I blame John Peel for dying. Or rather I blame Tony Blair for replying to the death of John Peel in the way he did.

It is 15 years since the disc jockey died. Such was Peel’s popularity that Tony Blair felt compelled to make a statement almost immediately. It followed a large number of other Prime Ministerial statements on famous people’s deaths. For some of us it was an already wearying trend. I wouldn’t say that it is a foundational issue of trust in our society, but surely we ought to assume that when a celebrity dies the Prime Minister of the day isn’t privately punching the air and exclaiming: “Good, we got another one!”

Read more