It is a peculiar trait that we Britons have. We like people when they are down, witness how Russell Brand, a man with a host of problems in his past with carious addictions, has become a much loved success story, successful comic and a Hollywood star, has risen to the top on a bandwagon of "well done to him" and "he's really turned himself around" congratulations from the British public over the course of three years.
Then we can look at Jonathan Ross, once, in the late 1980's, the bright young thing of broadcasting, who fell from grace, did an inordinate amount of crap for ITV and seemed the very height of "uncool", who then resurrected his career, with only the Daily Mail seeming unable to wish him well as his stock rose again.
And now, with these two men at the height, they make stupid childish error. They got too big for their boots. It happens to the very best, and suddenly a tidal wave of Daily Mail readers, stirred up by stories at the weekend and a woman who in my opinion, reading between the lines, has an axe to grind over an issue of a personal nature over Russell Brand (yes, I am referring to Andrew Sachs granddaughter) and wants to make a name for herself. Yes, suddenly thousands of people who never even listened to radio 2, people who are not even up at the late evening time that Russell Brand's radio show was broadcast are up in arms, they smell blood because we have this strange obsession in this country building people up to knock them down.
For the record I thought Brand and Ross were not in the slightest bit funny. I thought what they did was wrong and required an apology from them and from the BBC and the producers of the show. With Children in Need so soon, it would have been an ideal opportunity for them to make a large donation, seek to make ammends and do so as quickly as possible. I note that Jonathan Ross was quick to visit Andrew Sachs in person and offer a personal apology, well done to him, but Russell brand's response was less swift, and he has now left the BBC.
Let's lose the obsession with knocking people who are a success. The irony is that the Daily Mail supported fat cat pay rises in the city because "they earnt it", they don't oppose people getting rich on the back of talent and hard work, but seemingly this meritocracy does not extend to entertainers.
For me it says much about us as a nation. We like bandwagons, we like to share in obsessions be they our hatred of success, people getting above themselves, people who are different, people who don't look like us or like the sad spectacle after Princess Diana's death, a sudden hating of the Royal family for 36 hours whilst millions of people who bought the papers that paid the paparazzi to chase her car through tunnels stood there unified in disgust in others whilst failing to accept their own responsibility.
I love being British, I love what this country stands for, but I do hate the way some of us act and the "pack" mentality. Papers like the cheap tabloids play on this, they make us jump on bandwagons and they bring out the very worst in us.
There is nothing wrong with complaining, but complain because you want to, not because a newspaper tells you or makes you feel like you should.
Let's hope the Daily Mail will now draw a line under this. Let's face it, we all make mistakes. After all, didn't the Daily Mail back the fascists in the 1930's and urge peace with Hitler ?