George Bush – he’s not dead yet, you know

The Guardian Weekend magazine has a questionnaire thing called Q&A; it puts to a different celebrity each week. The questions – some serious, some less so – are always the same, with the exception of the downright cheeky but irresistible ‘How often do you have sex?’, which only sometimes gets answered. (It’s not actually clear whether the interviewees get the choice of answering the question – although of course they can’t exactly be forced to – or the mag only asks it in the first place at its discretion.) Anyway, one of the other questions is ‘Which living person do you most despise?’ Unsurprisingly, most people answer ‘George Bush’, to the point where one reader recently wrote saying the question should be changed to ‘Which living person apart from George Bush do you most despise?’ Last week however, Streets frontman Mike Skinner’s reply was ‘Boris, idiot mayor of London’. Given that Boris Johnson has never, to my knowledge, started a war on a false premise which has seen thousands killed, I thought this a tad harsh, but then that’s the problem – Bush has set the bar so high that to name anyone else (apart perhaps from Tony Blair or the truly disgusting Robert Mugabe, who gets off lightly) just seems ridiculous. This week a reader comments on Skinner’s choice, saying that since Bush’s ‘demise’ last month the respondents to Q&A; are clearly finding they’re having to use their imaginations a bit more. But this reader (not to mention the Weekend letters editor) seems a tad confused, since last I heard, being voted out of office does not rule you out of being a living person, so I feel we can expect George to turn up in Q&A; for some time to come. Then again, Bush never really counted as a fully-alive human being for the whole of his presidency, so maybe not… although of course that would disqualify him from being named by all those Q&A; respondents over the past eight years, so we can’t have that. Anyway, I’ve written to the Guardian Weekend magazine to make my feelings clear.

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