Monthly Archives: August 2011

Sally Bercow

Sally Bercow’s appearance on Celebrity Big Brother was not as dramatic as we were led to believe.

As a contestant in a mixed posse of second-rate celebrities her debut failed to raise the temperature of this newly-jigged series, which looked and sounded irritably boring.

She left me with the impression of a raunchy femme fatale out to raise two fingers to the establishment, to prove her rather raw sexuality.

Will she seduce her audience? It’s early days.

Shirley Eskapa

It is with great sadness that I have to inform all our friends and fellow writers that our most loved and cherished author Shirley Eskapa passed away yesterday.

She will be remembered as a great novelist and a woman whose generosity of spirit was unparalleled.

All of us at Quartet Books mourn the death of this most kindly woman we have known and published for over thirty years, and who became a dear friend.

We shall certainly miss her.

Are Men the Weaker Sex?

How real is the correlation between food and sex?

Men who are creatively involved in food seem more inclined to be strongly attracted to the female form, and by supposition are sexually rampant.

By the look of things many of the great chefs of today fall into this exclusive category as their appetite for sex, enhanced by a close proximity to food, often leads them into troubled waters.

The latest victim is Heston Blumenthal, renowned for his ingenious and kinky recipes. He has recently left his wife of twenty years, and is reported to be dating Suzanne Pirret – an American cookery book author, who brags unashamedly that her favourite things are ‘food and sex’.

Her semi-naked pictures gracing our tabloids do certainly raise the temperature of able-bodied men, both young and old, who secretly crave such an erotically charged display.

I must admit I too was titillated by the image of this most alluring siren.

Who can honestly claim that men are not the weaker sex? Often seduced and manipulated, we are willing prey to the Eves of this world – and lovingly surrender into their clutches.

Yet we foolishly boast of our macho ability to predominate and charm them into submission.

Tell it to the marines, as the popular saying goes.

The New Plague

It is often assumed that criminality is exclusively rife among the under-privileged in our society.

The latest riots that have swept our towns and cities reveal a more sinister and surprising aspect.

Among the people arrested, you find girls and young men who have been brought up in a rich and comfortable environment – and yet have been engaged in looting and thuggery.

It goes to show that there is an endemic disease in our midst that needs urgent attention.

The sooner we tackle the roots of the problem, the more likely this new plague will be contained.

Publishing: An Occupational Hazard

I have come to the conclusion that publishing is an occupational hazard.

You read manuscripts, you give advice – sometimes unwelcome – and you waste valuable time convincing yourself that some authors are not as vain and monstrous as they appear.

Well, you are proven wrong on many occasions.

You sweat to be accommodating, and what do you get? Heartache for your efforts, followed by a stab in the back.

That’s publishing but, being a glutton for punishment, I would not change course even when wounds become more painful than I can bear.

Made in Britain

Made in Britain by Gavin James Bower is a contemporary novel about the conflicting aspirations of a new generation of British youth.

It should hit the right chord now – when Britain is suffering from a wave of lawless young people, who have lost their way in society.

Published by Quartet Books following the success of his first novel Dazed & Aroused, it cements his earlier triumph as a novelist with a perceptive eye and a finger on the pulse about what’s happening in our towns and cities today.

Leniency is Not the Answer

Nobody seems to have mentioned that the rioting that took place throughout the UK has harmed the economy at a time when it already looked bleak enough to dampen our spirits.

The resultant damage is in my view incalculable, and is bound to inflict further stringent economic measures to burden the taxpayer yet again.

The thugs that have caused all this should be severely punished and made to pay heavily for their actions.

From what I can gather the courts have been lenient so far, and if this policy were to continue then God help us all for a second round of thuggery.

Ideology in Crisis

For the first time since I came to Great Britain in October 1949 the country is in crisis on many fronts.

Economically we are now struggling to survive – for make no mistake about it we are heavily indebted – and unless we persevere in taking remedial actions, unpleasant as these may be, we risk finding ourselves in dire financial meltdown.

Part of the problem is that since the war consecutive governments have enacted laws, which, to a larger extent, have encouraged able people to laze around and expect the state to support them with varying degrees of benefits.

Furthermore, liberalism taken to extremes has also been responsible for greater expectations from the state and, as a consequence, a new breed of young people now seek the comfort of wealth without trying to earn it.

The current rioting that has spread to many parts of the UK is testament to a dangerous attitude of a lawless gang in our society, determined to grab what it can while challenging authority and a sheer mindless destruction of the edifices of a civilised order.

Britain has now become a dangerous place to live.

The government should cast aside idealogical principles, which often work in theory but fail in practice.

It is time to take the bull by the horns and cleanse the nation from this thuggish element that is bringing shame and disrepute to our country.

London is Burning

Political correctness has not prevented people from rioting in the less privileged parts of London.

Communities who live there are often targeted by police and feel like second-class citizens.

Instead of introducing laws that in theory are well-meaning but don’t work in practice, it is far better for the police to spend more time integrating themselves into areas where it is more beneficial to win the goodwill of the people, some of whom live in appalling conditions and are driven to crime.

Posturing is not the answer.

Time for Outrage!


Time for Outrage! by Stéphane Hessel is more relevant today than ever.

The world is in financial crisis, rebellion is everywhere – even sporadically within our shores – the division in society between rich and poor is getting worse and threatens the very fabric of our society, chaos has become the alternative to structured and fairer communities worldwide, and doom is predicted for years to come.

Read Time for Outrage!, published by Quartet Books, and you will begin to realise the cause of it all.