Sunday, February 17, 2008

Liberal England and Enoch Powell

Jonathan Calder highlights that within a week of his starting to write a column on the New Statesman website, the magazine's editor John Kampfner resigned.

A little further investigation reveals that Kampfner resigned over a row with the owner Geoffrey Robinson MP over the publication's costs. So how much must they have been paying Jonathan? Perhaps Lord Bonkers was demanding a cut to help subsidise his Rutland estates. The price was clearly too much for the Statesman's proprietor.

All of which puts me in mind of a story I heard about Enoch Powell, who was notoriously tough in negotiating fees for newspaper articles and the like.

Asked by an editor to contribute an op-ed piece, Powell immediately demanded to know how much he would get paid. On being told the intended fee, he said 'I'm not a charity you know.' The editor replied that Powell's then party leader Edward Heath has been paid the same for writing an article. To which Powell replied, 'Yes, and he would have written it for nothing if you had asked him.'

No comments: