It’s been a week since I took over this slot and, so far at least, you’ve all been rather gentle with me. It’s not that you haven’t been writing – our in-tray is fuller than ever – it’s just that there have been one or two other stories that have grabbed your attention.
From the Coalition to care, education to the economy, it’s the serious issues which get you animated. But the topic that is currently raising the blood pressure is the elephant in the room every time a Tory MP speaks out – Europe. The in/out question gives polarised answers – I have yet to hear from anyone sitting on the fence. And many readers want to know my personal views or where i stands.
While I do have my own viewpoint, this column is not a leading article, simply a forum for discussion. You will find some personal views but I will leave the bigger issues to Owen Jones, Dominic Lawson, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown et al. I can feel the anger swelling up in some of you just with the very mention of those names!
One of the features of i is that we don’t have a traditional leader column, preferring to carry a broad range of opinions, from both left and right. As a result, some people vow never to buy the paper again because they do not agree with certain columnists. My message to them is simple: surely you need to hear counter-arguments in order to shore up your own ideas.
As readers, it is your paper as much as anyone else’s. I want to know what you think, both on hard-hitting and trivial issues, as well as what you would like to see more (and less) of in i. I have some ideas about how to make the paper even better, but I have to get your permission first!