Banks' Notes 25.11.05

OKAY, so how will it all end? Who’s next for the chop? Where will
Banksy’s fickle finger of fate point this week? Trembling, my digits
hover o’er the keyboard… I feel like a cross between the villain from
Fire Starter and the Peter Finch TV anchorman character in Network.

And in case you think I’m a filler short of a first edition, let me relate the story so far.

WHAM!
I take the michael out of Rebekah Wade one week and she’s thrown in
jail the next. Then, BAM! I haul Sir Christopher Meyer over the coals,
suggesting an early exit from the Press Complaints Commission chairman
in exchange for a try-out with the Mirror’s 3AM Girls and now his
head’s on the block (and might have rolled by the time this hits the
streets).

And then DAMN! No sooner do I call down your prayers
for Daily Telegraph editor Martin Newland, who is being “helped” by the
imposition of an editor-in-chief, than his job goes tits up.

No
small wonder, then, that you raced out to buy your copy of Press
Gazette this morning, to find out what the Oracle has in store this
week… and for whom.

Well, no more negative vibes from me. Instead, here’s my “runners and riders” guide to the Barclays’ National:

Evens

Will “Left Field” Lewis (wow, where did HE come from?), newcomer
quietly, but competently, doing the Business, may be willing to take
trainer Ginger MacLennan’s instructions.

■ Jeff “The Punter’s Pal” Randall, experienced in heavy-to-firm going, on first-name terms with the owners.

100-8

Simon “Heinrich” Heffer, blistering, blustering red-topped ace tipped
for every ride, but showing a dangerous tendency to veer too far right.

5-1

John “Whip Hand” Bryant, blamed by some for spooking the mount and
unseating its rider last time out but a willing mucker-out for Ginger
MacLennan.

■ Sarah “Safe Hands” Sands, talented, but currently
grooming a stablemate. Disadvantage: often partners a mount from the
rival Guardian stable.

100-1
■ Roy “The Prof” Greenslade,
only an academic chance, although he has held the reins of a classic
national mount, but parted company first time out.

■ Guy “Yesterday’s Man” Black, doomed – as the nickname suggests – to obscurity because he has the wrong surname.

WHO
THE HELL stuck that antediluvian anachronism in Jack Schofield’s mouth
when the old boy posed for a byline photo atop his (really rather good)
column in Thursday’s TechnologyGuardian?

If smoking is banned in
boozers, and newspapers can’t accept tobacco advertising, should not
pictures of smiling staffers puffing a pipe and endorsing the weed at
least carry a government health warning?

Beware computer geeks bearing gifts, perhaps.

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