Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

If you ask me...Pippa Middleton must realise the brutal training us real columnists have undergone

For most columnists, it’s been a long haul, and it’s never a matter of simply typing out any old rubbish from the top of your head
  • @deborahross

If you ask me, I beg you to not be too hard on Ms Pippa Middleton, and her new gig as a columnist with Waitrose Kitchen magazine, a position she has achieved even though her book, Celebrate, was widely derided, and she knows no more about food and cooking than you or I. It’s all about smart connections these days, people are saying, and where is it all going to end? With the entire Tatler Top 100 in government?

Actually, if they were, would it really be so bad? What if it was discovered, say, that what the people most want is more tennis? Wouldn’t they be best suited to push such measures through? Wouldn’t they understand that if the people want more tennis, they should have more tennis? Wouldn’t you like more tennis? I know I would.

So, fellow columnists, put your bitterness away, and all that grumbling about the unfairness of it all, and having to work your guts out to get to where you are today. We know, we know. We know it took four years studying at Columnist School, then rising though the ranks as Junior Columnist, Senior Columnist, right through, hopefully, to one day becoming a Consultant Columnist, with a tough speciality, like beauty tips or gossip or what was on TV last night or putting those ticks and crosses on the Oscar frocks. (You didn’t think just anyone could place ticks and crosses on Oscar frocks, did you? Were you born yesterday?) There are some who even make it as Big Name Columnists like, for example, Piers Morgan. Would he have got to where he is today if he had no proper qualifications, and wasn’t fully trained, so had nothing to bring to the table, besides being a woeful arse?

So we know that, for most columnists, it’s been a long haul, and it’s never a matter of simply typing out any old rubbish from the top of your head, then dancing around the room with the cheque, exclaiming, “I can’t believe they paid me for that! I can’t believe they paid me for that! Suckers!” It takes years of endeavour and dedication and, on occasion, even getting out of bed, although rarely leaving the house if it can be at all helped. It’s far from an easy gig, so I wish Ms Middleton luck with her new column which, as I understand it, is to be titled “Friday Night Feasts”. What does she expect people to eat on the other days of the week? I don’t know...cake?

Deborah Ross BColSc, DCol, FRCC, sits on the General Columnists Council and is also a contributor to whomever will have her. All proceeds from this article will be donated to her personal bank account