THE BLOG

On Pippa, Waitrose and Concrete Boots

08/04/2013 15:47 BST | Updated 07/06/2013 10:12 BST

Ok, I'm a little late to the party.

I know that the fuss about the appointment of Pippa Middleton as a food writer to the Waitrose Kitchen magazine seems to have died down.

But I will take your penny for my thoughts, thank you very much indeed.

And I'll cut straight to the heart of the matter.

Editors, publishers, agents - in their eagerness to make this particular portion of 'Brand Middleton' acceptable, and palatable to the general public, they have overlooked one thing - this girl cannot write.

They've obviously spent a fortune on designers, food stylists, photographers to make the Waitrose column - and her book - look beautiful. And it does. But's its obviously set up to mask the fact that the writing clunks along on its way - lumpy, leaden, turgid prose that fails to resonate on any level at all.

In trying to make darling Pip the new Nigella, they seem to have forgotten one thing - Nigella could write. Nigella is a writer - I have set aside whole afternoons to read a Nigella cookbook without cooking a damn thing from it. Revelling in her ability to engage with her audience, its easy to see how one with true skill can take a passion for a subject (which Pippa may or may not truly have), and turn it into something divine, and enjoyable to read.

Now - see what I did there? I dispensed with the need to turn this into a debate about class. None of this is about class, or money. Nigella went to good schools, Nigella's father is who he is. She has a pantry full of things we've never heard of, that probably cost a fortune. And we still love her, we still understand her, we still engage with her.

We're not punishing Pip-Pip for going to good schools. Or being the sister of that similarly turgid creature, the Duchess of Cambridge.

In more expert hands, her claims to have made sushi rolls with a set of rugger-bugger friends in her first article, could have passed as a lovely, genuine anecdote that could have us reaching for our sushi mats.

But nothing she writes resonates.

She simply cannot do it. And I can't blame it on first column nerves - she wrote a whole book (it's massive), and it crawled along as if it was wearing a concrete boot.

We're wise to the fact that Pippa is being thrust in our faces, and we don't like it. We like it even less when she's thrust into our faces without the talent to justify it.

We're a lot brighter, and wiser, than the publicists, editors, advisors, agents think.