The feral beast: Goodhart quits 'Prospect'

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The Independent Online

David Goodhart is stepping down as editor of Prospect, 15 years after he founded the cerebral monthly.

The former Financial Times correspondent will relinquish the post to become editor-at-large, leaving him time to finish his book, Citizens, an exploration of British identity. "It's good for the magazine to get a fresh brain," he tells me, "I will still be in the office but will be free to write more." Goodhart's departure is due in part to the fact that his deputy, James Crabtree, is off to become comment editor of the FT. "It's a great blow for us, but it's a good time to implement change."

Don't tell nanny about Daddy

Jovial Telegraph writer Max Davidson could hardly believe his ears at a report claiming drinking wine is good for you, and promptly fired off a hurrah for the death of the nanny state. Pity a killjoy had to come along and spoil his fun. An online post from his "long-suffering daughter" reads: "Daddy, when you were taken to hospital screaming in agony from gout, you told me there was 'no evidence' your drinking habits had contributed to your physical problems, yet there is PLENTY of evidence to suggest your 'moderate' drinking habits are harming you physically. Stop cherry-picking which academic papers you choose to quote on the subject. You're not a scientist or medic, you have a classics degree." No wonder he needs a drink.

The Genesis of doom

The Lord Triesman sting was only the latest in a series of odd calls by senior editors at The Mail on Sunday. There was the memorable cover story about Kate Middleton's spaniel swallowing an earring given to her by Prince William, which turned out to be a load of nonsense. Then there was the decision to award Piers Morgan a £350,000 contract. Perhaps oddest of all was the Phil Collins CD giveaway – surely a reason not to buy an otherwise decent newspaper?

Boris or Dave? Fraser decides

Plucky Spectator editor Fraser Nelson has taken on his predecessor, Boris Johnson, with a cover piece asking if he is quite the Mayor we'd hoped for. Fraser is friends with Dave, and the PM would not, one imagines, be unduly upset by the Speccie piece. Meanwhile, running into Nelson at Taki's book launch last week, he told me a light redesign is on its way, "which will probably be the biggest change of the magazine under me". A conservative in the true sense.

The convenience and safety way

Ping. An email from ex-Observer editor Jonathan Fenby arrives. The subject: "Hello It's urgent!" He appears to be in Malaysia, and has got stranded, having left his bag in a taxi, and can I lend him US$2,850? We know Fenby is a seasoned traveller, especially in the East, but we can't help feeling suspicious. Would a distinguished former editor really write the sentence: "Western Union money transfer is the most convenience and safety way to receive money here"? Perhaps we'll just ignore this one.

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