When it was suggested that I be a torch bearer for the Olympic flame, I had to ask myself if I wanted my name to be associated with a regime famous for human rights abuses and cruelty on an unimaginable scale. In other words: did want to be known as the man who helped support the Sugar Babes?
In the end, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in my shaving mirror and refused the dubious honour of being sandwiched between Denise Van Outen and some Blue Peter presenter. It would appear that it was the correct decision. It would seem that half of London is as appalled as I am in the way that the Suger Babes have hijacked the Olympic flame and used it for their own purposes. I gave a cold shiver as I watch BBC News 24 as the Sugar Babes’ bus drove past the protesters and the dumb music drowning out the intelligent chants. It put me in the mood to do my own spot of protesting. I spent my morning replying to not one but two requests for help from struggling writers.
It’s only because there have been two of them in the space of a couple of hours that I’ve decided to comment on a regular phenomenon. People see what they only want to see when browsing the web. They see only what applies to themselves, what enhances their own reputations. They want the easiest path to success. I can hardly blame them. Yet neither of the authors had bothered to read my blog. They simply wrote to me, assumed I could (and would) help and then launched into long descriptions of their books and offers to send me a copy.
As any of my regular readers would know, I’m a man always willing help a friend. However, I must draw a line at people who sidle up to me on the great internet pavement and ask for the price of a publishing contract. This is not an attack on these young hopefuls but had they bothered to scroll down the page beyond my email address, they might have read about my own struggles. Rather than help them, I’d happily encourage them to give up. The whole world is engaged in the process of writing books and the more I can do to encourage rivals to abandon their scribbling, the more chance there is that my own highly amusing novels (which are sure to sell millions) will find a home.