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

Teaching Assistant

£12024: Randstad Education Leeds: Teaching Assistant September 2014 start - te...

Physics Teacher

£130 - £162 per day + UPS: Randstad Education Hull: Physics Teacher Long Term ...

IT Technician (1st/2nd line support) - Leatherhead, Surrey

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Technician (1st/2nd line support)...

Primary Teacher EYFS, KS1 and KS2

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's letter: Summer holidays are here... so what to do with the children?

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
 

The daily catch-up: knitting, why Ed wants to be PM and a colloquium of Indy-pedants

John Rentoul
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn