Philip Whiteley's Blog

December 1, 2009

Text of letter to Observer deputy editor

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 9:05 am

Dear Mr Webster

Further to our recent correspondence, I would like to record my appreciation of your response to our complaints about the removal of Simon Caulkin’s column.

We seem to be at cross purposes, however. We never doubted that you rated Simon as a journalist; the point of difference is over the centrality of management/governance as an issue. With banks collapsing because of absurd short-termism, and hospitals failing because of the target culture and the wrong type of inspection, the whole question of management culture has come centre stage.

The Observer is now left without any serious coverage of what has become one of the central political challenges of our age. In your Leader comment on Sunday, for example, following the crises at various hospitals – incidents simply waiting to happen, as readers of Simon’s articles would know – you rather lamely call for more ‘transparency’. Simon would have been able to dissect not just what went wrong, but why. This would surely attract more readers to your newspaper.

In other words, we see the removal of Simon’s column as a missed opportunity, not as a ruthless business decision, and we constitute a sizeable and highly influential group of your readers.

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