Thursday, 25 February 2010

Separated at birth

I felt I wanted to comment on the efforts to oppose Rod Liddle from becoming the new editor of the Independent - if and when it it bought by Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev.

Liddle has mainly attracted charges of sexism, racism and climate change denial, which are completely at odds with the current readership of the paper.

The Staggers has a round-up from the blogosphere and concludes the popularity of such a move has to be doubted.

And my near neighbour Left Outside comments that a boycott of the paper would be a liberal (and I daresay democratic) response.

Not the new editor of The Independent

I can't say I would be overly upset if Liddle didn't get the job - especially since he declared his Berkshirephobia in a typical piece of rent-a-quote punditry (as I said to LO, that's not the most judicious kind of thing an editor should write if he wants to win a wider audience).

And looking at the damage Piers Morgan did to the Daily Mirror's reputation when he was in charge, well meant though he may have been, having a platform for your opinion is not the same thing as presenting balanced and reliable evidence-based stories to the public.

So although I'm not a big reader of the Indie (hardly at all if I'm honest) to put such a man in charge would in my view only further weaken the ability to hold politicians to account in public, and that has got to be a bad thing.

Also not the editor of The Independent

For my own part I've always been struck by the similarity between Liddle and one of the two surviving Labour MPs in Berkshire, Martin Salter.

Both are grumpy middle-aged ego-maniacs with an uncanny ability to grab headlines by making divisive comments. Both supported extending detention without trial and other various infringements on civil liberties. And both have a habit of leaving a trail of burnt ground in their wake (just ask Jane Griffiths or the Today programme).

And Mr Salter is also set to run away from Berkshire at the first threat that he might not hold his seat (though we understand his friends are in Canada, not Russia). could it be that they are actually two peas from the same pod?

No comments: