Actress Miranda Richardson nailed one of them this week: Britain has a “hideous” approach to success, she said. She’s right.
Richardson is chairman of the judges for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. She was keen to see novelist Hilary Mantel on the shortlist but feared a backlash. Why? For the simple reason that Mantel has won two prestigious awards and may now be vilified for “having too much success” (a fate that befell Lady Thatcher for having the temerity to win three general elections in a row for her party, but let that pass).
The actress referred to “tall poppy syndrome”, describing the attitude thus: “‘You’ve already had too much success and you can’t have any more. Go away and die now.’ People are quite vitriolic. I think it’s disgusting.”