I'm a Celebrity has proved what we already knew; there's one law of the jungle for men...

Post-junglism isn't a late 90s music scene, it's a very serious condition and anyone can succumb to it

Share

As Nadine Dorries limps home nursing her tick bites and gagging back the residually bilious tides of ostrich anus, she arrives to a social movement known as post-junglism. No, it isn’t a music scene – it’s a condition that means we automatically hate people from the reality TV show I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. It can also apply, in extreme cases, to former Big Brother contestants. Anyone can succumb to it – even the most open-minded of people, even people who don’t watch TV. But the prime cause of it is always a woman. Those bloody women who go on reality shows.

We don’t mind the men who do it: most of the time we vote for them and they win and then we all say, “Oh, worra decent bloke”, and wipe away a tear. But the women are harpies, “mentalists”, strident and unpleasant ball-busters with an agenda, an eye on the prize and a thirst for publicity. Because that guy from Towie who came second last year went on out of the goodness of his heart, paying no heed to the ratings and that wad of jungly cash. Obviously.

But the ones we really reserve our ire for are the lady MPs who try out the format. Nadine Dorries, voted off the show this week, has been the subject of vitriol and mockery from every quarter ever since she went out there. Compare the national reaction to what happened when Lembit Opik went on the same show. Nothing, a few titters, some Cheeky Girls jokes. OK, he wasn’t a sitting MP, but he was rubbish; at least Dorries could light a fire.

I never foresaw an instance in which I might defend Dorries

Perhaps that’s a bad example, because we expect so little from Opik anyway. But what about when Vince Cable was swirling round the Strictly dancefloor weeks after buggering up the BSkyB deal? If that wasn’t fiddling while Rome burned, I don’t know what is, but nobody seemed half as morally thunderstruck by that as they are by Dorries.

It’s like the torrents of abuse that Sally Bercow received – yes, not an MP but a woman in the political sphere nevertheless – the accusations of being patronising, snobbish and “posh”, when she appeared on Celebrity Big Brother. And the comparisons with a sack of potatoes that Ann Widdecombe garnered after appearing on Strictly Come Dancing which, although true, were Not Very Nice.

Double standard

It’s a strange double standard during an era in which we have greedily encouraged politicians to become more human (blame it on Tony Blair’s denim shirt) that the men can reveal their feet of clay, but the women must be professional, suited and seated at all times. I never foresaw an instance in which I might defend Dorries, vile promulgator of odious and arcane views on abortion, and none of this makes me like her any more. But it’s striking, the difference in reaction to her and, say, George Galloway pretending to be a cat.

“We’re told to go where the voters are,” she reasoned before she jetted off, seemingly antithetically, to Australia. But she hasn’t got it entirely wrong: I’m a Celebrity has more viewers than BBC Parliament; it makes for more water-cooler conversations than a rant spot on Any Questions?. Clearly, the producers at ITV weren’t about to allow her to take over the airwaves, agitprop-style, but with a format that derives much of its hold on the nation from crazed outbursts and the espousal of rather “extreme” (that’s the polite word) opinions, she stood a good chance of being heard at some point – and possibly repeatedly rerun on chat shows and news programmes.

Let us not forget Shilpa Shettygate: unedited footage of stupid people saying stupid things quite often makes up the bulk of our news rosters. So the indignation about Dorries absconding from her duties, being disrespectful to her constituents and the electorate, and forgetting her priorities is merely a handy shorthand for us already disliking her intensely. Had she been an MP we agreed with, held in esteem or simply didn’t mind, she’d have been a ray of sunshine on the show, a humane presence in Westminster when she came back – ultimately, one of us.

Don't give your loved one a onesie this Christmas

It's the British Fashion Awards next week, but I'm flummoxed as to what we can possibly have to celebrate sartorially as a nation given the news, on the one hand, that the "onesie" (an all-in-one suit made from technofleece) is set to be the biggest-selling Christmas gift, and, on the other, that sales of "sexy bedroom outfits" have gone up 263 per cent in the past month.

Who is buying this stuff? I can't help but feel that the craze for loungewear is the sort of thing that future generations will look back at and see either as an uncouth disgrace, (should our children's children's children be a race of ultra-formal neo-Victorians - here's hoping) or as the beginning of the end (should they, more likely, turn into a race of slobs who only ever stand up to empty their onesies of effluent).

Still, it makes a nice change for the best-selling Christmas gift to be: a) under a tenner; and b) not a talking Elmo doll.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Taking on Ukip requires a delicate balancing act for both main parties

Andrew Grice
Today is a bigger Shabbes than usual in the Jewish world because it has been chosen to launch the Shabbos Project  

Shabbes exerts a pull on all Jews, and today is bigger than ever

Howard Jacobson
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker