Monday 16 September 2019

Declan Lynch: 'Editor's gaffe writes a new chapter on Brexit blunders'

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Jacob Rees-Mogg
Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

The story of William Sitwell resigning as editor of the Waitrose magazine because he sent a supposedly humorous email to a freelance contributor about killing all vegans is a kind of homage to the spirit of Brexit - at every turn you see the wrong decision being made, with each new day, it gets slightly worse for all concerned.

Of course he shouldn't have resigned, or he shouldn't have been expected to resign just because he made a poor joke - if he were a professional comedian, it would indeed be disgraceful, but instead he is just some foodie off the telly, so it doesn't matter.

So you've got two wrong decisions there, his resignation and the acceptance of his resignation. Three wrong decisions, if you include the freelancer thinking anyone should give a damn about William Sitwell's take on veganism.

Ah, but then it became immeasurably worse, as things tend to do these days, when Sitwell's posh friends started weighing in with tributes to "one of the most talented magazine editors of his generation" - in their regard for him, which is also a form of self-regard, it did not seem odd to them that such talent would be going into the supermarket magazines sector.

Now this guy that you vaguely remembered as being a minor player on MasterChef is being lauded by Jacob Rees-Mogg himself, who tweets that "William is a brilliant writer and an old friend, this is all a great pity."

So just in case the story wasn't Brexity enough in its demonstration of the ineptitude of Britain's ruling class, along comes an actual Brexiteer to give it his imprimatur.

We will never see Sitwell again, eating something on MasterChef, without seeing in the mind's eye the face of Jacob Rees-Mogg (inset), without hearing his absurd tribute.

Meanwhile veganism is clearly an idea that has found its time, coming such a long way since the days when the only vegan that most of us had ever heard of, was Davey Payne, the saxophone player with Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

So the posh lads are wrong about that one too. But of course… of course they're wrong.

Sunday Independent

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