It’s been on the cards for a while and a long time coming, but it is today that signals the end of the road for the Guardian and me.
I’ve been reading the Guardian steadily for about 12 years, sometimes on a daily basis and at others just a few times a month. It’s been chosen over any other paper when I’ve needed something to read or have been interested in a particular story.
I was always attracted to the idea of a newspaper being run by a trust and for plain news it has always been a fine newspaper, independent from wealthy owners with political interests or religious persuasions. Journalists like Polly Toynbee, Gary Younge and Julie Burchill have provided hours of entertainment and satisfaction. It is people like these that made me realise that I’m not alone in the world and that there is credibility in forward thinking, kindness, and respect. Further more, the Guardian has done a fantastic job of making papers like the Telegraphs and Times look like the opportunist tabloid comics that they are.
So what’s the problem?
In short – Baggage. The Guardian carries with it baggage that follows its every move. G2, The guide, Weekend and those predictable travel sections cling to the paper like new friends around a pop star. They use the Guardians integrity to justify their existence and lend credibility to their smug and often elitist views.
The overriding problem stems from something I’ve mentioned many time before in this blog, middle class student types and their tendency towards intellectual snobbery – the worst kind.
Yesterdays G2 sealed it, an article by Sarfraz Manzoor, “When you are at school and there was a really thick kid who held the whole class up for the rest”. Okay, a fairly off hand comment, but I think it demonstrates aptly the kind of people were dealing with here.
We all went to school with kids who where strangely aware of their own superiority, egged on by what are now called pushy parents. They never lost that feeling of being special that transferred effortlessly to the predictable path of Sixth form, University and working life.
I would avoid people like Tanya Gold, Peter Paphides and Sarfraz Manzoor like the bubonic plague – their cool club, cutting remarks and condescending manner. Don’t be fooled by the laid back apathy and self deprecating humour either, because you can be sure that underneath is a selfish individual terrified of personal failure.
I won’t be reading the Guardian again.