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May 27, 2010


Tim Ireland

Thanks for the supportive link/thoughts. Cheers.


I tried to cancel my subscription about three years ago, but then my children renewed it for me and I was stuck with it of another a couple of years. During that time I tended to flick through it then put it in the bin.

While the portrayal of Blair as the Vicar of St. Abion's was ahead of the curve, I found the subsequent portrayal of Gordon Brown very unimaginative. I think that there has been a lack of solid content since the death of Paul Foot, who did dossiers with a lot of in-depth reporting on some issues, which then fed into updates on the same areas. Since the death of Foot the back pages have lacked clear themes.

Grudges. I think too much is made of a so-called grudge between the Guardian and the Observer. If "Flat Earth News" or Nick Davies is mentioned, the grudge between the two sister papers is always mentioned. The obvious point that the Observer's reporting was wrong in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq (and Davies' analysis of why that happened) doesn't get mentioned. I used to think that I got a bigger picture with Private Eye and I no longer feel that.


I like what Tim does, but I do wish he'd apply some précis to his pieces.

Chris Williams

I thought that too, for a time. The trouble is, when you're actually up against nasty gits, it's always safer to unwind the point in as much length as possible, rather than summarise it in a way which leaves the meaning obvious to reasonable people, but can be picked up and used against you by your enemies.

Tim is indeed a living national treasure.


Agreed. From a journalistic point of view he does need editing, but the human buzzsaw approach is probably the best one to take given who he's up against.

Chris Williams

Given the nature of the other active thread, Jamie, perhaps the metaphor you just used could have been differently chosen. Still, if I can't take a joke...


It's not just from a journalistic point of view, though. The point is that if I saw a piece like that and didn't know anything about the facts in advance, I wouldn't know what to think about it except "Gawd, that chap's going on a bit". Which is the opposite effect from that presumably intended.


I stopped telling people about my problems at work (all behind me now, thanks for asking) when my mind wandered one day when I was halfway through the story & I caught myself thinking "blimey, sounds like his face didn't fit!". And if I thought it sounded like that myself... The fact that someone's going on and on about how badly they've been treated shouldn't make it less believable that they have been treated badly, but it seems to work that way.


I arrived home last night after a week away and the latest issue was in my postbox. Opening it this morning, I spotted on page 29 a "pictured above" where there's no picture and on page 27 two different versions of Jeffrey Archer's latest title. (We may or may not allow the claim on page 25 that Russell Crowe is Australian.) If I can spot these sizeable errors without even trying (and early in the morning and before coffee, at that) why can't they?

Still, on the other hand there's Slicker, and his long pursuit of Ray Keene's old lawyer. So you either pays your money or you doesn't.

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