Monday, June 21, 2010

Martin Amis dismisses politics of Britain as an irrelevance
Novelist brands MPs touchy, vain, and power-hungry men, and calls for more female traits in government

Peter Allen
The Observer, Sunday 20 June 2010 

Martin Amis said his artistic process is one of ‘anxiety and ambition’, and it was difficult to find inspiration. Photograph: Richard Saker / Rex Features

The novelist Martin Amis yesterday dismissed Britain as a global irrelevance dominated by "touchy, vain, power-hungry male politicians" who are all but irrelevant.

Amis, whose best-selling books include Money and London Fields described the dramatic social change which took place under Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, and said her successors' efforts could safely be ignored. "British politics doesn't matter because it doesn't matter in the world, notwithstanding that everything is reduced to personality and gossip," he said at a literary festival in Paris. "There are no great issues – nothing that heats the blood."

While the Thatcherite revolution ultimately increased the UK's profile abroad, the Liberal-Conservative coalition of David Cameron was having next to no impact, Amis suggested. "You have to make a great effort to get interested in British politics," he said. "Every atom of your being has to be working to take an interest."
Amis added that "the aggressive posturing" of almost exclusively male politicians was a major problem, and that female traits needed to be introduced into government. He said governments today were dominated by "not very nice people – touchy, vain, power-hungry male politicians obsessed by maintaining face."

Describing his artistic process as one of "anxiety and ambition", Amis made it clear that he was finding it increasingly difficult to find inspiration. Even the subjects of modern sex and the permissive society, which dominated his early successes such as The Rachel Papers, were becoming staid, said Amis. "Writing autobiographical sex is disgusting," he explained. "It's awful when you write things like, 'Coming towards morning I took her again. She fainted for the second time'."
Full story at The Observer.

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