The Third Leader: Raise your glasses to Fleet Street

Share

So, farewell then. I did think about resisting the temptation to use that phrase when saluting yesterday's obsequies over Fleet Street, but finally decided that this was what the old place would have wanted, as it never knowingly resisted a temptation in all its life.

So, farewell then. I did think about resisting the temptation to use that phrase when saluting yesterday's obsequies over Fleet Street, but finally decided that this was what the old place would have wanted, as it never knowingly resisted a temptation in all its life.

And it would certainly have appreciated, too, the appearance of Mr Rupert Murdoch, grandson of the Manse, father of The Sun, and author of its downfall, in the role of principal mourner, giving it a last lesson at St Bride's; for, above all, it valued irony, chutzpah and cheek.

And, as we have been much reminded, a drink. I should, though, like to amend some misconceptions. This was responsible, not binge, drinking, in that it was (heroically) steady and at least one member of the party would always stay sober enough to type. And stylish: the first Fleet Street journalist I was allowed to buy a drink for ordered a creme de menthe.

I carry with me now the looks on the faces of some earlier touring Australian Test cricketers as they surveyed the scenes in the Fleet Street pub where they had been brought, for some unfathomable reason, to publicise lager. And this despite a brand new carpet, even though the old one, as some columnist put it, had just been ready to take spin.

All changed now, of course. Well, not quite. Some of the spirit survives. Fleet Street was an old cynic, and a shabby one in many ways, but it was also sentimental, especially about the truth, which is why present practitioners, dispersed though we be to our various plazas and towers of broken dreams, should be proud to keep its name alive. Cheers.

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Advisor - Opportunities Available Nationwide

£15000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to ...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Special Needs Support Worker

£12 - £14 per hour: Recruitment Genius: We are looking for someone to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Content Assistant / Copywriter

£15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Bruce Jenner was interviewed by Diane Sawyer  

Bruce Jenner interview: We think being transgender is a rare thing. And that’s part of the problem

Grace Dent
 

Lily-Rose Depp is not 'all grown up' - she is a 15 year old girl who should not be modelling for an adult fashion magazine

Harriet Williamson
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence