Thank you to Peter Welch for pointing out this article in the News Statesman. It offers some reflections on the Tory cult of celebrity, including the LibDems' favourite, Grant Shapps:
...property expert Kirstie Allsopp is to use her specialist knowledge to lead a Conservative review into buying and selling homes. The Location, Location, Location presenter, who is a friend of Cameron's, will be working with the shadow housing minister, Grant Shapps, on a project to help make it easier for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder. Allsopp said, "All I want to do is make it easier for homebuyers."
The practice of outsourcing policy to television personalities, although tolerated by Tory MPs who are "quite happy to occasionally meet someone famous", is not welcomed by all. One grumpy backbencher is unconvinced, "If Grant Shapps can't do it, fine - let's do it properly and elect Kirstie Allsopp. If she knows more than he does, it makes sense, and she's easier on the eye."
...and further news on Adam Rickitt:
There were huge hopes for Adam Rickitt, a top "name" and actor who appeared in Coronation Street and had a brief career in pop. His last video featured him naked, inexplicably trapped in a Perspex cube. It is not known if he was placed on the A-list in spite, or because, of that.
Unsuccessful in acquiring a safe seat, Rickitt fled to New Zealand to appear in a soap opera. Last month he was arrested in an Auckland supermarket, Pak'nSave, for shoplifting a block of cheese, a jar of coffee and a bottle of HP Sauce. Not so amusing for those whose names were omitted from the A-list in favour of troubled creatures like himself. As one MP pointed out, "Hysterical. It's worthy of the Liberal Democrats."