Community Secretary Eric Pickles launched a scathing attack on the entertainment media, talking to constituents in Brentwood and Ongar yesterday. “I am constantly disappointed by the low levels of vicious and hurtful personal satire launched against me. I’m a morbidly obese northerner with funny glasses, a soppy voice and an ultra-conservative outlook, responsible for savage job cuts across the nation. And a funny name, for goodness sake! ” Pickles denied disappointment at not being named as a phone-hacking victim
“If we are to have a Britain where productivity and growth means anything, then the satire industry like everyone else has to pull its finger out”, he told a constituency meeting, before making a self-deprecating joke about his own growth.
“I look back with some fondness to the vicious Thatcher-era satire like Spitting Image which did so much to help fill the coffers of commercial TV. How wobbly do I have to get before being seen as a business opportunity by venture-satirists? Or is the lack of fat jokes I have to put up with a kind of new political correctness?