Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Never Mind 'I' - What About Me?

I can't pretend I wasn't excited when I learned that the people behind The Independent were about to launch a new, national, daily paper. Whenever I'd been able to pick a copy up, I'd always rather enjoyed The Indie's take on the world, and always thought it rather a shame that its circulation never really reached much beyond Muswell Hill.

Even the news that, like some Premier League football club, it had been purchased by a Russian oligarch didn't put me off. As a (semi) retired journalist, I must admit I might have harboured a slim hope that my phone would ring, and I'd be offered a regular column in this new addition to the media stables - The i. Alas, it was not to be. I can only surmise that my reputation has preceded me, and that my barbed quill was thought to have no place in the anodyne world of 21st century journalism.

In my defence, I can only parade my CV - The Stockport Messenger, The Letchworth Chronicle, The Harpenden Times and Argus, The Birkenhead Beagle, The Stockport Courier, Beyond the Boundary, The Cirencester Journal, The Stockport Echo ... I could go on ... have all, at some point, carried my byline.

Quite why the people at The i have seen fit to spurn Bill Blunt is beyond me. As I am now drawing my pension, I am quite prepared to offer my services at an appropriate rate.

My son Jasper had an interesting take on the matter. 'Pa,' he said 'This new kid on the block is clearly aimed at the Twitter generation. They're not after cutting analysis and commentary.' Alas, I think he may be right.

However, I do applaud the tactical manoeuvring of the folk behind the new project. The Independent, with its circulation in free fall, is clearly destined for the knackers yard. The new i might just capture the zeitgeist. And at 20p, even an OAP like me can afford it.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

We're All In This Together...

After much trailing, Chancellor Osborne revealed the extent of the ConLib cuts yesterday.

We won't know the full impact of the cuts for a year or two, but all signs point to an increase in unemployment of around a million, destabilisation in the housing market as changes to Housing benefit kick in, and a cull of public services across the board.

Although we're told that 'We're all in this together', it seems as though some are going to be in 'it' rather more deeply than others. As the BBC noted yesterday:

I know where I'll be investing my dwindling pile of cash over the next few months, anyway.

Take a tip, and buy yourself a paddle, while you still can.