Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The 100 People Who are Screwing Up Britain

When I was in Washington in March I bought a book called the 100 PEOPLE WHO ARE SCREWING UP AMERICA (AND AL FRANKEN IS NUMBER 37). I got around to skim-reading it the other day. It's very Fox News in tone, but it does make you think. And what it made me think was this: should I look at writing a British equivalent? - the 100 PEOPLE WHO ARE SCREWING UP BRITAIN (AND POLLY TOYNBEE IS NUMBER 54).

People profiled in the American book included Kittey Kelly, Norman Mailer, Phil Donahue, , Jimmy Swaggart, Oliver Stone, Howard Stern, Eminem, Barbara Walters, Bob Schrum, George Soros, Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, Dan Rather, Noam Chomsky, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, David Duke and Michael Moore.

So who would you nominate for either category in a British version? Tracey Emin? Peter Mandelson? Trisha Goddard? Polly Toynbee? Will Self? Jack McConnell? Lord Falconer? The only qualification is that they have to be alive and have some relevance to Britain today - I'm not looking for historical nominations. They can be from any part of British society, media, industry, culture and politics.

So who would you nominate?


Theo Spark said...

Potty Toynbee only 54, I thought she was nearer 70!!

Anonymous said...

Gordon Brown first and foremost, obviously.

Toynbee. Mandelson. Heffer. Griffin. Ian Blair. Galloway. Prescott. Tonge.

dizzy said...

Without a shadow of a doubt that irritating twat, Johann Hari

Anonymous said...

I'd buy it, Iain. Surely Gordon Brown is a dead cert for number one?

Guido Fawkes said...

Traffic Wardens.

Anonymous said...

Jamie Oliver, Madeleine Bunting, Seamus Milne, George Galloway, for starters.

Go with this Iain, it'll sell more than your sleaze book by far.

Anonymous said...

La Toynbee 54,somehow I feel she should be higher.

But then there may be so many sanctimonious left wing top rate tax payers to choose from (including Cherry),that she could be considered past it.

Marr must be on the list or will he be covered in the number 1 spot by the BBC

Anonymous said...

Doyen of the Human Remains Act cottage industry, step forward at number 27 (Subject to Appeal) M Mansfield QC

Anonymous said...

Only 100?
You'll need more than that to fit in the BBC mob, the theatrical luvvies *and* the majority of the Town Councils throughout our green and pleasant land.

But if you insist - how about Trevor Phillips?

Anonymous said...

A brilliant idea, Iain.

I'd put Sven and the FA on the list.

dizzy said...

guido - traffic wardens

got ticketed recently then did you?

Anonymous said...

Jeremy Paxman
Sir Ian Blair
Ken Livingstone
Gordon Brown
Michael Portillo
John Humphries
Peter Bazalgette
Pete Doherty
Simon Heffer
Nicholas Serota
Trevor Phillips
Max Clifford

Anonymous said...

Johann Hari and anyone else who appears regularly on Newsnight Review (except for PD James); Chris Bryant MP; Tyler Brulee; the whole Ozzy Osbourne family; Gordon Brown and never-had-a-proper-job-before Ed Balls; Adam Ricketts; and that annoying Scottish woman who does the weather on BBC Breakfast News.

Croydonian said...

Oh lord this is going to be fun. Reminds me of The Enemies List

Little Black Sambo said...

People called Kirsty.

Anonymous said...

Paul Dacre, Mad Mel, Ian Blair, Rupert Murdoch, Paxman for his annoying habit of maing interviews about him rather than the interviewee,

dizzy said...

Robert Fisk

Anonymous said...

That bloke off the confused.com advert.

Anonymous said...

David Davis - single-handedly dumbing down political debate (see Newsnight last night)

Croydonian said...

Dawn Primarolo, Simon Buckby, Richard & Ruthie Rogers, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, the Archbishop of Canterbury, that irritating bloke from Coldplay, the head of Capita, Barbara Mills and Greg Dyke for starters.

