Cry freedom for the Solzhenitsyn of Wapping!

Our diarist on a PR man to die for; unfortunate lead times for a magazine keen on Nick Clegg's honesty; and the marvellous wit of John Sessions; and Blade Runner revisited

Share
Related Topics

In the most tear-jerking howl of anguish yet published in a British title, former News International stalwart Neil Wallis relates his agonies under phone hacking suspicion in the Mail on Sunday.

On Friday, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that Neil will not be prosecuted. While the street parties that erupted at the news continue to rage, Neil is in a less jubilant mood.

The man whose PR advice did such wonders for the Met regards his ordeal (shorn of his six figure income, he had to sell his Renault Espace) as that of the political prisoner. “It shocked me,” writes John Yates’ great mate of his time in the interview room. “This was like being questioned by the Stasi.”

Indeed, indeed. The methods deployed in east Berlin, as this rigorous student of Warsaw Pact history appreciates, included closeting 20 victims in a tiny cell, making them stand all day and interrogating them through the night, regular beatings and water torture, and of course forcing signed, false confessions.

It is testament to the Solzhenitsyn of Wapping’s astounding resilience that he resisted the latter. While he is now in line for seven figure compensation for these human rights abuses, and perhaps for others of which it is still too painful to speak, we hope the prospect of being able to buy back the Espace in no way sates his literary ambition. The world of letters awaits his cathartic debut novel, 21 Months In The Life of Neil Wallisovitch, with fierce impatience.

Time to reprise Wilson’s sterling story

When will the deliberately obtuse stop taking George Osborne, pictured, out of context? In repeatedly maintaining that the triple A credit rating was essential to his economic strategy, the Chancellor unmistakably meant that the opinions of the useless agencies which scandalously screwed up over the US sub-prime market could not matter less.

If as a result sterling continues to plummet, hiking the cost of imported fuels and food,  the boy genius must reassure us that the pound in our pockets has in no way been devalued. That one worked wonders for Harold Wilson in 1967, and richly deserves a reprise now.

The irony of Nick Clegg’s humour

The vagaries of the lead time strike again, with a  Sunday Times magazine Nick Clegg (above) Q&A going to the printers long before anyone could ask what he knew about Lord Rennard’s alleged manual motor control problems in the vicinity of ladies.

Among the questions Nick did field, from a wide ranging bunch of celebs, pride of place goes to this pithy effort, edited for space, from Irvine Welsh. “Now that you have reneged on any worthwhile policies you had ...,” wondered the novelist, “what exactly is the point of the Liberal Democrats?” “What a wonderfully objective question,” begins Nick’s reply. So, of course, it is.

But if Nick was aiming at sarcasm, he should have used an exclamation mark. Irony, as an old editor of mine never tired of insisting, never works in newspapers.

The actor’s gift of incisive analysis

A transcendent delight to catch up with John Sessions, on the eve of his return to the stage after a 20 year absence. “I do tend to sound like a bit of a creep,” ran the Independent on Sunday interview’s headline, and with that self-deprecatory “a bit of” he is typically too modest.

The Ukip fan’s take on Greece’s eurozone calamity reminds us that his gifts extend beyond acting. “The United States of Europe is madness,” he told Susie Mesure, “...they [the Germans] get up at six in the morning, and they work until eight in the evening, and these people in Greece fall out of bed at 11, go and play backgammon, drink a bit of coffee, go and have a siesta and then do an hour’s work. And they expect to get the same benefits, welfare rights, and all the rest of it.”

A brilliantly incisive analysis. According to the latest official statistics, German employees work an average 1,413 hours per annum, while those bone idle Greeks put in a risible 2,032.

Pistorius biopic may have more Oscars luck

At the time of writing, there is no knowing whether the Academy Awards marked this anniversary, but it was 30 years ago that Blade Runner and Oscar were first conjoined in Hollywood. Ridley Scott’s movie was up for two, in fact, for Visual Effects and Art Direction, losing to ET and Gandhi respectively. Perhaps the Pistorius biopic will have better luck.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY - An outstanding high level opportunity...

Austen Lloyd: Construction Solicitor - London

Very Competitive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NICHE CITY FIRM - We are making a disc...

Austen Lloyd: Construction Solicitor - London

Very Competitive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NICHE CITY FIRM - We are making a disc...

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

For once, Kerry Katona had the right idea

Dom Joly
Should parents be allowed to take pictures at nativity plays?  

Ghosts of Christmas past: What effect could posting pictures of nativity plays have on the next generation?

Ellen E Jones
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick