Although it’s quite common to read reports of how the half educated young people of today have never heard of historical world leaders such as Churchill, Hitler and Stalin; it came as quite a shock to read that ex-Labour MP and Cabinet Minister Tony Benn reported that staff in his local bookshop seemed to have no idea who Tony Blair was when he tried to buy a copy of Alastair Campbell’s diaries, ‘The Blair Years’.
I bet that if he had asked for the latest ‘best selling’ autobiographies (don’t laugh) by Gordon Ramsey, Pete Doherty or Jordan, the staff would have been able to give him a quick review of each; for it seems that our celebrity mad population just can’t read enough (or look at the pictures) about people in whom I have no interest, or, more likely, have never even heard of.
Just look in any bookshop and you will find dozens of books about the inspiring lives of such outstanding pillars of our modern society as ‘ex-con’ Paris Hilton (Yes, I’ve heard of her), the reptillian Kate Moss and that extra-terrestrial, Victoria Beckham: who’s old man and his sporting ’hero’ mates must be a godsend to the ghostwriters of this world.
I like to read biographies about people who have had long, interesting and productive lives, but now it seems that if you are a ‘celeb’ it doesn’t matter how old you are: like top racing driver Lewis Hamilton who is just twentytwo, and the same age as Wayne Rooney, who’s half a brain struggles to produce more and more stories about the highlights in it’s master’s life. Even his nonentity of a girlfriend has ‘written’ a book !
I bet if Tony Benn had looked under the ’biography’ sign in that bookshop, he would have found the top spot occupied by …
… bloody Harry Potter !