Sunday July 10, 2011 (I thought this was online already, blame WordPress this time)
* SO some shops were sold out, some were left with piles of them. At my local newsagent, a man walked in and bought three copies of The News Of The World and barked to us all: This is my pension. Nobody could be sure if he was joking or not. Yet the shop man said he didn’t expect to sell out, but then he said he never does. What was striking about the final edition was the run down of best splashes in the souvenir pullout. This was a tour of NOTW history from war reports, Dr Crippen, England winning the World Cup, the Great Train Robbery, the first Iraq War…. and then a host of celebrities either cheating on their wives or snorting coke. In those pages, you could see how papers (not just the NOTW) over the decades became smitten with celebrity exposures for their page ones. For every brilliant investigation like the cricket match fixing scandal in this set, and that was brilliant, there were four or five or ten ‘Crouch Beds £800 Teen Hooker’. All time great splashes? Peter Crouch? I once saw inside the offices of the NOTW very briefly, several years ago, a reporter was looking a little frantic. His task for the day: Finding out whether Rebecca Loos had had sex on an aeroplane.
* On the News Of The World thing, this is essential viewing from Friday’s Newsnight. Greg Dyke, unusually, is turned into a virtual spectator as a week’s worth of bunged up rant pipes explode. So in case you missed it:
* ON Friday, I broke the story that Moira Gibb, Camden Council’s chief executive, is to leave the top job at the Town Hall. This inevitably sparked a sackload of speculation. She wasn’t happy that the plans for a superexec role running both Camden and Islington council fell through – says one corridor theory. She wasn’t happy with the drift towards lower pay for chief officers – says another. She was shocked by the Labour Party’s removal of deputy leader Angela Mason, with whom she worked closely on a day to day basis – says yet another.
But maybe, maybe, she just fancied doing something different after eight years. She has offered the admission after all that she has stayed at Judd Street longer than she expected when she was first appointed. At whatever point she chose to leave, there was always going to be gossip. If she had left four years ago, it would have been muttered that she didn’t like working with Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in charge. If she had left a year ago, it would have been muttered that she was dismayed at the new administration winning power. There is no moment where the armchair theorists wouldn’t have drawn up their own explanation. Just wanting to do something different, even if you just want to do something different, is never taken at face value. It is part of the cost of being the boss.
* That mayoral election next year is going to sneak up on us.. who wins? Boris is the bookmaker’s choice at the moment. He has odds of 8/13 and 2/5. The prices for the possible Lib Dem candidates tell a different story.