It’s unusual when we see a politician wearing anything other than a suit. They don’t normally speak like “you and I” and if I’m like any other people in the UK, what they say can seem strained, doctored and sometimes boring, sometimes infuriating. There are scandals about expenses, scandals about sex, scandals about inappropriate text messages.
But in a world where some people’s motives to appear on reality TV shows are no greater than to earn some cash and raise their celebrity profile a bit, Nadine Dorries took a step out of her normal world of politics to sign up to UK ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
Why would a woman of her public standing and in her line of work (local Conservatory Member of Parliament) want to live in an Australian jungle, tethered to a fellow contestant, being set challenges which include eating all manner of creepy crawlies, dead and alive?
She wanted to raise the profile of the causes close to her heart – including making sure the NHS abortion clinics offers counselling to women. She wanted to become real and identifyable to her constituents, rather than just a stuffed suit in office. In her own words, “What they got was an impression of a woman from their own background who was interested in engaging with their world and was untainted by the stuffy rigidity of the Westminster bubble.”
And regardless of whether or not I agree with all of her views or if the Prime Minister thinks it was a suitable thing for Nadine to do, I am personally inspired by a woman who decided to do something unusual, which she knew would be controversial, that would not be a personal comfortable holiday, to show herself as a normal human being who wanted to be closer to those she wished to serve from her position.
To read and hear about the lack of support from her own political party and the general flack she has received for this bold and brave move, must have been discouraging for her. But she says she doesn’t regret it. She did what she set out to do – burst out of the Westminister bubble as she put it and become more real. I think I’ll pay more attention to whatever she says next.
More: visit Nadine’s blog here