Friday, December 11, 2009


James Delingpole reminds us that Private Eye is not the magazine it once was ... certainly when it comes to Mann-made global warming.

But then I've never rated Hizzer. But what do you do with an editor who takes your copy without comment for years, and then the one and only time you ever hear from him is in a letter telling you that you've been doing a great job, that the readers really enjoy your column – and by the way he's halving your pay, publishing the column monthly instead of fortnightly, and changing the format, with only two-thirds of the length?

All that came without warning and without even the pretence of consultation – take it or leave it. I told him to stuff his job.

Delingpole reminds us of Christopher Booker's conversation with the "great man", when he remarked to Hislop how flimsy seemed much of the evidence behind the global warming scare. For his pains, he got a almighty put-down to the effect that George Monbiot of the Guardian knew a great deal more about the subject than he did and that he should think twice before daring to challenge such an expert authority.

Booker, let it not be forgotten, was the first editor of this once-great satirical organ – whose purpose, he always told contributors in the early days, was "to challenge all orthodoxies."

Over the decades, says Delingpole, Private Eye has more than lived up to this precept with its frank, fearless (and legally costly) willingness always to speak truth to power. But apparently not on this occasion.