James Delingpole in the Sunday Times [£] on why he revealed in Call Me Dave he had smoked dope with David Cameron in their student days: "Was this naive, irresponsible and impulsive of me? Well, of course. That’s why I chose to be a journalist rather than, say, a diplomat or a senior civil servant or a lawyer. The whole point of being a hack is — or should be, I believe — that you never grow up. You spend your whole life in a state of arrested adolescence, forever the cheeky fifth-former at the back of the bus, waving for attention, gurning for easy laughs and flicking two fingers at authority."
David Cameron on Sky News says he won't sue authors of Call Me Dave: "No. I'm too busy running the country, taking decisions, getting on with work. If you do a job like this, you do get people who have agendas and write books and write articles and write all sorts of things. The most important thing is not to let it bother you, get on with the job."
Jeremy Corbyn in his speech to the Labour conference: "Now some media commentators who’ve spent years complaining about how few people have engaged with political parties have sneered at our huge increase in membership. If they were sports reporters writing about a football team they’d be saying: 'They’ve had a terrible summer. They’ve got 160,000 new fans. Season tickets are sold out. The new supporters are young and optimistic. I don’t know how this club can survive a crisis like this'.”
Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail: "No one who is loathed by the bankers, the BBC and Tony Blair all at once can be that bad. Corbyn is the first genuinely original party leader to emerge in Britain since a certain Margaret Hilda Thatcher made her first speech to Conservative conference in 1975. Remember: the establishment hated her, too."
Peter Barron, editor of the Northern Echo, on the way the national press covered the closure of Teesside's steelworks with the loss of 1,700 jobs: "At best underwhelming, at worst pretty pathetic, and a failure to understand the consequences of what is happening in part of the United Kingdom. Imagine if a 150-year-old industry in the Home Counties was being consigned to the scrapheap, with 1,700 jobs axed. I respectfully suggest the national press might find it would have different priorities. Thank goodness for local papers."
Peter Preston on Newsquest-owner Gannett in the Observer: "Gannett is not well-loved here, or in the US. Gannett seems to exist to keep shareholders cheerful and pay executives royally. Gannett is a row of figures on the bottom line."
Sean O'Neill in The Times: "He hosts the most salacious show on daytime TV — a raucous parade of abandoned spouses, jilted fiancées and bitter ex-boyfriends. Yet Jeremy Kyle emerged yesterday as Britain’s most unlikely shrinking violet with a plea for privacy over his own private life. Famous for curating controversy and confrontation on his eponymous ITV show, Kyle, 50, has hired lawyers to request a media blackout over his recent separation from his wife, Carla Germaine, 40. It is understood that the break-up is amicable and the couple are anxious to protect their three children from media intrusion."
Daily Mail in a leader: "In what looks like a stitch-up between the Civil Service and Government, Sir Jeremy [Heywood - Cabinet Secretary] told his audience of fellow mandarins that an ‘independent panel’ had begun work to look at the ‘pros and cons of the current regime’. Its membership? The five person cabal includes the chairman of Ofcom, which is itself subject to FoI, and two ex-Home Secretaries – including Jack Straw, who has repeatedly argued the law allows too great a level of disclosure. Little wonder that 140 freedom of information campaigners wrote to the Prime Minister this week to complain that the commission is prejudiced and appears to have been established to propose savage new curbs on the public’s right to know.David Cameron – who, let’s not forget, was elected on a promise of greater ‘transparency’ – should stand ready to throw this biased panel’s findings in the Downing Street bin."
Daily Star resurrects a famous headline over the story of love rival zookeepers. I blogged about the origins of Llama Drama Ding Dong! here. It first appeared in the Lancashire Evening Post above a story about a llama that escaped and caused havoc in a school playground. It was adapted by the Sun over a story about President Obama meeting the Dalai Lama despite sparking a row with China: Obama Llama Ding Dong; and was the title of a book on headlines.