A complaint this morning from a reader who notes that I haven’t posted since December 7th. Well EXCUSE ME! I was going to reply that I’ve nothing to say, but of course, I’ve always got something to say.
First let’s talk about Julie Burchill, who has been cut loose by her publisher, Little Brown UK. Her new book on the creeping tide of cancel culture has been… cancelled. Little Brown are part of the same publishing behemoth, Hachette, as the firm that canned me, though I was let go for a different reason: I wasn’t earning enough to keep the bean-counters happy. Julie is an excellent journalist, so the first reaction among writers was that some other publisher will soon snap up her book. I’m not so sure. The publishing world is now dominated by cowardy custards. Junior staff throw tantrums over the publication of anything that offends them and senior management cower under the boardroom table. Are there any grownups left in the building?
I’m currently stuck in London, prevented from travelling either to my daughter’s for Christmas or from flying home to Ireland. Luckily I’m not trapped in a hotel but sheltered with a friend. We have food, warmth and the company of a cat, plus a grand view of an eerily silent Thames. Nevertheless, Christmas Eve, my favourite day of the year, will be rather sad. No last-minute jostle through the market, no parties, no church. As I haven’t been to a pantomime this year, I feel this is the moment to get a hiss and boo off my chest. So here it is.