The National:

THERE were a lot of fascinating moments in Nadine Dorries’s session with the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

From describing her own children as “snowflakes” to suggesting criticism of her within the arts sector is to do with sexism, the UK Government’s Culture Secretary wasn’t doing herself any favours.

But in one particular moment shared thousands of times across social media, the Conservative MP demonstrated the big problem with Boris Johnson’s Cabinet members.

MPs asked the minister about the future of Channel 4 – which is now being privatised by the UK Government.

Asked if there was more or less of a chance of the UK Government privatising the broadcaster with Dorries in her new role, she couldn’t give the committee an answer as she hadn’t “made a decision”.

READ MORE: Channel 4: Ruth Davidson attacks Government over privatisation plan

Dorries went on: “I would argue that to say that just because Channel 4’s been established as a public service broadcaster, and just because it’s in receipt of public money, we should never kind of audit the future of Channel 4 and we should never evaluate how Channel 4 looks in the future, and whether or not it’s a sustainable and valuable model, it’s quite right that the Government should do that.”

It was another Conservative MP, Damian Green, who cut in to point out something key (and looked extremely confused).

“But Channel 4’s not like the BBC,” he told Dorries. “It’s not in receipt of licence fee money. It makes its money from commercial operations.”

Green is quite right. Channel 4, despite its public status, earns its funding entirely through commercial activities. According to their own website: “Most of our income comes from advertising revenue.” Anyone can even look through the broadcaster’s financial statements, where this is confirmed.

In response, Dorries flailed. “And … so … although it’s … yeah … and …”

She was saved as Sarah Healy, the permanent secretary of Dorries’s department, cut in. But Dorries didn’t take the time to sit back and feel relieved. She kept going and interrupted to say that conversations about the future of Channel 4 have been going on before the recent Cabinet reshuffle. She then added she was “just as I was looking to Sarah to clarify what you said on the funding”. Yikes.

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Dorries demonstrates the lack of preparedness and understanding of key issues in the Cabinet. It’s what former chief adviser Dominic Cummings is talking about when he claims the Prime Minister didn’t understand crucial elements of his own Brexit deal.  

The current Tory Cabinet really doesn’t care about important details because it’s all about ideology. And they don’t care about being prepared, because they know they’ll get an easy ride from the official opposition and most of the UK’s media. There’s also the argument that Johnson surrounds himself with incompetence to make himself look stronger, too.

Scotland really doesn’t have to put up with this nonsense.