Letter from the editor: I’m up for vacating the chair again for a day

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The Independent Online

I have always thought that the Archbishop of Canterbury had designs on my job. This week, he’s occupied the editor’s chair for a guest stint at the New Statesman magazine, and has found it the perfect vehicle for letting the world know what he thinks about various things, notably the Coalition Government.

The full-time regime at the Statesman must have been thrilled with the publicity the magazine got - top headline: “Archbish. Bash. Bosh”— and by all accounts Rowan Williams was an exemplary editor: polite, incisive, and only occasionally complaining about his colleagues. (I’m now trying to convince the authorities that I could be the Archbishop of Canterbury for a day, but they are worried that I might inadvertently disestablish the Church.)

We’ve had experience of guest editors here — remember Elton John last year? — and there’s no doubt that, if they’re prepared to put the work in, they add to the general lustre of a publication. Bono, who edited an issue of The Independent a few years ago, and was involved in everything from the leading article to the racing page, was a triumph; Giorgio Armani, who arrived in the office with 10 people all clad in black and left an hour or so later, was less so. Jemima Khan’s issue of the Statesman a few weeks ago was the product of an enormous amount of work and ingenuity, and it showed.

I’m up for vacating the chair again for a day (particularly now that the weather’s better), so who would you like to see here, and why? Let me know through the usual channels. It is not every day that a mate gets the nod in the honours list. So when I got an email yesterday from Gary Farrow, PR guru and a man who has the starring role in two of my favourite anecdotes (not for a family audience, I’m afraid), telling me that he’d been appointed OBE for services to the music industry and to charity, it was quite a shock. Congratulations, Gary. But surely he should have been made a CBE in recognition of his favourite word (I'm talking about Chelsea!).

Happy weekend!

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