Meanwhile, it is highly amusing that no-one has mentioned any trade union leaders as yet, what with their being so utterly irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Bongo the Singing Irish Troll from U2
Sir Bleedin Liar of the Met
The head of the Professional Footballers Association (Taylor?), chief apologist for the divers, spitters, shirt-pullers and foulmouths
People who sell land to Tesco on the edges of towns
Stanley Tools, obviously

Anonymous said...

One mustn't forget Margaret Hodge, Des Browne, Yvette Cooper, Hazel Blears and Dawn Primarolo. Its not just the people at the top its the incompetent middle order Cabinet Members or ministers who do as much or more damage than the higher profile ones.

SPL said...

Roger Scruton.

Archbishop Cranmer said...

With regret, I must agree with Croydonian, and nominate Archbishop Rowan Williams.

Endless compromise in the name of unity leads to destruction.

Davide Simonetti said...

Charie Blair and Alistair Campbell

Anonymous said...

This will have to be a roll call of the political, cultural and corporate establishment -- with a sprinkling of names from the centre-right counter-establishment (i.e. the self-indulgent diehards too stuck in the past to deal with the present and the spineless collaborators too overwhelmed by present to imagine a better future).

Serf said...

Most of the spokesmen (no women of course) of the "Muslim Community" (at least the we understand but...crowd)

Jacques Chirac

All the judges on the ECJ

The complete Human Rights Industry

The Howard League and other soft on crime liberals

Neil Kinnock & Chris Patten

Ken Bloody Livingstone

The entire BBC management

JohnJo said...

Erm, Tony Blair.

James at eParliament.tv said...

The supplier of the speed (greed) camera

Theo Spark said...

Jeremy Vine.

Anonymous said...

David Aaronovitch
Simon Jenkins
Sion Simon
Matthew D'Ancona
Anthony Howard
Mary Ann Sieghart
Tom Kelly
Charlie Whelan

Anonymous said...

I was going to suggest Prescott and most High Court Judges, but they all fall outside of your criteria, i.e. "The only qualification is that they have to be alive and have some relevance to Britain today"

Anonymous said...

How come nobody has mentioned Piers Morgan yet? The man has a cheeky charm and I enjoyed his diaries but his influence can be malign (see the faked photos from Iraq).

Anonymous said...

Sgr Jose Manuel Barroso

Anonymous said...

Jim Murphy
Esther Rantzen
Cherie Blair (and Tony I guess)
Simon Heffer
Tessa Jowell
Shami Chakrabarti
Nick Griffin
Hazel Blears
Janet Street-Porter

I could go on and on... ;)

Paul Linford said...

Indidviduals who are screwing up Britain:

1 Osama bin Laden
2 Rupert Murdoch
3 George W. Bush
4 Tony Blair
5 John Reid
6 Max Clifford
7 Peter Bazalgette
8 Sven Goran Eriksson
9 Sharon Osbourne
10 Alastair Campbell

Categories of people who are screwing up Britain.

1. Readers of the News of the World.
2. Viewers of Big Brother.
3. Anyone who insists on doing a school run, thereby damaging the environment and clogging up our congested roads.
4. Middle-class parents who go to strenuous efforts to avoid sending their children to the local school, thereby creating a "sink" effect.
5. Advocates of political correctness.
6. The entire leadership of the Church of England for failing to take a stand on the essential truths of the Christian faith.
7. Planning authorities who think that turning high streets into 24-hour drinking zones and exiling all shopping to drive-to-only out-of-town centres is a good idea.
8. Company bosses who continually lobby the Government against an increase in our paltry quota of public holidays, not realising that the loss of a day's work would be more than offset in extra productivity.
9. French politicians who insist on the retention of agricultural subsidies.
10. Republicans.

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile, it is highly amusing that no-one has mentioned any trade union leaders as yet, what with their being so utterly irrelevant."

Now you mention it...

Bob Crow

Anonymous said...

