Friday, December 05, 2008

Whatever Happened to Dale's Telegraph Column?

Thanks to those of you have been emailing asking what's happened to my Daily Telegraph column. I started it in February 2007 and have been writing it every fortnight since then, alternating with John Kampfner. However, the Telegraph have decided (and I rather agree with them) that the fortnightly thing didn't really work, so the column has been discontinued. If you are writing every fortnight it's difficult to build readership loyalty as they never know which is your on week and which is your off week. Kampfner and I also had a fairly narrow remit - to explain Brown and Cameron to the Telegraph readers, and to be honest I think both of us felt that perhaps we had exhausted our explanations.

Anyway, our columns seem to have been replaced with a politician writing in that slot each week (they no doubt some cheaper than Kampfner and me!).

It's been a privilege writing the column over the last twenty months. The Telegraph tell me they want me to write for the Notebook slot and deputise for their other columnists from time to time, so I hope you haven't seen the last of me in their pages. Time will tell!

29 comments:

Blackacre said...

Offer your services to the Indy - they need a sane Tory to balance out the world views of Bruce Anderson and Dominic Lawson!

Wyrdtimes said...

Sorry it didn't work out.

On the plus side - you'll be focussing more attention here as a result?

How about an article about the state of England - starved of democracy and funds by Labour's big British state.

Isn't it time for an English Parliament?

strapworld said...

Iain, I am sorry to read this. I did look forward to your column. Didn't always agree with you, but well written and enjoyable.

I read that the telegraph was cutting back on editorial staff! so the cut backs go further.

Anyway their loss is our gain!

DespairingLiberal said...

I congratulate you Iain - what an incredibly sophisticated and convincing way of avoiding saying you've been fired!

AnyoneButBrown said...

I'm sorry to hear that. Your column was essential reading. I hope you continue your writing beyond this blog and into the MSM

Mike

Hannibal said...

First they came for the Literary Editor, and when Sam Leith went they came for you.

Bad luck!

Alex said...

Iain,

I assume this post is in response to the rather unpleasant piece in the Guardian diary this morning.

Sorry to hear about the column, although the Telegraph has been a hopeless paper (save for the Alex cartoon) for quite some time...

Newmania said...

I `m not sure you are really a columnist although better than most.I shall always regret that you are not an MP . You could be tremendously good for the Conservative parrty whose cultural rapprochement with the country is far from complete.

Bird said...

I assume the ghastly Mary Riddell will stay as part of the Telegraph's desire to embrace equal opportunities.
Is she related to the Times' Peter Riddell? Is she the love-child of one of the Barclay brothers?

Tim Worstall said...

"they no doubt some cheaper than Kampfner and me!"

Politicians tend not to get paid by newspapers (unless they were journalists before they became politicians).

So yes.

The Daily Pundit said...

One door closes....

Paul Linford said...

Politicians tend not to get paid by newspapers (unless they were journalists before they became politicians).

I have to take you up on that, Tim.

Any cursory examination of the Register of Members' Interests will throw up scores of entries by MPs listing "occasional journalism" among their other paid work. The only circumstances I have come across in which a politician will write a column for nothing is if it's in their local paper.

That said, they may well still be cheaper than Iain and Kampfner.

MattyT said...

Iain - sorry to hear about the demise of your column (as it were). But I think perhaps more people read you here than in the DT (my dear old mum starts with the concise xword at breakfast and I don't thinks ever makes it to the comments). And anyway, as one income stream closes down another opens up, so suggest you get early into the home loan discount market opportunites offered by the Great Helmsman's "Mortgage Guarantee Fiddle"

Dick the Prick said...

Fair enough - it takes a while to learn the days of columnists and loyalty to them is a major incentive. When Rawnsley buggers off on one of his gigs I kinda feel ripped off and do the crossword. Coren, Coen & Porter are brill but....I'm a nerd.

PIENOMICS said...

Iain,

This post is off subject So apologies.

I have just looked at the BBC site. One of the lead stories is about Damian Green calling in a security firm to sweep his house, office and car for bugs.

What the hell is this country coming to? I am really shocked that this sort of thing can happen in the UK. Maybe I am just utterly naive.

One associates this sort of action with communists regimes.

The sooner this ragbag of incompetents are booted out of office the better.

Get to it Iain!!!!

Jimmy said...

Pienomics?

You're shocked at this tedious drama queen's house not being bugged? What next? A press release about how he's hired a team of mercenaries to protect him from assassination?

This boy is turning out to be a prat of the first order.

dugald said...

But politicians usually only spin the party line and that will turn off readers looking for more balanced opinion and interesting reading. Otherwise it's "Do nothing party", "no more return to boom and bust" etc etc.

Unless of course Boris is to write every article.

The whole telegraph project has been in reserve in recent months.

It comes a poor third in my on-line participation behind the times and guardian.

Michele said...

Jimmy - anyone with a sense of justice would be shocked about the possibility of having their home bugged.

Except of course if it was yours - you seem so impervious to basic rights and freedoms that I would be delighted if yours were to be bugged - but I rather think the resulting tapes would be incredibly ridiculous.

PS Sorry to hear about the column - the DT is poorer for the loss

Jimmy said...

Michele,

What possibility? Outside of what Green is no doubt pleased to call his mind there never was one. The allegation of bugging, like the earlier claim of entrapment, was a baseless smear against the police which we both know he will not have the courtesy to withdraw. At this rate he'll have taken to wearing a tinfoil hat before the month's out. I expect this sort of paranoid nonsense on the internet, but I would have expected a little more from someone aspiring to public office.

Kath said...

Pity you weren't going to the Cameron direct in Belfast tomorrow Iain, I would have enjoyed your direct assessment of the event. Great excitement about it.

JPT said...

They should have given you a weekly column then...

Iain Dale said...

JPT, :)

Kath, I will be going to a Cameron Direct soon, couldn't go to Belfast sadly.

Jimmy, I can assure you that politicians of all parties routinely have their offices swept. I know that for a fact. If I were Damian Green I'd certainly have done it too.

James said...

Iain, you are a true gentleman the way you defend your employer by talking about "exhausting your explanations" etc. However, we all know the real reason your column has been discontinued .... the same reason as everything else that gets discontinued in the Telegraph - insufficient references to Britney Spears. The new slot "Notebook" (sounds a bit Diary-ish) should afford plenty of opportunities for Celebrity Sightings.

Jimmy said...

"Jimmy, I can assure you that politicians of all parties routinely have their offices swept."

I'm sure they do. Can you think of anyone else who issues a press release though?

Half The Story said...

name checked in the standard today.

as DD's flag bearer.........

MattyT said...

"Jimmy, I can assure you that politicians of all parties routinely have their offices swept."

I'm sure they do. Can you think of anyone else who issues a press release though?

"Jimmy - you stinking stupid female orifice - maybe those who wish to demonstrate a last vestige of freedom - not something you'd understand, seeing as Lord Peter hasn't explained it to you yet (though I'm sure he's paid you enough).

Mr Ink said...

Have nothing further to do with them, Iain. The place is a disaster area.

Jimmy said...

Matty you smooth tongued devil you. You should try Guido's site. I think you'll really like it.

Tim Worstall said...

For Paul Linford:

"I have to take you up on that, Tim."

As someone who has ghosted pieces for politicians I have to say that the subject of payment by the paper has never come up. It's a general assumption that politicians want to be in the paper so much that they'll write for free.