Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

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What I did when I should have been doing almost anything else

The oddest thing about the Hundred Worst Britons is the extent to which Fat is now one of the major things people disapprove of, that and being old. As someone who is both, I find this vaguely depressing. Luckily, I shall never be famous so no-one will ever disapprove of me.

Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher were both in the top three, which is fair enough, but most of the rest of the top ten were c and d list celebrities. Geri Halliwell is crap, that more or less goes without saying - but the idea that her anorexia and bad singles makes her the tenth worst person in the country is bizarre in the extreme.

Jordan is a model with large silicone boobs and a vaguely mouthy attitude - and she is worse than Thatcher - though not as bad as Blair. So, let's get this right, having plastic surgery and walking around in silly heels is more importantly a bad thing than sinking the Belgrano, destroying heavy industry, suppressing local democracy and dispossessing mining communities. But not as bad as Iraq.

I suppose it is a little much to expect this sort of poll to make any sense, but this makes less than most. It did not help that the cultural commentators on display included some genuinely insightful people like the excellent Rupert Smith and Mark Simpson, but also the repellent Gary Bushell, whose absence from the list was one of its great mysteries.

From time to time, friends and I discuss the possibility of declaring irritating celebrities not to be gay at all - we just won't have them in the family; I feel like that as a fat person about Gary Bushell.

(Gloss here - Gary Bushell is a show business journalist of staggeringly right-wing views and vicious prejudices who has always been rumoured to have far closer ties to the Nazi right than one might believe possible in the mainstream. He is also one of those people who endlessly discuss the physical shortcomings of stars, especially women, while having all the physical charm and presence of a toad.)

I hold no brief for the royal family, but the idea that they are Germans strikes me as more or less ludicrous. They had ancestors who were German, but even those were part British which is why we ended up with them on the throne. The dynasty has not been German since George III, not really, since he was so clearly English in every possible way except having a German great- grandfather. I guess he still had a kingdom in Germany, but he almost never went there - and it passed out of the British royal possession in the next generation anyway. There are a lot of good reasons for disliking the royals as people and wanting rid of the monarchy as an institution, but 'they're really Germans' does not work. Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward are all British in all sorts of awful ways, in spite of having a British educated Greek father of German descent.

What a talented writer like Will Self and a once serious politician like Roy Hattersley were doing queueing up to slag people off with the likes of Bushell and Kathy Lette I shall never know. I guess when they talked about people's addiction to fame and attention they knew whereof they spoke.

I should have been doing almost anything else, but crap television is sometimes what you want in the early part of a slow Saturday night.
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