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Weekend read: Jeff Randall’s 30 years of financial journalism

Weekend Read

2014 is the year that Jeff Randall has chosen to make his exit from financial journalism, after three remarkable decades. I have enjoyed his Telegraph column, work for the Financial Times, and, latterly, his Sky News programme for a number of years now, and will miss his insights.

Randall has written a farewell column in the Telegraph, in which he reflects on the changes affecting business and journalism over thirty years. It was particularly fascinating for me, as someone who isn’t even thirty years old.

On my first day in 1986, if you had told me that Britain’s pioneering successes in the coming quarter of a century would include a mobile telephone company (Vodafone) and a satellite television broadcaster (BSkyB), I would not have understood the proposition.

It’s well worth reading this weekend.

This 2,127th post was filed under: Weekend Reads, , .

2D: Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage

Ukip’s increasing popularity has generated acres of news coverage in the past few months. I thought I’d use this 2D post to pick two of the more thoughtful articles about Ukip’s leader.

Writing in Prospect, the magazine for which he’s associate editor, Edward Docx describes Farage’s “relentless charm” in an article with several arresting revelations. Perhaps the most intriguing, if not the most insightful, is that “close up, he smells of tobacco, offset with a liberal application of aftershave”. I found it not a little strange how much that added to Docx’s characterisation of the man. Perhaps the scent of all party leaders should become a regular feature of all political reporting.

Docx mentions Farage’s deft handling of a lack of policy detail, but in The Telegraph, Allister Heath goes a little further in taking Farage to task on the lack of coherent policy: he claims that “there are huge black holes at the heart of Ukip’s proposals”.

While these are two rather different articles in terms of tone, form and content, they do identify much the same traits in Farage, at least from the grand political point of view. Despite this, they come to utterly different conclusions: Heath argues that Ukip essentially doesn’t “stand up to detailed scrutiny”, while Docx argues that Farage can “make politics feel personally relevant again” and “show our parliament a way to recover its dignity”.

Both arguments are well worth reading.

2D posts appear on alternate Wednesdays. For 2D, I pick two interesting articles that look at an issue from two different – though not necessarily opposing – perspectives. I hope you enjoy them! The photo at the top of this post was posted to Flickr by the Euro Realist Newsletter and has been modified and used under Creative Commons Licence.

This 2,022nd post was filed under: 2D, Politics, , , , , , .

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