Favourite Hate Figure

The Editors

The Sky News presenter Adam Boulton names his 'favourite hate figure' in the May issue of Total Politics:

There's a classics don called Mary Beard. I think she's the worst kind of modern liberal. Or you could widen it to the London Review of Books.


  • 18 June 2010 at 9:29am
    outofdate says:
    Shame he confuses the LRB with the some other three-letter rag, otherwise it would have been quite funny, especially the image of Adam Boulton, apoplectic even at rest, ripping the flimsy pages to shreds as he goes along.

    • 20 June 2010 at 6:43am
      Ay yah...

      I suppose it would make no sense at all to hate the TLS, that would be like hating sand, or being passionately opposed to drying paint. Then again the reason the dyspeptic ageing male is funny is precisely because there's no sense or proportion to his ressentiment, so that he'll take massive injustice or genocide with equanimity but be reduced to a spluttering wreck by a grocer's apostrophe. Being one myself I can report (in reply to Robing Durie) that 'hates' is exactly right, no point mincing words.

    • 21 June 2010 at 2:07am
      pinhut says: @ outofdate
      It's probably because she's intellectually curious and not that good-looking, a sort of female John McCririck. She usurps both the man's role of Thinker, while neglecting her proper position, that of the Living Ornament, pleasing men by careful choice of clothes and skilfully applied cosmetics.

    • 21 June 2010 at 2:11am
      pinhut says: @ pinhut
      Oops. I am only suggesting that her looks bear a relation to John McCririck, not the intellectual curiosity.

    • 21 June 2010 at 6:57am
      Phil Edwards says: @ pinhut
      I still think you might want to reconsider that analogy.

  • 18 June 2010 at 9:30am
    Nick Holdstock says:
    Total Politics describes itself as 'a lifestyle magazine dedicated to all things political', which makes it sound like it's trying to be a kind of GQ-New Statesmen hybrid. In this vein, it promises to provide 'sartorial tips including what suits to choose, how to wear them and who's wearing what in our Political Fashion column'.

    It also sets itself the daunting task of being 'unremittingly positive about the political process'- one can only suppose that they view the LRB as being outwith this sphere.

  • 18 June 2010 at 2:31pm
    Phil Edwards says:
    Ouch. This reminds me of when, as an idealistic teenager, I first encountered someone who hated socialists. It wasn't that they were bored by politics or unsympathetic with people who took it seriously; it wasn't even that they thought people with my beliefs were mistaken or stupid. It was much simpler: they thought socialists were a bad thing, and a street/town/world containing fewer of them would be improved thereby.

    I was taken aback and frankly rather baffled. I got over it in time, and even came to see that some people might have (what they considered to be) good (if mistaken) reasons for hating socialists (depending on what we mean by 'socialists'). And now this.

    He hates the LRB - even more than he hates Alastair Campbell, presumably. Isn't that a bit like saying you hate reading views you may not agree with expressed articulately?

    • 21 June 2010 at 2:04am
      pinhut says: @ Phil Edwards
      "This reminds me of when, as an idealistic teenager, I first encountered someone who hated socialists."

      Are you still encountering them? I am. Just this week I've been denounced as 'a red' by one of those strange people from the US.

  • 18 June 2010 at 9:48pm
    Robin Durie says:
    I'm with Phil on this - so he really "hates" Mary Beard? I mean, really "hates"?

    So, what/who would be the quid/quis pro quo? Well, of course, Melanie Phillips.

    But do any of us really hate MP? Sure, she's a wind-up merchant of the 1st order, wrong about more or less everything she writes, & pompous in the extreme...but, "hate"?...nah...

    But one way or another - since when did it become fun to tell everyone about how, & how much, we hate?

    Btw - Mary Beard is one of the finest writers for the LRB - both her reflections on contemporary events, & her "scholarly" reviews, which are invariably engaging & compelling.

  • 21 June 2010 at 10:43pm
    alex says:
    this debate has centred round personalities. To judge 'Total Politics', on the other hand, you could be totally indifferent to people as long as you understood colour. TP's site was designed by someone with a strong penchant for garish colours and capital letters. But what colour did they decide was most suitable for the adjective in their magazine name? Brown...

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