...and Stephen "Christian Voice" Green. Go on, indulge his martyrdom complex.

Richard Bailey said...

Peter Bazalgette and Kate Ashbrook
(use Google!)
I think Cherie Blair should be No. One rahter than Gordon.
If rich champagne swilling city boys were the enduring image of Thatcherism, she is the the everlasting image of New Labour.

neil craig said...

Apart from all the obvios politicians I suggest Sir Jonathan Porrit & Peter Thatchell both keen pushers of all sorts of destructive political correctnesses. I would also join those who mention the producers & decisionmakes at the BBC (& ITN), not Paxman himself who I understand is a bit of a hang 'em & flog 'em type in his private persona but the behind the scenes types who decide on the political line.

Indeed part of the problem may be that, unlike in the US, most of the top 100 will be people nobody has heard of.

Anonymous said...

All those who denigrate politics by their sheer existence: Patricia Hewitt; Hazel Blears; Lord Falconer; Chris Bryant; Ed Balls; that woman called Caroline who is the Public Health minister; and all the bloody Notting Hill set too, the public school tossers (though I like Michael Gove alot and he didnt go to Eton or St Paul's either.

I hate Johann Harri too- how did he ever get on?

Anonymous said...

Whoever goes in can we keep Mark Oaten out of it? I haven't stopped laughing since his shit hit the fan earlier this year - he's a top guy!

Anonymous said...

Brown #1 for services to the economy
Campbell # 2 for services to democracy
CRacial Equality # 3 services to race relations
McPherson #4 services to Police Force
Max Clifford #5 services to journalism

Anonymous said...

Beverley Hughes (officious nerd and drip, a mouse that snarls, a tawdry w*nkstain on the handkerchief of humanity, who should never have been recalled to the government, just as uncharismatic in person as she is on TV).
I second the nominations of Seumas Milne (sanctimonious plum-voiced Trot with a crap hairstyle who's turned the Guardian comment page into a lunatic asylum), Johann Hari (writes utter crap about Northern Ireland) and Madeleine Bunting.
Sven Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren, not to mention the FA.
Simon Kelner - pompous Europhile t*sspot who thinks that anyone who opposes EMU membership and the EU constitution is some snarling xenophobe, and has turned the Indy into a vile lefty rag, with ever more hectoring front pages.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Robert Fisk.
The probation service. The judiciary. Members of the education establishment opposed to synthetic phonics. The idiots in rotten boroughs who ban competitive school sports. Silly councillors who rename Christmas as 'Winterval'. Most of the contributors to Comment Is Free and the letters pages of the Guardian and Indy. Waterstone's booksellers who think Noam Chomsky is great (despite his continued refusal to acknowledge that the Khmer Rouge committed genocide in Cambodia).

Anonymous said...

Blair, Brown and Prescott (obviously), Sven, the current President of the EU Commission, Peter Mandelson, Charles Kennedy, Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan's surgeon, that woman with the eyebrows who reads the BBC news and Pete Winkleman (the man responsible for stealing a famous football club and dumping it in milton keyenes).

Anonymous said...

David Cameron - for all his talents, he's the continuation of Blairism by other means! Tories applauding him for getting a poll lead is like Labour welcoming that cuckoo in the nest Blair. He and Maude want to turn you into New Labour Mark II, and you're going along with it!

Oh, and Yasmin Alibhai Brown, and Johann Hari.

Archbishop Cranmer said...

The entire leadership of the Church of England for failing to take a stand on the essential truths of the Christian faith

Mr Linford, not all, please. Some of us are arguing until we are blue in the face, at the highest levels, but the Constitution of the General Synod determines outcomes by vote. Now, if the Archbishop of Canterbury had the theological force and the political authority of the Pope...

It's a case of lesser evils, I think. But, please, not 'all'. Cranmer should never be herded with the sheep.

Sabretache said...

Apart from the usual suspects?

