Nadine Dorries and the alleged ‘condom on a banana’ event
We begin where we left this yesterday; when Nadine Dorries was given the courtesy of a day to produce evidence, better explain herself, and/or withdraw some if not all of her claims about condoms and bananas before I started digging into the detail:
“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. – Email response from BBC / The One Show
There are many people who seek to give Nadine Dorries the benefit of the doubt to the extent that they speculate she may be confused about the difference between a child that is 7 years old (i.e. in Year 3, their first year of Junior school, the latter half of Primary school) and a child that is in Year 7 at school (i.e. 11 years old, and in their first year of Secondary school). However, this response from The One Show is quite clear about claims relating to 7-year-old children, and rather than retreat from the initial claim or clarify it, Nadine Dorries has sought to repeat it, and been very clear that she is talking about 7-year-old children (and not 11/12-year-old children in year 7 at school) being exposed to condoms and bananas:
Teaching a child of seven to apply a condom to a banana, without telling them that they do not have an obligation to go and do it, is almost like saying, “Now go and try this for yourself.” – Nadine Dorries, 4 May 2011
That said, while Dorries has been very, very confused about numbers before now (in a way that is not easily excused, even with her alleged dyslexia), when we isolate the daughter/witness claim from the surrounding claims and implications about what may or may have been shown to 7-year-old children, a curious thing happens:
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.
As you can see, though she appears to imply that she has personally witnessed children as young as 7 being exposed to an intimate meeting between a banana and a condom, no age of the daughter/students is specified for the single event she claims to have seen with her own eyes. In fact, the following assertions on her not-a-blog appear to be based mainly if not wholly on what she claims she was told by “whistleblowers” she will not name (i.e. the kind of anecdotal toss Dorries relies on all too often, and tellingly refers to as “evidence I’ve heard”):
The thrust* was that girls as young as seven are taught about intercourse, safe sex, how to apply a condom on a banana, where to get condoms, how to detect an STI and that they don’t need to tell their parents anything. – Nadine Dorries, 4 May 2011
… young girls are being taught to apply a condom to a banana for the third time during their education at age 13… – Nadine Dorries, 13 May 2011
Getting back to what Dorries claims to have personally witnessed in the company of an unspecified daughter, we also have the following from the archives of her not-a-blog:
My fifteen year old is still naive, still a mummy’s girl, and still believes everything I say. The day they were being taught at school how to place a condom on a banana, I almost wept with relief that she was ill. Omigod! Am I becoming the next Mary Whitehouse? – Nadine Dorries, 10 February 2007
And anyway, what kind of government is it that thinks it’s right to provide lessons to 13 year old girls on how to place a condom on a banana and not realise that the subliminal message is ‘now go and try that yourself’? – Nadine Dorries, 30 September 2009
1. If this daughter believes everything Dorries says, then there’s no way she’ll be getting pregnant anytime soon, because she’ll be trying to avoid having a hole punched in her womb.
2. If this were the blog of that tabloid dirtbag Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) and we lived in an alternate universe where that pathetic lying drunkard dared to say ‘boo’ to the most corrupt MP in the House, this post would begin and end with the first quote and a stark assertion (if not heavy implication) that Dorries lied about witnessing the event. I am hoping you expect a little more of me, and in any case, I hope to deliver more. The devil’s in the detail; that’s why tabloid scum peddle seemingly easy answers.
3. Mary Whitehouse may have been a reactionary bigot, but at least she was honest (AFAIK).
4. Dorries is wrong to suggest that any government is to blame for any of her daughters being shown how to put a condom on banana. There is nothing in any of the relevant legislation that calls for deployment of bananas or condoms, although some detail on the latter should be expected by Secondary school, as required under the Education Act 1996 (which was introduced by a Tory government, not the Labour government Dorries sought to blame in the relevant 2009 post).
5. And Secondary school is clearly what Dorries is talking about here, not Primary school (Secondary school begins at age 11).
6. If we are to assume that Dorries is being truthful about her claim to have “accompanied her [daughter] to a lesson where the teacher put a condom on a banana”, the most logical assumption one can make from the first statement is that she witnessed this event later with the same daughter or earlier with an older daughter, but none of this is likely to have happened any later than 2005 (i.e. when the youngest daughter referenced above was 13).
7. Therefore, without any gratuitous/unnecessary naming of daughters’ names and/or airing of details about what may or may not be fairly regarded as details of their/Dorries’ private life and/or whereabouts** (see: not the blog of tabloid dirtbag Iain Dale, Dorries herself, or the thug mate they both rely on to do their dirty work from time to time), I can tell you with some confidence that this leaves us with a single likely school at which the alleged mother/daughter experience of a banana/condom collision is supposed to have taken place.
So now it is a simple matter of asking the good people in charge of that school if they include showing 13-year-old children how to put a condom on a banana as part of their sex education program. Don’t worry; I have mentally prepared myself for the shock that Dorries may not have been entirely… accurate about what she has claimed.
Mind you, even if she does turn out to have been telling a truth of sorts in this instance, the subsequent revelation would do absolutely nothing to substantiate Dorries’ repeated claims and implications that 7-year-old children in the UK have been exposed to condoms on bananas and “even more explicit material” (more). Claims that are as serious and potentially damaging as these demand evidence, and Dorries has repeatedly failed to produce or even specify said evidence, despite many challenges from several different interested parties.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to ask a certain school administrator a series of rather awkward questions about phallic fruit and prophylactics. I’ll be back soon, hopefully with some direct and informative answers. Until then, I ask you to be patient, and sheath your bananas.
(But, please… not in front of children.)
[*Thrust?! Was this really the best word to use, Nadine?]
[**All three daughters are now adults and all have been employed by Dorries out of the taxpayers' pocket. Subsequently, some might start and finish the conversation at 'fair game' and they may have a point but, somewhat ironically, due to Dorries own extraordinary indiscretions, there is no need to name them here, so I don't name them. Simple as that. Further, the relevant school is made obvious by material that Dorries herself has broadcast into the public domain, but there is no need to name it here, so I do not name it, or even link to the source that clinches it. By contrast, Nadine Dorries has knowingly linked to a site that offers step-by-step instructions on how to find my house. Police have kindly passed along an urgent request that she remove this link, but Dorries has refused. Nice.]
UPDATE (20 June) – There is more detail to come, but for now I can confidently state that there is NO TRUTH to the claim that Nadine Dorries “went to her daughter’s school and accompanied her to a lesson where the teacher put a condom on a banana”. I expect she saw this coming and this is what has prompted the recent extraordinary outbursts on her site (which I will respond to in a separate post later today or tomorrow).