Tim Montgomerie had the scoop that Fraser Nelson is to become the new editor of The Spectator. He says virtually everything I would want to say about Fraser, who I regard as the most talented young writer on British politics today. I only hope that sitting in the editor's chair won't affect his prodigious output.
The appointment comes as a surprise, if only because no one knew there was about to be a vacancy. Matthew D'Ancona is leaving to pursue as yet undefined other interests. He's done a tremendous job in his three and a half years in the post. His main legacy is perhaps the successful move into the internet era and the launch of the Coffee House blog, which has become a must read for anyone in politics.
Matthew is going to continue writing his Sunday Telegraph column, but I imagine he will be taking on a key job elesewhere before too long. If I were David Cameron I'd certainly think of offering him a key role in a revitalised Downing Street Policy Unit if he wins the election. And maybe a peerage to go along with it. He would be an excellent voice for Conservatism on the red benches.
Of course, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that D'Ancona has decided to step down to pursue a political career on the green benches. I have no knowledge to that effect, but if he did decide to head in that direction it is something every Conservative should welcome.
Terrific news - well done Fraser Nelson.
Must say, have enjoyed Matthew D'Ancona's editorship and wish him well.
When can Fraser learn to speak English without strangulating every vowel.
I agree that Coffee House has been the most tremendous success and Matthew d'Ancona deserves fulsome praise.
As a Speccy reader, though, for over twenty years I can't help but regret the slide into lifestyle journalism (numerous dull articles on holiday destinations and even duller celebrity diarists) that seems to have beset the magazine over the last few years.
An inspired appointment! Weed out the trashy advertising that has infected the mag during D'Ancona's reign, together with all those awful faux-invitations to cigar events! Keep it sharp, right-wing and real - and find the Jeffrey Bernard of our times!
Lord Ronnie of D'Ancona? Puhleese! This chap was in thrall to Gordon until it became clear that Brown couldn't be trusted to run a bath without fucking it up.
The best interests of Parliament, as it struggles to regain credibility, are not best served by party leaders appointing cheerleaders to the ermine.
Who needs Jeff Bernard when the excellent Jeremy Clarke writes Lowlife so well?
Just thought you might be interested in a blog that is on the attack against an old adversary Margaret Hodge
Endorse Idle's last sentence umpteen fold.
Under D'Ancona the magazine lost much of its wit and humour. Too many articles lacked penetration or indeed purpose - other than pandering to some research debrief. This week is a fairly good example - the allure of handbags and the cost of weddings.
They should stick to their knitting!
"...the most talented writer on British politics today..." Do you really think so? ROFL LMAO ASTC all in one, to borrow a phrase.
"the most talented writer on British politics today"
I thought that was your (very) frequent visitor "Quietzapple".
9 comments so far and no sign of the delusional old fart yet?
I wish Fraser well in his appointment.A suitable post as you suggest for Matthew would have undoubtable benefits if he anything like his father one of the smartest persons in-but now retired- out of the civil service
Loved the Speccie recently, sad to see him go. Cameron needs some serious quality, genius idea.
I'd rather Fraser Nelson became part of David Cameron's team, but somehow I think his views are a touch too strident for the Cameroonies. Hopefully Fraser Nelson will bring The Spectator back to its former self as a purveyor of intelligent political commentary rather than a rival to the weekend lifestyle sections of the broadsheets.
A fabulous appointment - didn't care for it too much under D'Ancona's reign - too in thrall to gormless and articles too reminiscent of inflight magazines
Have they still got the totally unfunny cartoons?
Fraser works hard and is to some extent, a voice crying in the wilderness. His posts over at the Spectator always have that smell of integrity.
Apart from begging me to tell him about a Heisenberg Compensator so that he can establish a HQ phone link to the BBC, (http://wrinkledweasel.blogspot.com/2009/05/fraser-nelson-and-heisenberg.html)and demonstrating he knows bugger all about technology
he is a diamond geezer.
Three impertinent suggestions for Fraser, as new Editor of the Speccie - (and I'm sure he will make a more than capable fist of the job):
a) Book some elocution lessons. Your communication style is so strangulated and mannered, you are sometimes barely comprehensible.
b) For the same underlying reason, go easy on the statistics. Even quite brainy Speccie readers struggle with densely argued numbers and illegible graphs, to say nothing of the rest of us.
c) Give Hoskin the boot as Coffeehouse Censor-in-Chief. And while you're at it, make sure comments get posted within at least a light-year from initial submission.
You might even throw caution to the winds and allow instant publication. What a technological revolution that would be, eh?
Good news! I may even revive my subscription. The Spectator had become so boring that I wasn't reading it.
As for the "strangulated vowels", do our fellow commenters realise that the Specator is a magazine, something that you read?
Another suggestion for Mr Nelson when he takes over the editor's chair.
Get rid of the ubiquitous, tedious, talentless Deborah Ross
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