That other (among many) sanctimonious, anti-English Scot Sean Connery, and the equally anti-her-horrible-adopted-country-England, Alibhai-Brown woman.

In case no one has already mentioned them

Anonymous said...

Johann Harri; Ming Campbell MP; Sharon Osbourne; Gabby Roslyn; Heather Mills; Zadie Smith; Prince Charles; Iqbal Sacranie; Shahid Malik MP; Sir Ian Blair; Jonathan Ross; Bill Oddy; Hazel Blears MP; Dr John Reid MP; Lord Melvyn Bragg; Lord Levy; Alan Hollinghurst; John Prescott MP; Alun Michael MP.

Davide Simonetti said...

Rupert Murdoch

Anonymous said...

. Definitely Cherie Blair as the icon of everything loathesome, sleazy, destructive and greedy about Labour.
. Second place Gordon Brown
. Third place Tony Blair
. John Humphries and James Naughtie
. The new head of the Muslim Council [couple of Muslim first names] Bari
. Inayat Bunglawala (for his name alone, but because he is also a nasty, destructive little prick)
. Patricia Hewitt as the poster girl of the entire cabinet coven
. I would say Ken Livingstone, but he's gone of the boil, frankly
. Agree - Ian Blair, and what about his sidekick, terrorist appeaser Paddick?
. This week's Home Secretary
. Mary Ann Seigart
. I would say the Yazzmonster, but as vicious as she is, she isn't really a blip on the radar
. That Hobsbawm creep if still alive

Croydonian said...

And what am I bid for some Guardian hack to pick this up for tomorrow's edition?

And Hobsbawm does still walk the earth, Verity

The Daily Pundit said...

Ken Dodd. And those infuriating Diddymen.

Anonymous said...

sven goran!

Serf said...

Obviously no Scots here today.

All the Politburo of the People's Republic of North Britain.

Anonymous said...

Croydonian, thank you for that snippet of disappointing information. Here's another snippet: How many know that Gordon Brown's wife Sarah MaCaulay is the business partner of Hobsbawm's daughter?

Anonymous said...

Steve Richards - another load of Europhile bien pensant rubbish in today's Indy about how the trains running on time in Germany show how Europe is great. Crap - if public services are better in Europe it's down to their domestic legislation, not the EU (certainly not in the countries which are net contributors like Germany).
Had Major not signed the opt-out in 91, the EMU convergence criteria would have meant even worse public services in Britain, as public spending would have had to be reduced by billions to meet it. Plus, of course, there would not have been the economic recovery which we got after Golden Wednesday (as, sans the opt-out, we've have had to rejoin the ERM).

YAB - yes, she does indeed hate her adopted country. Probably her lowest moment was in July 97, when she sneered at Chris Patten's daughters as 'overfed' on Radio 4. Just imagine the outcry there'd have been if someone like Richard Littlejohn had much such a reference to the appearance of the female daughter of a politician.

Amanda Platell - she can dish it out, but she can't take it (not without tears in her eyes anyway). Plus, of course, there was her pathetic behaviour (snapping, whingeing and giving utterly crap advice) on Crisis Command - Could You Run the Country?' and her inane kiss-up, kick-down New Statesman column (mercifully discontinued).

Rory Bremner - jokes which reek of midnight oil (a bit like Mark Steel) and an oh-so-precious and smug North London dinner party critique of New Labour. Give me Mark Thomas anyday.

All the Scots who cheer on any team up against England but are content to live on the extra £1,000 plus of public spending they get from the Barnett Formula. Let's have a Czechoslovakian-style velvet divorce while there's still time.

Stuart Jeffrys in The Guardian and Adrian Hamilton in the Independent. Two utterly crap columnists.

Lembit Opik - the man who thinks we can negotiate a political solution with Al Qaeda. Should be quite easy - just agree to the destruction of Israel and a new Islamic Caliphate which includes East Timor and southern Spain.

