Chalk another one up for the bastards

Here, look. I’m writing an actual post, rather than filling this with digests of Twitter posts. Well blow me down.

It’s motivated by anger, of course. The smug bastards at The Times are crowing about how they’ve been big and brave and public interesty by forcing the naming of Nightjack, the CID blogger who recently won the Orwell Prize for being bloody brilliant.

I’d link to his site, but he’s taken it down in self defence. Any quiet ‘we know it’s you but we’ll keep schtumm so long as you don’t go too far’ policy that his bosses might have had is right out of the window now.

Nightjack was someone I disagreed with quite often, but also someone whose honesty (fuelled by anonymity, of course) and insightful analysis was frequently spot-on – and whose craft with words allowed him to make his points with brutal, poetic precision.

And now he’s been permanently silenced by the Thunderer, which farted in the face of freedom of expression and dressed it up with a pompous public interest rationale based on how, if you assigned a journalist full time to the job, you might possibly be able to identify what colour his underpants were.

Incidentally, I see no reason to use the poor sod’s real name just because he’s been outed. So far as I’m concerned, he’s Nightjack – just as the sex blogger outed by the sister paper in an equally underhand way a couple of years back is still The Girl, Abby Lee, to me.

I was going to leave a comment on their site telling them what I thought of them, but you’re only allowed 300 characters – so I dusted off this not-at-all anonymous blog of my own instead. Below is what I was going to write. I’ll send ’em a link instead.

(And, like Alix Mortimer and Iain Dale, I aintn’t linking back.)

Well, I hope you’re proud of yourself – another low blow by the dead tree press as it thrashes around in its death throes. It was your sister paper that named The Girl against her wishes, wasn’t it?

Having twice, quite separately from this, seen friends on the receiving end of your determination to stand up for your precious rights to screw over their lives, I can truly say that I look forward with eager anticipation to your demise.

And I say that despite having trained and worked as a newspaper journalist myself, where I spent more years than I care to remember spouting the same sort of self-serving rubbish that you’re serving up in your justification here.

Smarter minds than yours are trying and failing to find a business model to support print media into the internet age, and when they finally concede defeat and you collapse, you’ll all be dusting off your CVs and sending them to the likes of us.

And we’ll remember this, and laugh in your faces.

There – I feel better with that off my chest.

Perhaps I’ll actually sleep tonight for once.