Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Next Book: 100 People Who Are Screwing Up Britain

I'm delighted to tell you about my next book - and believe it or not, I'm going to write it all on my own! More than a year ago I wrote THIS blogpost about an American book called THE 100 PEOPLE WHO ARE SCREWING UP AMERICA - (AND AL FRANKEN IS #37). Well, I'm going to write the British equivalent for Harriman House. It'll be called THE 100 PEOPLE WHO ARE SCREWING UP BRITAIN - AND.... and, well, this is where you come in. I want you to tell me who you think should be #37, and therefore on the book jacket. Actually, it needn't be #37. Polly Toynbee would of course deserve a much higher ranking.

Also, who do you think I should include in the book? Essentially, I'll be writing 100 polemical rants essays which will be provocative to anyone left of Nick Clegg. Mind you, by the time the book comes out, he may be included too.

The book will be published next September. I hope then to do a follow up in 2009 called 100 PEOPLE WHO ARE PUTTING BRITAIN BACK TOGETHER AGAIN. Or something like that.


Anonymous said...

Sir Ian Blair... the policeman from Noddy could do a better job as chief of the Met.

Anonymous said...

Another Grumpy Old Man w@nkfest..

Really, Iain, Have you nothing better to do than scrape the bottom of the barrel with this sub-Littlejohn rubbish ?

I appreciate it is asking a bit much to turn stuff out with the wit of Boris Johnson, or the wisdom of Stephen Fry, but regurgitating crap harvested from blog posts into a book for the hard-of-thinking Daily Mail demographic really is beneath you - use some of that grey matter you clearly possess, rather than churning out lazy, tired, vapid, vacuous, ill-mannered working class diatribes like this.. Shameful...

Anonymous said...

Do they have to be resident in Britain ? Or have British nationality ?

Much of this exercise could turn into a banal and superficial 'blame game'.

You might think Rupert Murdoch and Jose Manuel Barroso are screwing up the country, but if you shot them both, absolutely nothing would change as the structures that keep them in power, and able to destroy democracy in this country would be untouched.

So a rather self-indulgent exercise if I'm honest, and not exactly in the tradition of reasoned and intelligent debate which this blog once used to be about, albeit very long ago...

Alan Douglas said...

If I were chosing, included would be :

That North Wales Police Chief who is insane anit-motorist and insane pro-drugs
Sir Ian Blair
Mohammed Fayed
Rupert Murdoch
The entire BBC
The entire Labour Party
Have I got to 100 yet ?

ALan Douglas

Anonymous said...

How needs an author, editor or even a publisher to write a book these days when a blog bot can just harvest a load of blogposts, cut and paste them together and zap them down the lines to the printer where thousands of books can be churned out and sold to mug punters who will by anything with 100 best /worst / or a reference to sex / screwing in the title without worrying too much about what is in it - just so long as it can be delivered for just another that £10 price point.

Whoever said that no-one went bankrupt under-estimating the taste and intelligence of the public was clearly some kind of role model for Mr Iain 'Daily Mail' Dale...

Iain Dale said...

Thank you for your support Anonymous (surprise, surprise). The reason I want to spent 9 months writing it is because I don't want to, as you put it, 'regurgitate' anything. Judge the book when it is out, rather than imagine I am sub-Littlejohn. i don't intend to be sub anything!

Little Black Sambo said...

The Cabinet, I suppose. How many is that?

The Creator said...

Iain: gimmicks rarely work in publishing terms.

One, how can you conceivably write this book if you haven't already decided who the 100 people are?

Two, lists of this sort, as you must know, are entirely arbitary. They may grab headlines but they mean nothing. Plus, on what basis do you put La Toybee, for example, at 37 rather than 36 (or 35 or 45 or 85 or indeed anywhere at all in your list)?

Three, once you get past the real monsters (Blair, Brown etc.) you are dealing with processes rather than people.

If the publishers are giving you an advance that makes the project worthwhile in your terms then yippee. But the book will still be a nonsense.

In short, don't do it. You will cheapen yourself.

Anonymous said...