Ian Blair - I quite agree. His 'the media are racist in their coverage of murders' claim was taken apart quite nicely by Private Eye (not least with reference to the two largely unmentioned murders of white people). He's given PC Plod a whole new meaning.

And who's that silly police chief who warned English people in Wales not to fly the England flag?

David Dimbleby - so tetchy and intrusive on QT these days that it's like watching some overbearing referee who spoils the run of play. Plus his younger brother (Sarah Smith would be far better as an anchor for the next ITV1 GE programme - or give Jon Snow a second chance).

Jeremy Vine - a square who thinks he's a dude. New swingometer king, my a*se. Mini Me to Jeremy Paxman's Dr Evil. Give Adrian Chiles the job - he'd bring an irreverent panache to it.

Victoria Derbyshire - utterly inane, sloppy speech (just repeated use of the word 'Yeah'). How did such a dimwit get a degree from Liverpool University?

George Monbiot - another plum-voiced leftie who feels the need to compensate for his origins with ideological ardour.

Ross said...

The Chief Constable of North Wales.
Simon Cowell

Anonymous said...

Sir Iqbal Sacranie and Nick Griffin.

Bob Geldof for his pomposity.

If you have La Toynbee then Melanie Phillips is only fair. Ditto Yvonne Ridley.

Croydonian said...

Anita Roddick, although I nearly had a seizure I laughed so much at her selling the Corpse Emporium to L'Oreal.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - Melanie Phillips? In the cause of fairness? What are you talking about?

"Sir" Siqbal Sacranie is no longer the whatever of the Muslim Council. I don't know where he is doing harm to his adopted country now.

Anonymous said...

Billy Bragg

Hazel 'Hampster' Blears

Anonymous said...

I think that the Fat Controller was wrong to include poor old Limbo Optic - he adds to the Gaiety of the Nation with his name alone...

(Oh, and is the Mrs GB/Hobspawn linkage a new version of that popular wireless game Mornington Crescent, Verity?)

Anonymous said...

I fear you got the verb tense wrong. The verb "to screw up" should have been in the past tense. So the correct answer is Tebbit, Thatcher, Ken Baker, Lord Young, Willie Whitelaw (for not putting a stop to it when he could have), Arthur Scargill (Thatch's best helper), General Galtieri (Thatch's second best helper).Once the bogeymen had gone people soon realised what a mess had been made of the country

Its a good job Blair, Brown Alistair Campbell and Peter Mandelson came along to rescue the show in 1997.

Anonymous said...

Health and Safety Gestapo ?

Anonymous said...

Kate Hoey!

Red Ken, deffo.

Hercules said...

Cherie Blair
Ken Livingston
George Galloway
All the bias lefty bastards at the BBC

Anonymous said...

without a doubt number 1 is John Humphrys - for making cynicism mainstream, demeaning public life and creating a culture of blame.

Anonymous said...

Rebekah Wade.
Bob Geldof.

But more significantly:
The chief executive of Crapita.
The chief executive of Serco.
The chief executive of Atos Origin.
And the clown in No 11 who insists on paying them and their like.

Matt Dean said...

Charles Leslie Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton, PC, QC (born 19 November 1951),British barrister,Labour Party politician,Lord Chancellor,the first Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (a position created originally to replace the position of Lord Chancellor) and constitutional vandal.
Possibly only to be trumped by his predecessor, the dispicable Alexander Andrew Mackay Irvine, Baron Irvine of Lairg, PC, QC British lawyer and political figure who served as Lord Chancellor under his former pupil barrister Tony Blair as well as frustated 'changing rooms' contestant.
Both very grim sorts.

Matt Dean said...

Chris Huhne Eastleigh Lib-Dem MP, millionaire (who claimed on newsnight not to know how much he was worth!), London resident (who claims to live in Eastleigh, at least at election time), Southamton FC supporter (who has in the past claimed to support 2 other clubs!), Europhile who published his views supporting the single European currency then later argued for a referendum and producer of Lib-Dem literature paid for by EU money that is currently being investigated.
Oh yes and current Lib-Dem enviroment spokesman who is in favour of much higher green taxes,for example on cars.

