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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Geography Teacher

£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...

Do you want to work in Education?

£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...

Private Client Senior Manager - Sheffield

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Arts Editor: The Great Character Actors of Football

David Lister
 

What I saw on the night my husband was hit by a car

Rebecca Armstrong
Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players