There's a list of people screwing up Britain already - they're called professional politicians, working for political parties:

Why not write a book about how political parties end up leading to rotten democracies? Just look at what's happened/happening in the US..

Iain Dale said...

Creator, I'm afraid I won't bow to your superior publishing knowledge! The American equivalent of this book sold hugely and was a New York Times bestseller.

Of course I have an idea of who most of the 100 will be. Do you think a publisher would fork out an advance if I didn't? But I don;t pretend that I have all the wisdom on this, which is why I have asked you who you would include.

The beauty of lists is that no one ever agrees with them. They become talking points. And that IS the point.

The book will only be a nonsense if I as the author make it a nonsense. I am confident I can do it well, otherwise I would not have taken it on.

As to 'cheapening' myself. Well, I think not. What on earth is wrong with writing a book about where this country is going wrong. For that's what it will be, in essence.

Benny said...

Davina McCall!

Adrian Windisch said...

My nominations are;
1. G Brown,
2. H Blears
3. Michael Martin,
4. Ruth Kelly
5. Tessa Jowell
6. R Murdoch
7. Ed Balls
8. Ed Milliband
9. D Miliband
10. Tesco CEO, Sir Terry Leahy
11. Lee Raymond, Esso's CEO
12. P Mandleson
13. N Kinnock
14. whoever invented telesales,
13. Daily Mail Ed Paul Dacre
14. Daily Telegraph ed Will Lewis

Im sure there are plenty more out there.

The Creator said...

Iain, as a money-making venture, terrific. Lists are always talking points. They are inherently controversial.

But, unless objectively accurate – Top of the Pops, for example, could at least claim that the No. 1 record had sold more in any given week week than the No. 2, etc, and therefore was No. 1 – they are still fundamentally meaningless.

On the other hand, as an ex-publisher, any book that I knew would spark controversy always appealed. Bloomin' heck, we were gagging for publicity. Desperate for it.

But the title alone gives the game away. It is a gimmick. Has to be.

But if it works and duplicates the success of you US book, I will be the first to applaud. Any one who makes money out of books should be praised ... and then praised again.

But I will also be the first to point out that it is still essentially a trick.

Still, maybe in my dotage I have become too much the purist.

I hope it sells by the bucketload even if I reserve the right to point out that whatever ranking system you use will have the credibility of Channel 4's '100 scariest adverts' (ie none at all).

Incidentally, if I sound unusually combative it is only because I am shitting myself with, now, 90 minutes to go before the RWC final. Christ, my nails have been bitten even more than the Bottler's.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Ken Livingston
George Galloway
Muslim Council of Great Britian
Muslim Public Affairs Committee
Zac Goldsmith
Archbishop of Canterbury

That is to start.

Anonymous said...

Gordon Brown
'Wee' Dougie Alexander
Polly Toynbee
'Blinky' Ed Balls
'Lard tsar' Dawn Primarolo
The Miliband boys
Jack Straw
Derek 'Dolly' Draper
Paul Dacre
Harriet Harman
Kevin Maguire

Anonymous said...

Jade Goody - as the figurehead of stupidity-driven talentless loudmouthed "celebrity" in this country.

(Is that grumpy-old-mannish enough?)

Anonymous said...

Oh - and the Crown Prosecution Service for allowing corrupt politicians to walk away without even having to try and justify their actions from the inside of a court.

Anonymous said...

Steve Maclaren

Anonymous said...

Don’t let them dissuade you, it’ll be a money-spinner; everyone gives these sort of books as Christmas presents and they’re usually entertaining. Think of all those Shakespearean actors who were told they’d cheapen themselves by fronting dubious films: the royalties provided for such enviable lifestyles. As to suggestions for inclusion… right now, Bottler’s the biggest threat. I just wish I had more faith in the alternatives.

Anonymous said...

The creator rather puts his finger on the point. The exercise may be money-making but, if it is to be taken as anything other than a ragbag of names that a particular writer hasn't taken to, then it has to be created, and ranked, on the basis of a set of criteria which are then fairly rigorously adhered to. Rather than asking for nominees for the list, it would be far more relevant to invite suggestions for the criteria to be employed and which should take priority over others. Does one go on the basis of money lost to the nation, debasing the reputation of the UK abroad, the creation of policies that have failed badly and at great cost to the public purse, the harm done to others, or what?

