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

Recruitment Genius: Digital Content Manager

£26000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Content Manager is re...

Recruitment Genius: Senior .Net Application Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will b...

Recruitment Genius: Continuous Improvement Manager

£41500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: I would tackle our looming dementia crisis

Susan Greenfield
 

Letters: NHS data-sharing is good for patients

Independent Voices
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee