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June 10, 2012



Ha! I saw a pile of 'em with the crappy cartoon front cover on a table in Waterstone's on Friday and, after I'd realised it wasn't some kind of practical joke, thought, I'm not even going to bother walking over towards the table, let alone pick one up, buy it or read it.

I mean, who in their right mind would be arsed to?

John Self was a great funny name for a character in a novel, because Self really is a surname. Nearly 30 years ago, phew.


'Lionel'? Anyone over a certain age thinks of Lionel Blair; any member of the chattering classes thinks it's a girl's name. Or should it really be pronounced 'Leo-nell' as in Lionel Messi (even though the character is too old to be named after him)?

PS: You missed out Darren Footlocker and his girlfriend Kylie Nandos (and I thought Ben Elton's 'Ewan Proclaimer' in Maybe Baby was awful enough). There's a 'Martin Amis Name Generator' meme going if anyone wants it...


The weirdness of that part had never even occurred to me. You've got to admit that Mart is very, very good at what he does - the WTF? moments just keep on coming.

I wonder if it's some kind of weird trans-generational dig at Len Murray?


As long as he concentrates on writing fiction, it's better than being subjected to his Robert Service-lite musings on Stalinism or his nasty little clash of civilisations sub fascist garbage about Muslims.


You'd think that growing up with Kingsley Amis as your dad would immunise you from the delusion that you are a very special precious person whose every utterance deserves rapt attention and wholehearted approbation, but apparently not.

chris y

The father contrived to maintain this delusion by ensuring that he was never sober after 1:00 p.m. Does the son inherit that proclivity?

Barry Freed

As long as he concentrates on writing fiction...

Oh, come now, it's not all bad, I mean the dude has good pro tips on how to beat Missile Command.


chris y: it would be a step in the right direction if it made him unable to write.


Why are we discussing this? His publisher did a push a few months ago for the paperback. Has something happened?

Meanwhile, I'm almost nostalgic for ASBOs. You had to do something wrong, or at least be seen to do something wrong, to get one. Now it's being part of 120,000 families who might be poor that gets you "categorised, stigmatised, and blamed".

What would Forster have said? As in Forster Square in Pickles' and my home town - he drafted the first national education bill..


You had to do something wrong, or at least be seen to do something wrong, to get one.

The interesting thing about this is that the main proposed replacement for ASBOs - the Crime Prevention Injunction - is more permissive (to the authorities) on every conceivable level. ASBOs could only be applied for by the police, the local authority and social landlords and required consultation with the police and/or the local authority before application; behaviour "likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress" had to be proved to (approximately) the criminal standard. CPIs can be applied for by a whole range of people, with no consultation requirement, and only require proof to the civil standard of behaviour "capable of causing nuisance or annoyance". It's a great leap forward in arbitrary behaviour control, relieved only by the fact that you won't actually get a criminal record for breaching them.

Solomon Hughes

Doesn't leaving kids in pub lavs mean that is now 120,001 problem families ?


I reckon that story was a setup, Sol. It reinforces Cameron's image as "bumbling amiable toff" just as he's about to go in front of Leveson and explain why he employed Coulson, etc.

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