The spectator

Poles apart: do they ever talk at the 'Mail on Sunday'?

So the 'Financial Mail on Sunday' is launching a special supplement for the Polish community, somewhat at odds with the paper's general stance on immigrants. For example, 'Beatroot', a Polish blogger who lives in Warsaw, recently posted an item about the time Sue Reid of the 'Daily Mail' got in contact. "Ms Reid said that she would offer me £800 to come over and park illegally and speed – just 10 miles an hour over the speed limit, no more... " wrote Beatroot. "We would then go back to Poland and wait for the demands for payment of the fines... the 'Mail' would publish the whole thing as an exclusive, on how Poles and others are breaking the law in the UK and getting away with it." Beatroot declined.

Sticky fingers strikes again

Following the theft of incoming 'Observer' editor John Mulholland's trousers a few months ago, writer Ed Vulliamy emails his colleagues. "I don't suppose the person who took a long white silk scarf from the back of my chair put it in a safe place? Or is this yet another theft? I still miss my smart Juventus raincoat, just as many of you miss other things. Who are these people, with such a tenaciously vile attitude to other people's private property?"

Alton's big lunch

Speculation about the intentions of current 'Observer' editor Roger Alton continues. Alton, who has announced that he will be leaving the paper in January, just after his 60th birthday, is widely expected to stay within the Fourth Estate. While there is no apparent opening, the meetings are already gearing up. Intriguingly, Alton has booked in a lunch with John Witherow, editor of 'The Sunday Times'. What could they possibly find to talk about?

Soured by Blair's book?

Curious coverage of the sale of Tony Blair's memoirs in Rupert Murdoch's 'Sunday Times'. While most papers shrugged their shoulders, Richard Brooks went for the jugular, listing great political memoir failures and quoting an insider from Hachette, which chose not to bid for Blair's book, saying, "We didn't see how we could make our money back." Would the story be different if Harper Collins, Murdoch's publishing arm, had won the rights?

Diarists called to order

Royal reporting may never be the same again. Tim Walker, Mandrake in 'The Sunday Telegraph', said on the BBC's 'Breakfast' show last Sunday that quotes from unnamed sources in the Harry club antics story are almost certainly made up. Walker has run the odd unattributed quote, but has pledged new standards. "We won't do that again," he tells me. "I challenge other diarists to be equally transparent; royal reporting is becoming a bit of a joke."

Good week for

Max Callum: The tactful BBC staffer who set up a Facebook group entitled 'At least the latest BBC job cuts don't affect me... oh yes, that's right!!!' – to reflect his confidence in keeping his job.

The group only has seven members. Last week BBC chair Sir Michael Lyons defended the corporation's 1,800 job losses, saying it was necessary to remain "fit for purpose".

Bad week for

Julie Etchingham: The Sky newsreader may have landed the role of co-host to Sir Trevor McDonald on the relaunched 'News At Ten' but that wasn't why she made headlines last week. Instead she was embarrassed when her microphone was left on and she was caught joking on air that the Conservative Party's policy on immigration was "extermination".

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