Issue # 144

This Week

 

As we swing into election mode here at Ranters, with our usual deadline-beating panache we launch a new book – From Bevan to Blair, Fifty Years of Reporting From the Political Front Line, by Geoffrey Goodman.

When it came to politics or industry, Geoffrey was the experts’ expert, to such an extent that Harold Wilson ‘borrowed’ him from the Daily Mirror to help explain to the public what was going on.

As Keith Waterhouse said: ‘What Geoffrey doesn’t know about politics didn’t happen.’

His reporting career spanned the second half of the last century – from Bevan to Blair – and thus his more precise area of expertise was, fairly obviously, the Labour Party and its renaissance as ‘New Labour’. Buy the book – the way things are looking it may be the last you hear of the Labour Party for some time.

But first, read Geoffrey Goodman’s own introduction to the book by clicking on his name here or in the Contents column over there, appropriately, on the far left.

The relationship between the Labour Party and the Mirror newspapers is generally considered to be set in stone, but it wasn’t always thus. Revel Barker has uncovered a dark period in the newspaper group’s history that, somehow, has escaped mention in the history books – including (or, especially) in the Mirror’s own versions of its history.

He (Barker) moves on to pick up the current Ranters theme on Intros, with what might be a winning formula for writing them, plus a few opening pars dredged from the back of his memory.

Then Tom Brown, a self-confessed intro-nut, takes over the baton. He reveals how he once nicked an intro from James Cagney, and got a herogram from Beaverbrook for another.

Away from all that, this week’s sad news is that Harry Conroy died on Saturday. You didn’t need to agree with Harry to appreciate his sincerity or his humour. Mike Gallemore clashed with Harry on many occasions, but remembers him fondly, nevertheless.

To end on a bright note, Colin Dunne returns to Ranters with recollections of fun times with a colleague who wrote for newspapers, used newspapers for his own ends, and even sued newspapers, but who basically was in the game for a laugh.

Weren’t we all, dear? Enjoy clicking.