Yes, I confess: I am an M person

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The Independent Online
I have decided to come out as an M person.

I found myself in a state of shock when I opened Saturday's newspapers to find that Janet Street-Porter, of Live TV, had delivered a diatribe against senior figures in television management. They are, she said, M people - middle class, middle-brow, middle-aged, male and ... fairly mediocre.

Coming out is such a relief. I am proud that I will not ever become a victim of Janet Street-Porter's thinly disguised call for outing. That I will not sit helplessly at my desk waiting for some venomous woman to sneak up behind me and stick an M badge on my back as I try to catch a quiet few minutes to read the latest Dick Francis.

Yet when I began last week effortlessly humming both the Blur and Oasis songs, nothing could have been further from my mind. My life, I believed, would continue to be one of pretence.

For years now I have been tortured by demons as I have sought to deny my 'M'ness. I turned to drink and drugs, eventually seeking help at the Groucho clinic, where I was encouraged to ape the jargon of the youngest advertising and media folk.

It cost me a fortune in bar bills, but the spiritual cost was far greater. I winced as I heard myself mouthing aphorisms to try to prove to my new- found peers that I wasn't really M.

Reeves and Mortimer were bloody hilarious last night, I would lie brazenly, just to deny my M drive. Look at those saddos going to the Royal Opera House, I would jeer. Come on, let's go clubbing. Like all people in denial, I took it upon myself to be the leader.

Even at home my life was a sham, a hideous charade. I will not have the middle-brow in this house, I raged, as I cancelled the subscription to Mojo and took out one for GQ instead.

God, it was stressful being brilliant, innovative and youthful, often all three on the same day. And it could be so boring. When I befriended Damien Hirst to show that I was at the cutting edge, for instance. Those endless nights talking about stuffed sheep, those dawn drives to the slaughter house. Then the early evening runs across the border, into south London, a strange land devoid of Ms, to spend an evening listening to jungle music.

As the tuneless rapped-out repetitions drummed into my brain, I found myself fantasising about Mness. My feet tapped, but my mind was 20 miles to the north, in the lush suburbs, playing tennis, watching a sitcom, eating at a Berni Inn. Forbidden fruit, lustful yearnings that I must forever suppress.

No longer. I'm out. We Ms must take the initiative. Let us proclaim our Mness. Let us wear ties with silk M patterns. Let us ask Armani to make the M in his name a large capital letter so that our suits spell it out for all to see.

I am glad Janet Street-Porter has given me the chance to pre-empt the bigots and openly declare myself M to the power of 4. (I am still striving to be middle-aged, but as I am considerably younger than Miss Street-Porter, I will have to conclude reluctantly that I haven't got there yet.)

If the television executives at the BBC refuse to come out and stand up for Mness, I will do it for them. Sing if you're glad to be M. Sing that you're now one of them.

No more will I sneak into M clubs like the Garrick claiming that I never realised it was an M den, and I thought everyone was in fancy dress.

At last I will be able to take holidays in Tuscany, sit in the sun with fellow Ms and work hard on developing a tan and a paunch.

And back at work I will cease the traumatic negation of my essential illness. No more will I tell young women as I make them coffee that the women's group is a terribly good idea, and what a scandal it is that 70 per cent of executives aren't women under 17. I will eschew their company. Instead I will go to the pub with other Ms, make lewd jokes, talk about the Premier League and speculate on the sex lives of female members of staff.

At last I will be free. I will be true to myself and I will be proud to speak out about my M orientation. But already I am finding that proclaiming the joys of Mness is not sufficient. I feel aggressive and warlike against those who for their own purposes seek to hide their shortcomings behind a prejudiced attack on us Ms.

I refer of course to the F people. Fierce, frustrated, faddish, fairly foul mouthed, and invariably, indubitably, inevitably, inexorably female.

Miles Kington is away.