Anonymous said...

Lord Ashcroft

Anonymous said...

Good Idea Iain

At number one Gordon Brown.

How many ministers are there in the Labour Government?

Add to that

Ken Livingston
Sir Ian Blair
That Police Chief From North Wales
Paul Dacre
Andrew Marr (for sucking up to Broon)
Kate Moss
Pete Doherty
Kevin Maguire
The Producers of Big Brother
The Hitchen Brothers
Neil Kinnock
Peter Mandelson
Tony Blair (if he becomes EU President)
EU Leaders
Kenneth Clarke (for his views on the EU and his paltry efforts on democracy)
Head of the Civil Service (for allowing its politicisation)
Head Of BBC News
Jade Goody
Various Health Fascists
Terence Leahy
Lord Sainsbury
Gorbals Mick the speaker
John Prescott (a spent force now)
Cherie Blair

Take your pick!

Anonymous said...

I blame the Conservatives for Labour winning the 2001 and 2005 elections, so Messrs Hague and Howard for 'having helped' screw up Britain.

Ted Heath for taking us into the EU/EEC/Common Market.
Whoever changed the Welfare state from an insurance scheme into an entitlement scheme.
Mrs Thatcher for emasculating local government.
Whichever version of Sir Humphrey who keeps trying to sell us on 'regional' government.
HM Queen Elizabeth II for not refusing royal assent to any laws, there has to be a check on the executive.
Blair particularly for creating a two tier law system depending on the skin colour of the victim.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who mentions Global Warming.Anybody who uses the phrase "Issues" or "Package" or "Centralization" Anybody involved in 24 hour drinking and gambling. Anybody extolling the virtues of a "multi racial society". All doctors who sign sick notes for benefit claimants. In fact everybody apart from me and Mrs T.

Anonymous said...

Ian Blair - second and thirded.

And yes to that self-regarding stupid Welsh police chief.

the creator - I am sure Iain, will be most grateful for your worldly advice. "If the publishers are giving you an advance that makes the project worthwhile in your terms then yippee. But the book will still be a nonsense."

Iain, are you giving yourself an advance? The creator - Iain owns a successful publishing company- Politico's. The books he publishes seem to sell.

"In short, don't do it. You will cheapen yourself." Don't give advice to established, successful publishers. You cheapen yourself.

Regarding your follow-up post: What a pretentious, pedantic prig you are.

I would say Bungalow (or perhaps that should be cottage) Boy, Inayat Bunglawangla - except, on reflection, he doesn't have any power - except when he is making anonymous threats to Charles Johnson over at LGF (posting from a Reuters email address in Sweden, IIRC). And, in a Twofer, the head of the crappy Muslim Council.

The ridiculous, fat Harriet Harman.

Any Milibands.

The Speaker of the House because of his outrageous lack of impartiality.

Second Andrew Iain Dodge's nomination of ol' Zac.

The head of the entire BBC. The head of BBC1. The head of BBC2.

Anonymous said...

I have only one nomination to make for who "Screwed up Britain"...


because we coudn't be bothered to vote at the last GE.

wonkotsane said...

Oh Iain, you really are naive if you think Britain will still exist in 2009. Or even September next year even.

You could list every signatory to the Scottish Claim of Right that pledged to put the interests of Scotland first and foremost ... such as denying us an English Parliament. Gordon Brown for instance.

David Cameroon would have be near the top for being such a useless opposition leader.

Anonymous said...

Simon Cowell and anyone else who thinks using lowest common denominator idiots and escapees from lunatic asylums (asyla?) in so-called "reality" television is the best possible way of representing Britain to the world (or even to itself). And yes, I know it's classist and snobbish, but I don't want my European friends thinking that's what all British people are like, and that's what we all want to watch on television.

Anonymous said...

Oh - and Chris Moyles. Not sure he's "screwing up Britain". But I just hate the git, so he can cop for some blame.

