2019 July -December

WHAT is the point of the Daily Mail’s new cartoonist Paul Thomas? His drawings are just not funny, in fact they are embarassingly bad. Every day.

Thomas was hired to replace the brilliant Mac, Stan McMurtry, who retired last December. 

Yesterday he plumbed new depths by drawing a cartoon, pictured above, which not only isn’t funny but doesn’t make sense.

Does anyone get the ‘joke'? The Drone can’t explain it.

The editor should have taken Mr Thomas aside and whispered in his ear: “Could you have another think, old man?”

For that matter, the Mail On Sunday cartoonist Michael Heath isn’t much better either.

It’s a sad state of affairs when newspapers lose their sense of humour.

*An observant reader points out that the cartoon has a headline to which the answer is No.


The former Daily Mail editor has revealed all in The Spectator. Read his fascinating piece here

BOSSES at the Daily Mail are planning a power grab — by merging its Sunday sister title into a seven-day operation.

The action, which would hit jobs and put the daily paper in the driving seat, comes as the Mail on Sunday is on the backfoot after getting served by Meghan Markle.

The plan will be met with some resistance. The old guard at the MoS don't much care for the daily's recent chumminess with the celebrity set under new editor Geordie Greig.

It didn't escape their notice that Greig offered his good friend David Furnish a massive deal for the serialisation rights to Elton John's new memoir (a deal which has ended up doing naff all for their sales).

But the thing that really caused raised eyebrows was Geordie agreeing to turn off the comments underneath the online version to avoid any unwanted "negativity”.



Wretched Reach plans to sack 20 more staff
TWENTY staff are facing redundancy at Reach as the news group continues to integrate teams following its buyout of  Express Newspapers.

The proposals affect staff working on the group’s national titles within the supplements, celebrity magazines, sport and fashion departments.

Reach bought OK!, New! and Star magazines as part of its £127million deal with Richard Desmond last year, which saw it acquire the Express and Star titles.

Former Mirrorman Revel Barker commented: "How odd is it to realise that 'in our day' we were working in a period of wealth, stability  and even (comparative) sanity?”



Exactly another year on and here we are again, back on holiday in beautiful Cornwall, taking time to  visit our old friend and colleague, Gentleman JIM DAVIES.  

When we visited Jim and Pat in 2018, he hadn’t been in good health for several months. Things picked up for a bit, but unfortunately Jim was unwell again earlier this year and had to undergo an operation. I’m glad to report that Jim is on good form once  again and the consultant has now signed him off. 

We belatedly celebrated Jim’s 85th birthday over a very enjoyable lunch at the impeccable Nare Hotel with its stunning view overlooking Carne Beach (if you are ever in the area, this is a must place to visit).  Jim had obviously ordered the weather for our visit – a perfect, sunny day that made our meal, taken under the parasol, even more delightful

As ever, Jim had plenty of Daily Express anecdotes to share – many laughs and fond memories of colleagues past and present.   

After scoffing some expensive food and wine, we returned to Jim and Pat’s lovely home in Tregony to continue reminiscing in their beautiful garden while watching various birds fly on to the feeding station. A very green and peaceful English setting in the company of good friends and Tallulah, Jim and Pat’s beloved dog.

 Jim showed me a short documentary which he had featured in A Day in the Life of the Daily Express (see below).  A great watch. 

Last year Jim reluctantly  said that he felt he would no longer be able to do the journey to London to join one of our Daily Express monthly get togethers.  But now he is feeling better, Jim is motivated to let the train take the strain and possibly come to the First Tuesday lunch in October to catch up with his mates.  

It would be great to see as many faces as possible to celebrate Jim’s return to London from the depths of Cornwall.  (The George, in The Strand,  opposite the Law Courts, from 12.30pm onwards).

*It wasn’t the only time that Jim was chosen to feature in a documentary.
 How Lord Olivier saved the kipper

LEGENDARY Daily Express editor Arthur Christiansen had a list of words and phrases that he never wanted to see in the paper.

He called them his Chamber of Horrors. Here is a selection:

inform (tell), initial stages, initiate 

in most instances, inquire (ask) 

in rare cases (rarely), in reference to, in regard to, in respect of,  in short supply 

institute inquiries, instrumental in 

insuperable obstacle , integrate 

interavailability, interim 

in the case of , in the interests of 

it is clear that (clearly) - itemise 

juncture, at this length of time (how long), level, at a high or top; limped into harbour, liquidate literally 

major (important), make an approach to, maladjustment, malnutrition, marginal land 

matter of first importance, maximum effort, movement is on foot 

natives (use Africans, Arabs, appropriate tribal names) 

nature, of a certain, negative, to 

network of naval bases, non-availability 

not too distant future, number of cases, in a 

objective (aim, purpose), on to (on), optimum, overall figures, targets 

paramount importance, partially (partly), pending (until), per annum (a year),  percentage (where a part of will do),  personnel*.

(*Christiansen wrote: The Times calls this word an "alien collective" and doubts whether a more degrading, a more ill-favoured synonym for two or more members of the human race has been coined. People to whom it is applied don't go, they proceed. They do not have, they are, or more often are not, in possession of. (They do not ask, they make application)

© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre