on what abandonment amounts too. For a start an MP has staff and you'd have to be a raving moron to not realise that it is the staff that do all the hard work.

Whether that is research in the Parliamentary office, or casework in the constituency office, there is far more than just the MP. How do think Ministers cope with ministerial work and their constituency? I realise it sounds very outrageous when wrapped in phrases like abandonment but such terms negate the reality of what MPs actually do and how a constituency works.

Do we see reams of column inches when MPs go on free foreign visits in Parliamentary time because their members of All-Parliamentary groups interested in chocolate, beer or cheese? Of course we don't. Perhaps we should but then most people don't hear about these groups or read the Register of Interests or Hansard, so they don't know.

2: Ah yes... But Nadine's constituency office sucks when she's here so her lack of presence makes it worse! - Let me get this straight. She sucks and her office sucks but you want the level of suckage to be less but still sucky? OK.. whatever floats your boat I guess.

3: Nadine should be recalled sign our petition! - there is no recall law so good luck with that, and even there was your petition is signed by people who are not even her constituents. What's more the fact it has less than 1000 signatures is, ironically enough, evidence of just how little people care for politics something that Nadine (believe her or not) said was her motivation for going on the show in the first place.

4: Nadine has held Parliament in contempt by buggering off to the jungle! - Isn't it funny how those MPs who rarely show up but don't get coverage are not vilified in the same terms? I'm not saying that two wrongs make a right rather I'm observing the inconsistency with which such charges are levelled.

Of course there is something more going on here, and that's the rather lofty ivory tower view of Parliament and MPs. The implication that to go on a popular TV show is somehow base and demeaning to the position of MP in society. Its little more than that inverted snobbery on the part of her detractors outside Parliament and ridiculous self-important arrogance on the part of those inside.

Its kind of funny in a way that the very people outraged by the so-called demeaning populist nature of the show have not realised that by doing so they're insulting millions of people watching and also the people who have gone on it. After all, if it's demeaning in somewhere for an MP that the implication is that MPs are somehow more important than the rest of us, that they should be held up on a pedestal, something which is patently bollocks.

The manner in which such attacks have come from all sides of the political spectrum through commentary actually tells you more about the intellectual snobbery of the people saying it than it does about the target of such attacks. From the Right the charges come from arrogant stuck-up numpties who think that culture that is not "high" is worthless. From the Left the charges come from people who make claims to love the working classes, the so-called 99%, whilst simultaneously implying that those very people are fools for watching such palpable crap.

The reality of this latest reality show tale seems to have a few obvious conclusions to me.

Firstly, that the outrage of Nadine's appearance of the show is held within the echo chamber of those who have some inkling of an interest in politics already and they make up a small minority; second, that there is a general misunderstanding of what actual practical day-today political work consists of for an MP; and thirdly that there is a rather odd view amongst the aforementioned politically-interested seem to have a view that politicians are more important than ordinary people and ergo should not attempt to engage in acts that might attempt to engage ordinary people if those acts are deemed by the same high-minded people to be populist and low.

* Please note that comments may take some time to be published because I'm busy elsewhere. No one is being censored, and if you leave a comment saying "why has my comment not been published  Scared?" I will publish it and mock you for being a conspiracy theory loving loony.

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