Miles Kington: There's nothing silly about the silly season

On holiday, you don't know what's going on. At first it's worrying, but then you realise you don't care

Share
Related Topics

A. Thanks.

Q. Lost a bit of weight.

A. Thanks.

Q. Looking a lot older, too.

A. Thanks a lot.

Q. Been away?

A. Yes.

Q. Had a nice time?

A. Yes, thanks.

Q. But you're back now?

A. Yes, I'm back and raring to go.

Q. Go where?

A. Away. On another holiday.

Q. Already?

A. Yes. I need a holiday. I'm exhausted. Absolutely exhausted. I'm totally knackered.

Q. Why?

A. Because of being on holiday, of course.

Q. Didn't you relax, then?

A. That's not the point. You might relax along the way, but most of a holiday involves grim effort. All that booking, and driving, and flying, and being ill abroad, and worrying about money ... Running a holiday is like a small-scale military operation. Getting the troops there. Keeping them happy. Keeping them out of trouble. Getting them back again. Knackering.

Q. I see. So getting back to work is a bit of a rest cure?

A. Yes. Well, it would be, except that it's the silly season, of course.

Q. Silly season?

A. July, August, September. In the papers. Silly season. No important news. All silly stories.

Q. Oh, yes, I remember. It's because Parliament is in recess, isn't it? And the Prime Minister is on holiday? So all the people who make the news are away, so no news gets made?

A. That used to be the theory.

Q. Isn't it any more?

A. No. Not since I came back from holiday.

Q. What's happened since you got back from holiday?

A. I've been thinking.

Q. Good God.

A. When people are on holiday, even news people, you are generally somewhere where you can't get English newspapers or understand the TV news, so you get out of touch. You don't know what's going on. To begin with, it's dead worrying, but suddenly one day you realise that it doesn't matter and you don't care. You don't care! You realise for once that it doesn't matter a damn that you don't know what Bush has said or who is dead or who won or lost anything or got the Olympics in 2012 or anything!

Q. I see.

A. And then you come back to work, and for a while you still don't care. For a month at least, till you are sucked back into the system. Which means that during that month, the papers and radio and TV news are manned by people who have just come back from their hols and can't see the point of any of this. So they just report the silly stories.

Q. So what you are saying, if I'm getting you, is that the silly season is not caused by the absence of news or newsworthy people - it's caused by a temporary aberration on the part of journalists?

A. No. By a temporary sanity on the part of journalists.

Q. Right. And so because they suddenly see that none of it really matters, they start giving undue weight to non-stories like - like what?

A. The Piano Man.

Q. Right.

A. Michael Buerk.

Q. Right.

A. Bird flu.

Q. Right - no, hold on! You can't say that that's a non-story! This flu is a real killer!

A. Yes, but it hasn't got here yet. It's only a scare story so far. All scare stories are silly season stories. Ken Clarke.

Q. Pardon?

A. Ken Clarke for Tory leader. Silly silly silly season story. Any story with the words "dream ticket" in it is a silly story.

Q. Right.

A. Disappearing jazz singer.

Q. She turned up, didn't she?

A. Disappearing jazz singer who hadn't even disappeared.

Q. Right. I get the idea.

A. British Airways catering ...

Q. Right! I get the idea!

A. Sorry.

Q. Why don't you leave me in peace? Why don't you just go away and write a piece about it?

A. I believe I might. Yes, perhaps I will.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour and the Liberal Democrats would both end winter fuel allowances for pensioners with enough income to pay the 40p tax rate  

Politicians court the grey vote because pensioners, unlike the young, vote

Andrew Grice
US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have a drink after agreeing a deal on carbon emissions  

Beijing must face down the perils of being big and powerful – or boom may turn to bust

Peter Popham
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable