Toffs versus Vulgar Meritocrats

Columnist Jemima Lewis, aka Mrs Dimbleby, is an interesting example perhaps of the way newspapers have changed over the last twenty years, and reflects something of how society has shifted too, from vulgar meritocracy of the Thatcher years, when all journalists including feature writers had to leave the office to investigate and write stories, to well – what we have now – toffs who do not.

In one of her pieces in the Sunday Telegraph, Jemima, wife of restauranteur Henry Dimbleby, daughter of Jeremy Lewis, features editor of The Oldie magazine, niece of the redoubtable writer Rodger Lewis, once wrote that all you need to succeed in journalism these days is good connections and lots of charm. I have never had either so I was a bit annoyed.

I wish her well, it’s no good fighting these things, what is money and a job after all? Yesterday in a different paper, she opined in a somewhat Pippa Middletonish way, that reading a book could never be as exciting as going to the pictures, which is why she doesn’t manage to read much.

She is a gal who knows the way things work and if she goes on like that she will surely end up as literary editor on a major paper before the year is out.

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