Times gets letter from beyond the grave

All newspapers are desperate for new readers these days. But if The Times letters page this morning is anything to go by, the paper has found an entirely new market.

A letter complaining that a recent Times leader was riven with misconceptions was co-authored by LSE professor Richard Titmuss. Now, a missive from Prof. Titmuss is not to be sniffed at, not only because he is seen as one of the architects of the welfare state… but also because he’s been dead for 40 years.

Though some unkind observers might suggest that Times leaders are sufficient to make some turn in their graves, a brief Axegrinder investigation revealed a more prosaic truth: The other co-author (or, as it turns out, only author) of the letter, Julian Le Grand, holds the LSE chair named after the late lamented professor.

In what Axegrinder’s nephew would no-doubt describe as “an epic fail”, some overworked sub seems to have failed to spot the rather crucial difference between a name and a job title. It happens to the best of us…

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