"It is a great and glorious tradition the world over - to vehemently state one thing and then do the exact opposite," begins the Amazon synopsis of Julie Burchill's latest book Not in My Name: A Compendium of Modern Hypocrisy. In the light of my announcement of my death and now resurrection within a week, I know exactly what she means. She gives a splendid interview to the Guardian today, here we go. She only got £2k for the book serialisation in the Mail. I blame Gordon Bown and his four planets in the secretive, furtive 12th (Piscean) house. His baleful influence turns everyone into a skinflint. Forget about David Miliband. Too prissy.
However it is Julie's co-writer, a male hack called Chas Newkey-Burden, who on this occasion interests me more. He appears to be the Carol Vorderman of the stocking-filler tome, an auto-churner of disposable literature, or listerature. To take 2007 as an example, he produced: Arsenal: Premiership Player Profiles; The Reduced History of Dogs; Paris Hilton: Life on the Edge; Great Email Disasters; and The All-New Official Arsenal Miscellany.
I marvel at such industry. And he must be quite savvy to be a pal of La Burch. Earlier this year he became the instant biographer of Amy Winehouse. Ahead of us are Help! I'm Turning into My Dad and The Dog Directory: Facts, Figures and Profiles of Over 100 Breeds.
His name - Chas Newkey-Burden - seems marvellously throw-away, too. "Here lies Chas Newkey-Burden" - no, it doesn't sound right, does it? It's not a name for a tombstone etch. Chas suggests impatience to me, an irritation with anything long-winded; so he adopted a nice fleeting sound for a first name. Nothing too formal, like. I think I may have to interview this will-o'-the-wisp of modern publishing. I am fascinated by industrial dervishes. I must examine his horoscope if not his oeuvre.