Anonymous said...

If "Chris Paul" isn't high on the list, I think that he and the rest of us will be sorely disappointed.

Archie said...

Barry Scott

GoodLiberal said...

John Redwood

Anonymous said...

Endemol for Big Brother

Anonymous said...

Does The Sun count as one person?

I'd suggest that you and a few confederates create an online forum/bulletin board for this one, where members can start and contribute to threads on each individual "candidate". Perhaps this would make it easier for us to subsequently formulate our own top 20s, and then you can create a top 100 using the same points system you employed to create the Top 100 blogs...?

Anonymous said...

Keith Vaz
Brian Souter
Janet Street-Porter
Yasmin Alibhai
Jenny Tonge
That Welsh newsreader
John Birt
Andrew Marr
Charlie Falconer
Ken Livingstone
Al Gore (do Yanks count? He is doing his bit to screw up Britain)
Sir Ian Carruthers
Susan Kramer

Unsworth said...

Iain, how long have you got? This is far too big a project. By the time you've described these disgusting individuals and the myriad ways in which they are shafting this nation you'll have written the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

But what would be very interesting is to map out exactly how these people are connected to each other. There are some very salutary lessons there.

Richard Havers said...

...don't forget Alex Salmond.

Anonymous said...

I would be delighted to assist in your commercial venture and suggest my fee set at £5.00 a name. Does that sound reasonable?

Anonymous said...

If it's individuals who ARE, rather than who HAVE, I'd put Jack Straw near the top, then media people like Mark Thompson, Michael Grade, and also Brown's little coterie.

Anonymous said...

Any list that does not contain a prominent Freemason near the top can have little merit.
Oops! I have said the 'F' word, and you will have to delete me:
still it was a try.

Anonymous said...

Any list which did not include ALL golf courses (whichtake'working'people away from their business and thus stifle the economics of our country!)

The snobbery it creates, which is far worse than freemasonry!

Anonymous said...

I would like to nominate my next door neighbour. Whilst I work 6 days a week,paying my taxes, he stays at home on benefits.I have seen the paperwork which calculates his benefits, he gets far more than me.The family never recycle, tv's and radios are left on all day, lights on all night.There is no real medical reason for him not to work.It's his way of life now.He is screwing up my country!

strapworld said...

Blair. Brown.Paddy pants down.all the Lib Dems for a total waste of public money (their salaries!)
Mandleson.Jowell. and all the losers who have held cabinet positions over the past ten labour years.
Cherie Blair. Ant and Dec.
Ken Clarke. John Major.Ted Heath.Tony Benn.
Skinner.ALL Trades Union officials.
Every Police Chief Constable since the retirement of Lord Imbert!!
Every Labour appointed Member of the House of Lords.
Every Ch Exec past and present of every NHS Trust and Quango + their about Appointed Chairmen and Boards.

Political Correctness.
Health and Safety.
Human Rights Legislation.
Every Solicitor/Lawyer in the Country.

The Nus Driver of Number 39 who failed to wait for me!

Anonymous said...

1) The Labour Party
2) The European Commission
3) The BBC
4) The Guardian
5) The Independent
6) Sir Iain Blair
7) Ken Livingstone
8) Steve Hilton
9) Francis Maude
10) The MCB

How's that for a start, and yes I know many of these are organisations and not individuals but where do you start withb working out exactly which persons within the Labour party or the BBC is solely responsible for the destruction that they have wrought?

Thatcher's Child said...

So, lets get this straight, you are going to copy someone else's idea, get other people to give you the names you need, and in doing so, hope that their ego's are enough to make the orders books full without having to spend too much time actually writing or promoting the book.

It would seem to me that the number one place on this list should go to you and your ilk - the professional wannabe political celebrity.

Position number 2 should go to your customers - the great general public.

Position number 3 should go to every person who has the influence to decide what goes on our screens and newspapers.

You should be able to write something on a single sheet of A4 and sell it through Exchange and Mart - its the most something like this deserves!

Anonymous said...

George Galloway on the cover surely.

Anonymous said...

