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Gammon’s off as truth about Francois’ best-seller is revealed

Celebrations of Mark Francois' book, Spartan Victory, achieving best-seller status may be premature.

Brexiteer MP Mark Francois is interviewed on College Green in 2019. Photo: Richard Baker/In Pictures via Getty Images.

It has been a gloomy week on the sunlit uplands of sovereign Britain, as nationwide celebrations planned to mark the best-seller status of Mark Francois’ new book may have to be curtailed.

The MP self-published his Brexit diary after it was rejected by several mainstream publishers because (according to him) they were all Remoaners, and nothing at all to do with the fact that Faber & Faber don’t normally accept submissions consisting of Alphabetti Spaghetti letters glued to a page.

Yet try to buy Spartan Victory now from Amazon and you’ll find a banner hailing it as an #1 Best-Seller. Is this vindication for the man who looks like a meat paste statue of Penfold from Danger Mouse?

Look a little closer and you’ll see it’s No.1 in the ‘books about publishing’ section, where it doesn’t belong, beating the likes of David Kadavy’s Digital Zettelkasten: Principles, Methods and Examples (me neither) and a list of Tom Clancy’s books in chronological order. Just guessing, but you probably need to sell far fewer books to top that chart than you do in the Political Biographies section, where little Mark is only 23rd.

Francois’ already florid complexion can become even more flushed when he is vexed by Brexit criticism, which has led to the MP being compared to a piece of gammon. This is a ludicrous and unfair comparison: one is an inanimate lump of pinkish meat, and the other is a piece of gammon.

Nevertheless, even the ERG’s own Scrappy-Doo might find it ironic that leaving the EU is leading to a shortage of gammon this Christmas. Many EU butchers have returned home and a government u-turn intended to bring 800 back temporarily to process labour-intensive pork products has flopped.

“The products that require more butchery – the Christmas treats like gammon and pigs-in-blankets – are being sacrificed in order to get more things on supermarket shelves,” say the British Meat Processors’ Association. In short, don’t expect gammon to be a best-seller this Xmas – unless, of course, it’s accidentally listed in the ‘books about publishing’ section on Amazon.

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