Letter: Concern about the politics of the 'Daily Mirror'

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your interesting profile of Lord Hollick ('Torn between the party and the paper', 20 February) was marred by the statement:

When the pair (Hollick and David Montgomery) arrived, the Mirror newspapers constituted Fleet Street's last bastion of extravagant editorial practices, symbolised by the office drinks cabinet and the interminable break for lunch.

Some writers seem awfully attached to the myth according to which Mirror journalists hack their way through life aboard a gravy train groaning with booze and inflated expenses. Alas, there is no truth in it, nor has there been for many years.

In 1984, Robert Maxwell boomed: 'The gravy train has hit the bumpers.' In the eight years that followed, MGN journalists suffered sackings, cuts, bullying, and gross editorial interference from their proprietor.

No sooner had we celebrated the death of the old monster than we discovered that he had had the last laugh by stealing our pensions and delivering us into the hands of his creditors, the banks, with consequences that have had plenty of coverage recently.

Now the old, out-of-date myths are being revived. I wonder why.

Yours sincerely,


London, N7

22 February

The writer is the MGN branch chairman of the National Union of Journalists.