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A recently submitted comment on an old post, makes a valid point. It's in response to my repetitive and transparently self-serving requests for evidence that people read this blog:

'Matthew, ten people want you to keep on blogging. Please employ a cost-benefit analysis. R'

The comment (leading me immediately to suspect anyone whose name begins with the letter 'R') panders both to my unquenchable thirst for self-deprecation and encourages me to spend less time posting.  (See what you've done, 'R' - bet you feel pretty low now?)

Fortunately, I can kill two birds with one stone.  Towards the back end of last year, The Times ran a couple of articles by me in their '4th plinth' (as I call it) commentary slot.  I also got invited to some great breakfasts to coincide with the publication of the newspaper's Eureka supplement.  At last, I thought, my ambition to be a regular columnist is about to be fulfilled.  Sadly, the new dawn turned out to be a flash in the pan.  Since then, I've sent in loads of ideas, and even a couple of full columns, with no joy. 

So, human nature being what it is, you would expect me to read The Times comment pages with a jaundiced eye - 'how can they reject me and print this rubbish?'  But I am bigger than that, oh yes, and being big is made very easy today when there are four brilliant pieces:

Duncan Bannatyne, urging British entrepreneurs to invest in Haiti;

Richard Kemp, on why we should feel positive and determined in the face of bin Laden's latest claims;

David Aaronovitch, writing about the Edlington case with his usual mixture of common sense and scathing wit; and

Rachel Sylvester on Chilcot, making me feel (a little) better about my old boss. (Accompanied, for balance, by a clever and cruel cartoon.) 

The fact is I could write articles till the cows came home, made themselves a light supper and settled back to watch Newsnight (or should that be 'Moosnight'?) and still not match any of these. 

I guess I'll have to stick to the quality-assurance-free zone that is my blog.  Sorry 'R'!


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