Coffee House

Nadine Dorries: Why shouldn’t a working class MP take a few days off?

29 November 2012

12:26 PM

29 November 2012

12:26 PM

Fresh from the jungle, Nadine Dorries is the Spectator’s diarist for this week. As well as observing that each of her 11 fellow contestants on I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here! was ‘probably more right wing than I am’, she also explains why she thought it was acceptable for a ‘working class woman to take a few parliamentary days off’ to go on the show, writing:

Many MPs take jollies from the House of Commons, but in seven years I have never spent a day away from my Westminster duties. This is why I thought I would be allowed to devote a few days of my holiday to a reality TV show. As far as I could see, the Conservative party is intensely relaxed about such absences. Some of its MPs have full-time careers in the City, others run family businesses or write books. We even, via coalition, have Vince Cable, who foxtrotted his way through Strictly Come Dancing. As Parliament was on recess for a week, I thought: no big deal. I thought wrong. Andrew Mitchell, chief whip at the time, announced that I had not asked for permission. (I later found out that he made his pronouncement from his own holiday in Antigua.) The hypocrisy is appalling. An MP can take three weeks off with his legal ‘clients’ and the whips don’t care. But if a working-class woman wants to take a few parliamentary days off — participating in a show watched by millions of ordinary voters — then it’s seen as high treason.

Dorries remains firmly of the belief that even eating a camel toe will help her ‘win a hearing from people who hate politics. Or who normally hate politics’, arguing that the viewers of I’m a Celebrity are the ‘people Tory politicians find difficult to reach (unless you’re a pint of Carling or your name is Boris)’. She had one meeting this week with chief whip Sir George Young, and will have another next week to decide her future as a Conservative MP: it might be a good idea not to earn herself a fair hearing with Sir George by trying to serve him camel toe, though.

You can read the full diary here, or on our new iPad app, which is free for a month.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • Stephen Boothby

    If all politicians relieved themselves in public that would not make it right, would it? Jumping on the bandwagon is still wrong Nadine.

  • Noa

    “Dorries remains firmly of the belief that even eating a camel toe will help her ‘win a hearing from people who hate politics.”

    Do Dorries and the Spectator understand the sexual ambiguity of ‘camel toe’? Do they care?

    • Fergus Pickering

      I don’t understand the sexual ambiguity. Does camel toe mean huge animal penis? How does it?

  • Robert_Eve

    Good for Nadine.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    So the Cameroons are still trying to punish this backbench woman? I guess they need for her to know her place, which isn’t crossing the Cameroons in any way.

    I bet the UKIPers are watching all this with some interest.

  • GaryEssex

    What’s “working class” got to do with this? Surely, you cannot both be an MP (on an MP’s salary) and call yourself working class. You may well have working-class origins (big deal), but that’s another story.

  • RKing

    So when is the Squeeker going to bring Gordon Brown to order?
    It’s absolutely disgracefull that he can get away with it for so long and still draw his full salary and probably expensis as well.

    As for Nadine…… silly bitch!!

  • swatantra

    I’m with dishy blue eyed blonde Nadine on this. You don’t get many working class Tories, or even working class Labour MPs, on the Green Benches these days.
    Think of it as an Awaday or ‘A Journey’. All come out of these reality shows a bit more enlightened with a greater degree of self awareness and a realisation of their faults. In brief they become more rounded persons. Nadine was bossy and controlling and bloody minded when she went in. She’s still probably the same now, but at least she knows it.

  • Chris

    Is “working class” Nadine’s new rhetoric? She seems to be going to great lengths to convince people she’s OK because “I’M ONE OF YOU!”. Oh, and drop “woman” in there a couple of times. Make it clear that any decision against her is a sexist one.

    Though I’m amazed you managed to find a quote that didn’t mention scouser, council estates or the fact she used to be a nurse.

  • HooksLaw

    This is pathetic. MPs have long holidays. She is not some ‘working class’ employee who has two weeks off each year at ‘wakes week’. She is an MP who is meant to be regularly on call and in touch. It, as they say, goes with the terretory.

    It is embarrassing and shaming that this woman professes to be a tory. Pretty soon she will be defecting and taking her prima and her donna to UKIP, assuming her constituency do not deselect her first.

    the other pathetic thing is that The Spectator should give her even more self serving airtime.

    • Coffeehousewall

      The fact is that a great many MPs don’t attend the House or vote. Look at Gordon Brown’s appalling record. That being the case there seems to be no reason to pick on Dorries in particular for missing a few days.

  • Steve Tierney

    Fair play to her. I don’t think she did any harm and may have done some good. Her points about the way she has been treated are broadly correct, I think. If a little dramatically stated.

  • DavidDP

    “if a working-class woman ”
    It’s nothing to do with you being working class. Why don’t you go and join the Labour party which tends to see everything through class warfare? You’d seem to be much more at home there.

  • Jon

    Can her “working class staff” have day off without informing her before hand? (Her daughter doesn’t count as staff…)

    • Coffeehousewall

      She had asked for time off and was granted it.