Sunday, 17 July 2011

News International/Vanity Fair

As murk and more murk are exposed by the News International scandal, it strikes me that the story so far wouldn’t be out of place in a good thick novel. The phone messages of a murdered 13-year-old girl are hacked. A hapless editor is scapegoated. Tongues wag. A more glamourous red headed editor is arrested. Characters from the criminal underbelly of the media sit in pubs and count their pay. The chief of police resigns. We get rapidly, via resignations and arrests, to a system that is rotten at the very heart of its institutions. And the cause, apart from human vanity? The single minded rise from obscurity of a self-made antipodean man. It’s Dickens' territory, or Trollope, or Thackeray ( Vanity Fair, of course). So who will transform all this murk and scandal into an 800-page doorstop? Someone to do for 2010s London what Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities did for 1980s New York. Who will be the writer that steps up to the plate?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I think this illustrates that great writers can often possess amazing foresight - Dennis Potter speaking about Rupert Murdoch in 1994 (start at about 7:45 in):

  3. What a fantastic clip. I wish Melvyn Bragg had let him carry on. Thanks!