Matt Hancock to be on I’m a Celebrity? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

Here’s the story:

So: disgraced former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who was removed from office after being caught on CCTV having a lockdown-busting snog with someone who wasn’t his wife, is to be a contestant on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.

The problem is that he is still a sitting member of Parliament and, while he might insist that his office staff will continue to provide an adequate service to his West Suffolk constituents, he still won’t be in Parliament to take part in important votes during most of November.

It’s no wonder the Conservative Party has withdrawn its whip from him, then.

There’s a lot of commentary on this. Let’s have a couple of videos:

I love the comment about Hancock being “in a jungle, sucking on a worm”. Is his girlfriend also going to Australia, then?

And is it a justifiable criticism to suggest that Hancock is stealing his MP salary, because he is taking reality TV money as well?

Sorry everyone, but here’s Ann Widdecombe:

I’m willing to bet she does watch the show, in the end.

Her other points seem good, though. Hancock wants to raise his profile but, by doing so, he’s betraying the dignity of his office. He wants to raise awareness of a dyslexia campaign – but it will probably be edited out of televised episodes of the show.

But what do members of the public think?

I asked readers of the Vox Political Facebook page – and it’s fair to say the question attracted quite a few responses, in spite of the algorithm that restricts readership to only around 350 of the 42,000 people who follow the site there.

“I don’t usually vote for who does the trials, but this year I’m looking forward to voting, hope Hancock is ready,” wrote Rose Dixon. This may be an idea whose time has come.

Helen Selling seems to think so: “I’d be astonished if he didn’t get more votes to do foul tasks than all the others put together.” But she also stated: “ITV have probably given him at least twice the usual ‘celebrity’ fee because they know without a doubt they will rake in millions from all the people in the UK who will ring in because they have good reason to hate Hancock more than any other ‘celebrity’ ever.” That’s a depressing thought.

“He’s absent from work without any valid reason – that would be the sack in most places of employment,” pointed out Lisbeta Ingles. “Just suspending the whip isn’t enough.”

Fiona Dowdeswell Simmons may have commented for us all when she stated: “I’m hoping against hope that he gets lost in the jungle and at times there’ll be future random sightings of him waving a cobbled together spear while snarling.”

Andy Wrathbone may have been more realistic with this offering: “Just goes to show how desperate the media are for celebrities i guess. I hope the vile Tory mollusc chokes on a cockroach… (apologies to the cockroach)…Unless HE IS the Cockroach ,(perfectly feasible), In which case I retract my original Cockroach apology and hope he chokes on a Scorpion, (apologies to the Scorpion).”

Why is he going? Brian O’Reilly has a thought about that: “It might have something to do with him been responsible for the deaths of thousands of elderly people when he said we have put a ring around care homes and then sent people from hospital back into care homes without checking if they had Covid.”

Adding to this, here’s Andrew Turner: “Well somebody is keeping up the tradition of exporting criminals to Aussie..Hope he gets a one way ticket.”

But this leads us on to a new question – of public perception. Rob Allen makes the point well: “Disgrace. The man is appalling- yet watch the public ‘relate’ to him despite the tragic consequences of his tenure. People who had or have family in nursing homes know this well. What a nation of idiots we have become.”

Is this the plan – for Hancock to be rehabilitated in the eyes of the public, despite the many thousands of deaths for which he is principally responsible? If so, it’s our duty to make sure the attempt fails.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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