Over the last three weeks I have tweeted rather disparaging things about the MPs involved in the Tower Block of Commons. I thought it was a ludicrous programme, deliberately designed to make politicians look stupid and out of touch. Indeed, I suggested to my partner that if I ever showed any sign of considering taking part in such a programme, I should be shot.
Tonight, Channel 4 broadcast the final of the four programmes. It was a revelation. It showed all four MPs as human beings, able to relate to the people they were staying with and all trying to help their new acquaintances live a better life.
Mark Oaten tried to galvanise a community in Dagenham into pressuring the council to improve their living conditions. Austin Mitchell tried to save a local youth centre and Tim Loughton brought together a local community in Birmingham in a way they had never experienced before. And Nadine Dorries made a real difference to the life of a 20 year old mixed race guy who admitted he had been lost to cannabis. There were some truly touching moments.
The test is whether these four MPs maintain contact with their new found friends. I have every confidence that three of them will. They really made a difference, and that is the true test of any politician's actions.
I never thought I would say this after watching the first three programmes, but I am proud of those MPs. They took a real risk in taking part in this programme, but by and large it paid off.