Biographical Background
Vernon Coleman was an angry young man for as long as it was decently possible. He then turned into an angry middle-aged man. And now, with no effort whatsoever, he has matured into being an angry old man. He is, he confesses, just as angry as he ever was. Indeed, he may be even angrier because, he says, the more he learns about life the more things he finds to be angry about.

Cruelty, prejudice and injustice are the three things most likely to arouse his well developed sense of ire but he admits that, at a pinch, inefficiency, incompetence and greed will do almost as well. He does not cope well with bossy people, particularly when they are dressed in uniform and attempting to confiscate his Swiss Army penknife. `Being told I can't do something has always seemed to me sufficient reason to do it,' he says. `And being told that I must do something has always seemed to me a very good reason not to do it.'

The author has an innate dislike of taking orders, a pathological contempt for pomposity, hypocrisy and the sort of unthinking political correctness which attracts support from Guardian reading pseudo-intellectuals. He also has a passionate loathing for those in authority who do not understand that unless their authority is tempered with compassion and a sense of responsibility the end result must always be an extremely unpleasant brand of totalitarianism. He believes that multiculturalism on a global scale is perfectly appropriate but that individual countries are best left to be individual. He regards the European Union as the most fascist organisation ever invented and looks forward to its early demise.

Vernon Coleman has written for The Guardian (he was a teenager at the time and knew no better), Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Observer, Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, The Sun, News of the World, Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, The People, Woman, Woman’s Own, Spectator, Punch, The Lady and hundreds of other leading publications in Britain and around the world. His books have been published by Thames and Hudson, Sidgwick and Jackson, Hamlyn, Macmillan, Robert Hale, Pan, Penguin, Corgi, Arrow and several dozen other publishers in the UK and reproduced by scores of discerning publishers around the world. His novel Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War was made into a film and a number of his other books have been turned into radio or television programmes. Today he publishes his books himself as this allows him to avoid contact with marketing men in silk suits and 19-year-old editorial directors called Fiona. In an earlier life he was the breakfast television doctor and in the now long-gone days when producers and editors were less wary of annoying the establishment, he was a regular broadcaster on radio and television.

He has never had a proper job (in the sense of working for someone else in regular, paid employment, with a cheque or pay packet at the end of the week or month) but he has had freelance and temporary employment in many forms. He has, for example, had paid employment as: magician's assistant, postman, fish delivery van driver, production line worker, chemical laboratory assistant, author, publisher, draughtsman, meals on wheels driver, feature writer, drama critic, book reviewer, columnist, surgeon, police surgeon, industrial medical officer, social worker, night club operator, property developer, magazine editor, general practitioner, private doctor, television presenter, radio presenter, agony aunt, university lecturer, casualty doctor and care home assistant. Much to his (and probably also to their) surprise, he has given evidence to committees in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Whether they took any notice of what he had to say is doubtful. They did not fall asleep.

Today, he likes books, films, cafes and writing. He writes, reads and collects books and has a larger library than most towns. A list of his favourite authors would require another book. He has never been much of an athlete, though he once won a certificate for swimming a width of the public baths in Walsall (which was, at the time, in Staffordshire but has now, apparently, been moved elsewhere). He no longer cherishes hopes of being called upon to play cricket for England and is resigned to the fact that he will now never drive a Formula 1 racing car in anger.

He doesn't like yappy dogs, big snarly dogs with saliva dripping from their fangs or people who think that wearing a uniform automatically gives them status and rights over everyone else. He likes trains, dislikes planes and used to like cars until idiots invented speed cameras, bus lanes and car parks where the spaces are so narrow that only the slimmest, and tinniest of vehicles will fit in.

He is inordinately fond of cats, likes pens and notebooks and used to enjoy watching cricket until the authorities sold out and allowed people to paint slogans on the grass. His interests and hobbies include animals, books, photography, drawing, chess, backgammon, cinema, philately, billiards, sitting in cafes and on benches and collecting Napoleana and old books that were written and published before dustwrappers were invented. He likes log fires and bonfires, motor racing and music by Beethoven, Mozart and Mahler and dislikes politicians, bureaucrats and cauliflower cheese. He likes videos but loathes DVDs. His favourite 12 people in history include (in no particular order): Daniel Defoe, Che Guevera, Napoleon Bonaparte, W. G. Grace, William Cobbett, Thomas Paine, John Lilburne, Aphra Behn, P. G. Wodehouse, Jerome K. Jerome, Francis Drake and Walter Ralegh all of whom had more than it takes and most of whom were English. What an unbeatable team they would have made. Grace and Bonaparte opening the batting and Drake and Ralegh opening the bowling. Gilles Villeneuve would bring on the drinks, though would probably spill more than he delivered.

Vernon Coleman lives in the delightful if isolated village of Bilbury in Devon and enjoys malt whisky, toasted muffins and old films. He is devoted to Donna Antoinette who is the kindest, sweetest, most sensitive woman a man could hope to meet and who, as an undeserved but welcome bonus, makes the very best roast parsnips on the planet.