Lorien Kite

As European leaders edged towards the Greek rescue plan announced today, conservative commentators were struggling to contain their delight at all the porcine wordplay. For Edmund Conway, writing in the Telegraph, the EU’s dilemma was simple: “Does it admit that currency union was a mistake and dismantle it, or does it press on and create an effective European economic government to fill in the missing gap?” Daniel Hannan, meanwhile, used his Telegraph blog to remind us again of why we have been spared Greece’s fate.

Across the Atlantic, the mood of schadenfreude was even more pronounced.

Lorien Kite

Cometh the hour – 8am – cometh London’s commentariat to its first-ever awards ceremony, held amid the 1930s splendour of the Royal Institute of British Architects in Portland Place. Pleasing as it was to be celebrated in this way, it seemed slightly unfair that Editorial Intelligence should stage the event at the journalistic equivalent of the crack of dawn. A lavish breakfast, we consoled ourselves, would at least await. We were wrong. Even the coffee had run out by the time I arrived and, as the chattering classes took their seats, a discontented murmur filled the hall.

But MC Peter York, the management consultant and co-author of The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook, swiftly lifted our spirits before ambling genially through the various categories. We were reminded on numerous occasions just how lucky Britain is to have such an abundance of talented commentators – again, gratifying, though whether this makes up for the lack of a strong domestic car industry or sound public finances is, like so many other things in life, a matter of opinion.

Former MP and columnist Matthew Parris was charm personified as he accepted Sir Christopher Meyer’s chairman’s – read “lifetime achievement” – award (“Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee…”) Iain Dale, named best independent blogger, made a serious point about the power of the blogosphere in the face of gagging orders on the traditional media – one discussed in the post below.

The Financial Times was up for a few gongs, two of which it won: take a bow, Alphaville (best online newspaper blog) and Martin Wolf (“commentariat of the year”). It may have amused the judges to award the FT’s unyieldingly rigorous chief economics commentator such a plainly ungrammatical prize, but he was gracious enough not to point this out. Sadly, the FT lost out to the Times in the award for best comment pages. As the judges themselves might put it, we wuz robbed.

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Christopher Cook is an FT editorial writer. Before joining the FT in 2008 as a Peter Martin Fellow, he worked for three years for the Conservative party.

Lorien Kite is deputy comment editor, a post he took up in 2009 after four years as a commissioning editor on the analysis page. He joined the FT in 2000.

Ian Holdsworth became assistant features editor in 2009 and was previously chief production journalist for the features pages.


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