Keeping Up With the Danczuks: Karen’s ‘journey’ and Simon’s inner Jade Goody
Keeping Up With The Danczuks: in today’s instalment of the twitter-based reality TV show, MP Simon Danczuk says:
“I must have been hell to live with. I’d say horrible things to Karen”
Simon and Karen Danczuk are doing their bit to change perceptions of their native Rochdale. Once a place where secrets of sex and power were locked away to fester, Rochale is now where dirty laundry is hung still moist and run up the flagpole.
Carol Midgley meets Simon in Manchester. Will the Danczuks be reconciling?
“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he says, sadly. “No, we’ve been through too much; too much water’s gone under the bridge. It’s not going to happen — but that’s life.”
The conversation turns to his depression:
He regrets not getting help earlier and trying to “self-medicate” with alcohol, a bottle or more of wine a night. After their break-up, his wife went on Twitter to call him an “arrogant alcoholic” but later praised him when he admitted having depression. Danczuk says he isn’t an alcoholic — “I was clearly drinking too much, no doubt about that but I wouldn’t consider myself an alcoholic. Some days I don’t have a drink at all now” — but does describe himself as a workaholic.
He cried on BBC Radio 4:
“I was really angry with myself,” he says. “I’m from a working-class family in Burnley: you don’t cry; that’s not what you do. I got home and I was angry with Karen [saying,] ‘You don’t know what’s [just] happened’.”
“I’d lie in bed in London with suicidal thoughts… Not every day, but you’d just have a low period or something. Drink is a depressant anyway so if you’ve had four or five pints the night before you wake up thinking: ‘God, I feel s*** about myself.’”
Midgley than lays a glove on the media loving Danzuk:
Danczuk seems to be that rarest of creatures: an unguarded politician. Or at least he makes it appear that way.
Ding! Dancuk seems keen to tell his own story, getting in first and hardest with the ‘truth’.
Ask him a question and he seems to answer emotionally, from the hip, not to calculate how it might play out (he was awarded this year’s Contrarian Prize, which seeks to recognise individuals in public life who demonstrate independence of thought, courage and conviction in their actions).
He is self-deprecating, which is a often a likeable trait. If you can’t gain fame by being thick and unchallenging, like the late Jade Goody or the dumb-to-deadline Joey Essex, present yourself as guileless, an open book accessed through serialisation rights.
In reply to a question on what he used to get upset about, he replies:
“Oh, the most mundane things. Domestic things. I must have been hell to live with, actually. I would say some horrible things to Karen as well, really not nice and I regret it.” Does she understand? “Yes, she’s quite forgiving. We’ll remain good friends because we are good friends. I know she’s been through a lot in her own life. I think we’ve helped each other in many ways.”
And on Karen Danczuks, who claims to have been sexually abused when young and is now keen to celebrate her newfound confidence by showing everyone her bust and aiming for a media career:
“I think she’s been on a journey…”
This is the language of cod, X-Factory-style therapy. Has anyone – and show of hands, please – ever heard a friend tell them they’ve been on a journey? And if they did, did you ask them if they went “somewhere nice”; or did you shed a tear, fan your face with your hands, offer them a hug and put them though to the next round of the popularity contest?
This is Danczuk who invited his Twitter followers to look at his estranged wife in tight gym logo-ed top and “favourite” the tweet if they found it #tacky or retweet it if they found it #classy.
This seems an extraordinarily unwise thing for an MP to do (for the record 303 favourited, 75 retweeted). He reportedly said that she had sworn on their sons’ lives that she had not and that he now believed her.
Why not swear on her own life? Why bring the kids lives into it?
“You might describe it as a soap opera. I just think it’s life. People split up, they get angry, and they send tweets. It’s just that everybody reads our tweets.”
And if they don’t, you’re available to tell them about your love and sex in the Press.
“I have no regrets because I take a view of being pretty honest about life and politics. I tell it how it is and give insight into the life of an average politician. I’m an ordinary guy that does politics.”
Danczuk realises that truth is alluring. Adrienne Rich offers insight:
The possibilities that exist between two people, or among a group of people, are a kind of alchemy. They are the most interesting thing in life. The liar is someone who keeps losing sight of these possibilities.
When relationships are determined by manipulation, by the need for control, they may possess a dreary, bickering kind of drama, but they cease to be interesting. They are repetitious; the shock of human possibilities has ceased to reverberate through them.
The key to fame: bare it all and remain relevant.