Alice Jones: No, no, Nadine – this isn’t the way to a girl’s heart

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The Independent Online

It has been a good week to bury news, or, if you’re Nadine Dorries, loopy legislation. On Wednesday the Conservative MP presented a bill calling on schoolgirls to be given extra sex education lessons on the benefits of saying no. Yes, just schoolgirls – boys can say yes, yes, yes all they like.

Dorries, of course, has form in unsisterly politicking, having campaigned for the lowering of the time limit for abortions from 24 to 21 weeks and against allwomen shortlists not to mention becoming embroiled in an entirely silly debate about high heels in the workplace. It’s not simply that the abstinence bill is insidiously sexist and misguided, nor even that it is, to quote Chris Bryant, “the daftest piece of legislation I have seen”, but it is also hopelessly out of touch. Doesn’t Dorries realise that if you really want to preach to teenage girls, all you need is a hot vampire and a muscle-bound werewolf ? Compared with Dorries’ latest piece of idiocy, the Twilight novels are positively Tolstoyan in their understanding of the complexities of sex.

Seven days later and now that that nice Cambridge couple have settled back into “normal life” after that little bash you might have read about in the newspapers, there’s a relentless, contradictory urge to portray Kate Middleton, as was, as Princess Ordinary. First came much swooning over the Zara dress and LK Bennett wedges (last season’s! gasp!) she wore for her going-away outfit and, yesterday, pictures of her PUSHING HER OWN TROLLEY in Waitrose, wearing a green poncho and flat shoes. Of course, though, Princess – or Duchess – Ordinary is nothing of the sort. If she was, she probably wouldn’t have worn a £250,000 dress the day before airing her High Street honeymoon look, or be stalked in the freezer aisle by three police bodyguards and tailed in the supermarket car park by a back-up vehicle. Nor would she be followed by the globe’s paparazzi while doing the mundane tasks most ordinary people undertake without a single flashbulb going off. The fact is, Kate Middleton has moved on from being one of us; perhaps we should move on too.

There are some things we mere mortals will never be permitted to understand, like why BBC executives are paid so much – and yet, according to Director General Mark Thompson (salary: £838,000), have barely enough to get by.

If we knew what they did all day, perhaps we could fathom it. What’s clear, though, is that they don’t spend their precious time sweating the small stuff – like thinking up inspiring and imaginative titles.

This week, BBC2 added a programme to their new spring roster – joining Britain’s Next Big, umm, Thing was Children’s Craniofacial Surgery. Yes, it did what it said on the tin but surely this is taking the BBC’s policy of absolute transparency a little too far.