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Wednesday 24 June 2015

Simon Heffer Leaves The Mail

When the appallingly pompous Simon Heffer left the Telegraph four years ago, he told colleagues “I have had very happy times at the Telegraph and have been blessed by good colleagues and wonderful readers”. Then editor Tony Gallagher told “Simon has been a terrific colleague, trenchant columnist and wise counsellor. While I am sorry to see him depart, I fully understand his reasons and he leaves with everyone's best wishes”.
Why he left could be deduced from coded comments in the Guardian report on his departure, such as “Heffer was tipped as a future editor after joining the paper in his 20s, when his trenchant views saw him dubbed one of the Telegraph's ‘young fogeys’ along with Boris Johnson … He was overlooked for the deputy editor's role at when Gallagher, who held the post, was promoted to editor in November 2009”.

Another passed-over Major, then: the Hefferlump, after announcing that he was leaving the Tel to “pursue a role in journalism and broadcasting”, and that he was going to “complete a major literary project”, fetched up at the Daily Mail, where for much of the past four years he has regaled the readership with regular reminders of why Enoch Was Right, and that Powell was not an opportunist bigot who got what he deserved, oh no.

However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, the Heffer oeuvre has been declining since the start of the year, from a regular weekly outing to only a single article in March, the same in April, and a sole finale last month. The thought entered that, with the rise to prominence of Tony Gallagher, the same man who saw him off at the Tel, the Hefferlump was on his way out. And so it has come to pass.

The latest age of Simon Heffer at the Mail has ended, and off he has gone from Kensington to Victoria - probably not the two stops on the District or Circle Lines, though - to return to the Telegraph. Except that Heffer will not rejoin the daily title, where his old mucker Bozza is now well ensconced and trousering his £250,000 a year of “chicken feed”, but the Sunday Telegraph. Where he will undoubtedly be earning rather less.

The Hefferlump has made the move from Telegraph to Mail, or vice versa, four times since 1986. I suspect he will not be making the journey again. While at the Mail, the Right Minds concept (with Heffer as editor) - a clear attempt to replicate the now-departed Telegraph Blogs - did not survive long before being scaled back and allowed to wither on the vine. His ventures into UKIP-supporting territory will not have impressed the management.

Heffer will have to do plenty of what Stanley Unwin called “nosey grindstone” if he wants to remain long at the new-look Sunday Telegraph. The only route out of there, other than persuading broadcasters to indulge his punditry, is the bargain basement of the Express, the last refuge of the desperate and terminally batshit. Like his great hero Enoch Powell, it is not only ending in failure, but a long and lingering one.

Yes, there goes Simon Heffer. On his way … out.

1 comment:

Andrew Marr said...

Isn't he more to be found in the New Statesman these days?