We need some more enemies. I am now approaching this editing business in a scientific spirit and my researches suggest that newspapers are defined as much by their natural enemies as anything else. Thus, the Daily Mail hates liberals, Channel 4, shifty foreigners; The Telegraph hates Irish republicans, European federalists and people who have had abortions; The Sun hates certain football managers (I can never remember which ones), women with their clothes on ...

And The Independent? Well, we are primly promiscuous in our disapproval. Our political and commercial foes are legion, from Tory nationalists to Rupert Murdoch. But we are, it must be confessed, a little short of proper, blood-summoning, sinew-stiffening enemies. Paul Johnson won't do; hating him is over-fashionable. Michael Howard would be a popular choice among readers; but he would be far more worried if The Independent didn't consider him an enemy: give him a favourable mention and it would do him such damage with the right that he'd probably sue. The same is true of many other obvious targets.

What about picking some wider group to demonise, then? Who could we treat as our version of single mothers? Utility chairmen? Purveyors of combat knives? Cult leaders? The designers of Legoland? Men who wear moustaches? You see the problem - it's all too pointlessly easy. And in some of these cases, the spasm to be fair ruins what would otherwise have been a promising campaign. In an editorial the other day we took a savage pop at media studies, the sociology of the Nineties, and thus at professors of media studies. No good either; they only smiled knowingly and ... analysed us back. I think the only answer is to seize randomly upon some previously innocuous-seeming group and attack them relentlessly until circulation soars. But since this is purely a commercial, branding exercise, it must be a unique enemy - some group no one has yet found an excuse to attack. Canadians? Manicurists? The people of Chelmsford, with their goatish lusts and dark philosophies? All suggestions gratefully received.

I only took this job in order to be glamorous. I thought I'd go to all these swanky parties and exciting receptions, arriving late and smoking with the latest news, before dropping a few tinkling epigrams and causing famous authors to choke with admiration. No go. Apparently, the job of newspaper editors is to edit newspapers - they never made that clear at the time - and this makes it difficult to get out in the evening.

This has been a typical week. I was invited to the launch of Andrew Neil's book, arrived just too late and was refused a drink. Then there was an incredibly glitzy Vanity Affair affair - Tina Brown, Harold Evans, Michael Jagger, Salman Fry, Stephen Rushdie, etc, etc. Too bad; stuck in traffic.

Never mind. I did finally make it to lunch with Granta magazine, however, which is glamorous in a literary sense. A long taxi-ride prepared me for a grand entrance; the restaurant doors swung open,;I had an epigram ready to spit ... but there had been a mix-up and there was nobody there.

Finally, a word from James Gilmour, who writes spiritedly from Kilmarnock, strongly attacking this paper's ``fence-sitting'' attitude to party politics: ``The British newspaper-buying public really don't appreciate `fairness' ... what they like is pure unashamed prejudice.'' Mr Gilmour, I think you may be right. Chelmsford had better watch out.

React Now

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

Graduate Database Developer (SQL)

£18000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Excellent opportun...

Community / Stakeholder Manager - Solar PV

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Senior Marketing Executive (B2B/B2C) - London

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

C# .Net Developer

£23000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: C# .Net Develop re...

Day In a Page

Read Next

The daily catch-up: Joe on Vlad, banks of the Jordan and Blair's radicalism

John Rentoul

Believe me, I said, there’s nothing rural about this urban borough’s attempt at a country fair

John Walsh
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor