This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 at 10:52 am and is filed under Tories! Tories! Tories!.


I have just received the following response to my complaint to The One Show that followed a pre-recorded segment by Nadine Dorries that included the often challenged, but still unsubstantiated claim about 7-year-old children being shown how to put a condom on a banana as part of a formal sex education programme in some schools (more):

Dear Mr Ireland

Reference CAS-785874-T4N7Z8

Thanks for contacting us regarding ‘The One Show’ on BBC One. I apologise for the slight delay in replying.

I note you were concerned about the accuracy of the comments made by Nadine Dorries MP on the 20 May edition of the programme.

‘The One Show’ production team has provided the following response to complaints of this nature:

“In her unedited interview with Jane Lees Chair of the Sex Education Forum, Nadine Dorris [sic] claimed that she went to her daughter’s school and accompanied her to a lesson where the teacher put a condom on a banana. She added she’s seen even more explicit material aimed at seven year olds.

“Nadine Dorris [sic] has told the production team that she had been contacted by whistleblowers who support her assertion that some sex education lessons for seven year olds do involve bananas and condoms. However, she declined to pass on their details.

“Researching Nadine’s comments I don’t think she’s ever claimed it’s endemic, just that it happens.

“This was a personal opinion piece clearly signed as such. The production team were not in a position to dispute Nadine’s claim therefore we thought it acceptable to broadcast her view in the context of a personal opinion piece.

“However, we did insist that Nadine’s position was challenged within the piece with Jane Lees stating her bill was “not a comprehensive programme”.

“In the course of the interview Jane Lees appeared to concur that inappropriate teaching aids are on occasion used on very young children: “There is a great deal of material out there as we know some of it’s good and some of its rubbish and some of it is irresponsible but actually schools have the control and the responsibility about what’s used.”

“Taken as a whole we believe our viewers would have clearly understood that the views expressed were Nadine’s – and accepted that there were other perspectives on this controversial topic.”

I’d assure you your concerns have been registered on our audience log, which is a daily report of audience feedback that’s circulated to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers.

Thanks again for taking the trouble to contact us.

Kind Regards

Lucia Fortucci
BBC Complaints
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

Putting aside how thoroughly inadequate this response is and how pathetic this particular ‘challenge’ to Dorries was, we are now at least a step closer to finding out which school(s)/district(s) Nadine Dorries claims is exposing 7-year-old children to sex education that is so explicit, it involves showing these very young children how to apply a condom to a banana.

To repeat the relevant passage:

“Nadine Dorris [sic] claimed that she went to her daughter’s school and accompanied her to a lesson where the teacher put a condom on a banana. She added she’s seen even more explicit material aimed at seven year olds.

“Nadine Dorris has told the production team that she had been contacted by whistleblowers who support her assertion that some sex education lessons for seven year olds do involve bananas and condoms. However, she declined to pass on their details.

If we are to discount what I can only assume to be (at best) hearsay from unnamed whistle-blowers, we are left with the single event that Dorries claims to have witnessed herself:

Nadine Dorris [sic] claimed that she went to her daughter’s school and accompanied her to a lesson where the teacher put a condom on a banana.

Now, there are two obvious problems with further investigation here, and they are as follows:

a) Nadine Dorries has a documented track record of misleading her constituents about which school(s) her daughters have attended, and though she pretends it is due to unwelcome attention from four alleged stalkers, she has failed at every opportunity to produce the relevant evidence

b) It is clear from her attempt to lie about one police investigation and politicise another that Dorries is likely to use exaggerated if not entirely calculated hysterics in order to avoid producing evidence that probably never existed in the first place

So, knowing that Nadine Dorries requires her staff to trawl through tweeted/blogged material from the people she describes as her “haters”, I will politely extend the following invitation:

Nadine Dorries has until close of business today to name any school/district in the UK where she claims 7-year-old children have been shown how to put a condom on a banana as part of a past/present sex education curriculum… then I start digging for the answers myself.

This courtesy should allow Nadine Dorries to name a school or district that may or may not be not connected to her daughter(s)… assuming she and her alleged whistle blowers are telling the truth.

Alternatively, she may choose to admit that she cannot produce any evidence to support her claim that 7-year-old children have been shown how to put a condom on a banana as part of the sex education curriculum in some schools.

More likely, I suspect she will avoid producing any evidence and seek to mask this failure with partly if not entirely feigned hysterics about protecting her children.

Me, my concerns extend a little wider than her children, or even mine; I worry about the potential impact on all school-aged children if she is telling the truth, and I worry about the potential impact on all school-aged children if she is using a dangerous lie to push her abstinence agenda.