Will you be including David Cameron in the list ?

Elby the Beserk said...

Anon Oct 20 5:45pm.

Great news that your humour bypass was so successful. Just WHO is the grumpy old man here?!!!!

Anonymous said...

V@1.29 - have you ever considered that the main point of this blog is stir things up, get people to think and then write, entertain and argue?

Iain hasn't asked us to write his damn book for him, and if you are so concerned about an author using sources, consider all the biographies and history books that are written!

David Anthony said...

let's see, Al Franken was #37 in America, so...

left-wing, media hound, would-be politician, would-be comedian, self-inflated ego, largely insignificant, someone who is going to attract attention...

has to be George Galloway.

Anonymous said...

You should definitely include all the people who are ramping up house prices and wrecking the lives of the young and the risk-takers, to the benefit of the lazy. Kirstie Allsop might figure, if you dare include one of Cameron's inner circle.

Then all the people who believe crime is a myth put about by the working class in weird coalition with the police.

Anonymous said...

Lord Sainsbury
HM The Queen
Iain Dale Hehe
Karl Marx
Sigmund Freud

Little Black Sambo said...

I suspect "v" (have I spelt that right?) would be a candidate if we knew who it was. He is probably cross at being mentioned in some of the lists.
Have you got George Monbiot & Jonathan Porritt? Though, just being madly irritating does not make you a screwer-up, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

agree with alan douglas absolutely.

If nothing else it gives us a chance to let off steam


why working class -the main names appear to be of the political party that claims to represenmt the working class....something not quite right there...?

Anonymous said...

You all missed Bob Crow.

Anonymous said...

Everyone and anyone who has appeared on Big Brother

Anonymous said...

HM The Queen would be in the top five.
She's never used her ultimate right to refuse legislation, especially in the area of the European Union. Ted Heath would be in there as well, for giving in to Scargill and the unions, and for lying to public about the "Common Market" when he knew full well that we were entering into a European superstate.

Anonymous said...

"But what would be very interesting is to map out exactly how these people are connected to each other. There are some very salutary lessons there."

thats a VERY good point. Iain. You need to take account of that.

also Iain, you need to have some sort of semi-scientific ranking system, with each person/body getting a "total screwing up score" made up of various factors.

Dr Blue said...

In medicine we have some major culprits. Julian Le Grande, Alan Maynard, Alan Milburn, Blair, Hewitt, Darzi, Donaldson, and some of the medical royal college chiefs Blair's friends such as Simon Stevens, now working for United Health Europe. Poachers turned gamekeeper such as Richard Smith, the former BMJ editor.

On Rant we call them the "Twaterati" People who profess to advise on an issue when they actually know nothing about the subject. They tend to know so little that they don't even know they know so little. They have rarely done much work at service delivery level, but are very happy to tell service deliverers that they "are inadequate" and that "my pet scheme will make it all better" They profess their grasp of the bigger picture but it's like that of patient with advanced glaucoma- many important bits of the field of vision have gone missing.

Management consultants fit into this description well.

The political correctness industry and the health and safety lobby are destroying this country.

Your only difficulty will be keeping it down to 100. You will have plenty of targets, but this should help the Tories define themselves by saying clearly who and what they are against.

Happy to help you on the medical section.

scott redding said...

You should skip straight to the "people putting Britain back together" book.

Our attitude to politics/public life and engaging with it to changing society is already pretty corrosive. Just look at the comments so far!

Use your influence to make people (old style preacher accent) BUH-LEEEVE again.

The Amazing Toad said...


Making it a list of 100 is not a good idea. Keep it down to 25 and you will make it more potent.



Thatcher's Child said...

@little Black Sambo
I have no intention of ever appearing on any list. I understand that the way to ruin a country is by working for the civil service rather than being one of the oinks who are too ugly or untalented to get into regular show biz!

Rather than help turn politics into a spectator sport, we need a book which helps push regular people into actually doing something to make a difference.

Too heavy for your coffee table?

Greater Manchester Fabians said...

Iain Dale

Anonymous said...

Guido - except the pompous twat would probably revel in being included