Crusading Tory MP Nadine Dorries has defended her arduous trek into the Australian jungle in the hope of persuading the people she meets there that late-term abortion is just not on.
Ms. Dorries says, “I am spreading the word that the time limit on abortions must drop from 24 to 20 weeks, or ideally to a fortnight.”
Touching down in Queensland, Ms. Dorries observes: “Australia is no longer the barely civilised colonial outpost it was when Paul Hogan was in charge. They now have so much respect for women they have one as prime minister, Sheila something or other.
Ms. Dorries admits she knows little about Australian culture, but sees that as simpjuly part of the challenge: “I want to explode the many myths about these elusive people. For instance, that they wear very few clothes and have a language with no written form.”
Ms. Dorries is not undertaking this expedition single-handed, and has assembled a team of specialists.
“We are under the supervision of two seasoned jungalists, Anthony and Declan,” she explains, "and everyone is hand-picked for this mission. There’s a doctor, a cook, a comedian, I presume to keep our spirits up, and a pussycat doll, which I’m sure will enchant the native children.”
Even so, she remains in little doubt of the hardships ahead: “Oh, we will need to eat wild fruits, roots and meat from any animal we can spear, but almost everything I buy at Waitrose is organic anyway, so I think I’ll fare better than most.”
When asked what a typical Australian would make of her own constituency she laughs, and says: “Lunch, probably. No, ha ha, I’m joking. They stopped all the cannibalism years ago.
“No, I think they would like my little neck of the woods. We’ve got a delightful heritage centre, and there’s a very nice Debenhams with a café.”
However, she is less sure what the locals would make of a visitor from down under.
“Goodness me, no.” she shrieks, “Our little corner of Bedfordshire’s not that exotic. A Vietnamese family visited last Easter, and look we're still talking about it now.”
Meanwhile, in Ms. Dorries' Mid Beds constituency, celebrations carried on into the night with few people seemingly bothered that her missionary expedition would leave them without an MP. Indeed, many express disappointment that they weren’t able to offer her more support.
Jim Cartwright, a freelance gravedigger, says: “I wish we’d thought of it years ago. If only there was somewhere further away we could have sent her.”
Her constituents even have a new nickname for her, "Crocodile Dorries".
"Not cos she's in Oz," reveals Cartwright, "but because she's got a big mouth that terrifies people whenever she opens it."