Anonymous said...

Ideally, there needs to be two categories - the collective guilt group, al-beeb + supporting cast(cf the commedy crew, Alibhai-Brown, Monbirot, et al). Nulab, the musical, perm any 20 or more sleazy , vindinctive, incompetents from the back benches. The proffesional God squad, for driving millions of reasonably caring christians from the C of E, with their half baked antics. The state education establishment, who every fule kno have irefutably proved the case for going private.
The individual category has thrown up the usual low life - surely Max Clifford deserves more votes ?
However, whilst Gordo is out there on his own with Mugabe & Pol, as the man to single handedly do more to destroy a national economy, almost without exception, each individual who has served in this government deserves an individual listing for their cynical attempts to introduce Soviet era manipulation and control of the political process and thereby run our lives.
On the plus side, a big thank you to that otherwise worthless nonentity, Gerald Kaufman, for his services in popularising foxhunting and getting the countryside to pull together - thanks to Gerald and chums, countryside organisations now have more active members than the labour party !!!

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

The entire civil service.

Raw Carrot said...

Did anyone else mention Gordon... what's his name... Gordon... damn... Gordon... Oh yes, Gordon "The Stain" Brown?

Oh and Yasmin Alalalalala-Bababababa-Aiii or whatever her name is... The one who rants on about how good PCness is. Nonsense.

Who else... Oh yes, the entirety of the Labour Cabinet...

Cllr Andy Jennings said...

Natasha Kaplinsky. Someone with a supposed English degree from Oxford can't string three words together to make a sentence. Thank goodness that she has been replaced with Sian Williams who seems very effective at using interviews to hold people to account without being rude (Paxman) or sycophantic (Kaplinsky)

Anonymous said...

Cllr Andy Jennings, above

I nominated Kaplinsky also, but it appears to have ended up on Iain's cutting room floor.
On the other side of the equation I nominated the delicious Sophie Raworth for just being...well...lovely as well as for that really rude laugh.

Anonymous said...

Ken Loach

No way would I consider going to see anti-British film, apart from anything else I'd hate to think I'd contributed to it's box office takings

Anonymous said...

Bob Geldof (for economic incompetance); Trevor Williams (for general idiocy); the head of the Muslim Council for Britain*; Rowan Williams (for being an athetist); and the head of the European Union (basically for running/ruining Britain).

* Without being racist, the MCB have a habit of promoting the 'victim' culture which leads to 'politically correct policing'; they haven't quite understool yet that most Muslim terrorists tend to be Muslims. Also, they're an umbrella group which represents and has no intention of disciplining fundamentalist groups.

Anonymous said...

Time to get low brow!

Peaches Geldof, for showing us that nepotism is still alive and well in Britain, even though her parents are/were as absolutely talentless and irritating as her.

Jeremy Clarkson
Sian Lloyd
Richard Littlejohn
Richard and Judy

Anonymous said...

Can you people please get on with it and provide some more names ? I'm only up to 50 and at this rate Ian's going to be able to rush this blog to print ahead of me.

Anonymous said...

I definitely think Jeremy Vine should be on your list. I can't stand his voice or the tone of it.

Anonymous said...

whats to say ! At the end of the day i blame the goverment ! years ago they had a y.t.s training scheme fo training young people to develop into a craftsperson. Perhaps they should do the same to theese so called m.p's to develop them into real people. They earn stupid money and think the average wage of britain is around 25-30 k. Well wake up and smell the bacon !I live in an area which is more like 12-15 k. Stop ruining britain and signing our heritage away to the so called E.U.
Start looking after the people who live here , were born here , work here and have a full family history of being british ! Instead of freely letting in more country's to sponge from us.The Politicians should ask the british population what we want , They just think its ok to put up our tax when they screw up ! Well beleave me the Brits have had enough !!!!!!