Various correspondents have asked in the past few weeks whether I know anything about what's happening with the editorship of Tribune, and the answer is that I do.
Steve Platt and I put in an application for the job, vacated in summer by Mark Seddon (who took over from me in 1993), because we were worried that the august organ was about to go down the tubes. Despite an influx of about £350,000 investment from the trade unions (who now own it), it's selling only 3,000 copies a week. But the paper's board decided that we were damaged goods, and that was it. I don't think either of us is that upset.
Now the job has been taken by Chris McLaughlin, until earlier this year political editor of the Sunday Mirror and currently a columnist on the Big Issue, who used to work way back when for Labour Weekly, the official party paper that closed in 1987. I know nothing else about him — to my shame I haven't read the Sunday Mirror or the Big Issue for years — but his praises are sung in the Independent today by Bill Hagerty, who was an editorial adviser to Seddon. Whatever, good luck to him.