The editor is prone to issuing edicts which he contradicts within hours, or sometimes even minutes. For example he said at Afternoon Conference a few weeks ago that weather stories were an absolute priority. ‘Do I need to have it written in letters a foot high on the notice board behind the back bench that we must have weather stories?’ he said. That evening the only possibility went in, a picture piece about Tewkesbury suffering floods similar to the previous year. When the editor saw it he yelled: ‘What the **** have you put this in for? There are floods all the the time. Don’t you understand anything about journalism?’ This is a good example of what makes it such fun to work for Paul Dacre. His nimble changes of direction keep us all on our toes, and it is a privilege to learn from such a great teacher.
== Holiday blues ==
A pall of gloom hangs over the Kensington office. The editor has gone on holiday for three whole weeks (presumably to his property in the British Virgin Islands, which entirely coincidentally has a reputation of being a tax haven). How on earth will the paper come out without Paul Dacre’s wise guiding hand on the tiller? Of course he is entitled to have holidays, but the staff would be much happier if he was present all the time to tell us how to do it right.
Posted by Daily Mail Insider Word has it that the editor is grievously upset about an item in the latest Private Eye which quoted an unnamed director of Associated Newspapers referring to Paul Dacre as ‘the Robert Mugabe of Fleet Street’ because of his reluctance to retire. Apparently he stayed in his office all day after it appeared. The Eye also said that Dacre had forced out anyone with a spark of originality and surrounded himself with mediocrities. This is obviously a grossly unfair way to describe such talents as Jon Steafel, Paul Carter and Ted Verity, who all demonstrate tremendous flair and wit. However I think the editor should be proud to likened to Robert Mugabe, a man who has brought torture and oppression to a fine art. We need more people like him to keep up standards.
== Post 5 ==
It is many years since the Daily Mail switched to computer-based new technology, but Paul Dacre refuses to have anything to do with screens. He believes that only lower orders use screens (that’s everyone in the office but him). If he wants to read an article he demands a paper print-out and makes any alterations in fountain pen. A minion then transfers the alterations to the article in the computer system. In my opinion it is good to see someone taking a stand against the march of computers in this time of moral decline. We all rely on them far too much, and it would be much better if everyone used fountain pens.
== Post 4 ==
Did you see that article a few weeks ago which said that people born in 1948 were the most fortunate of all? They missed the war and National Service, grew up in the Swinging Sixties, did well out of the property boom, have good pensions, etc. Guess who (to use one of Paul Dacre’s brilliant headline formulas) was born in 1948? Of course. In fact he shares his birthday with Prince Charles (Nov 14 1948). Woe betide any Mail hack who describes Prince Charles as elderly. Actually I think it’s amazing how youthful a man of 61 can look. He certainly has no need to dye his hair.
== Post 3 ==
The editor can only function with a sidekick who shadows him constantly, like sharks have cleaner fish which tidy up their orifices. The main qualification for being a cleaner is the readiness to be in the office from 9am to 10pm five days a week, if not more. You also need to say ‘Yes Paul, you’re absolutely right’ and ‘That’s a brilliant idea, Paul’ at regular intervals. Until fairly recently the chief cleaner was his deputy Alistair Sinclair, but since Sinclair’s retirement (reputedly because he was told he would never be editor, but who knows) the role has been taken on by three new cleaners, deputy editor Jon Steafel, and Ted Verity and Paul Carter, who both have some sort of title like assistant editor or associate editor. The three are always within shouting distance of the editor, prepared to do his bidding and drop someone else in the **** when necessary. The only difference between a shark and the editor is that while the shark protects its cleaner fish, the editor will turn on his cleaners and bite their heads off for any reason at all, or none. The cleaners suffer as much as anyone else from his rages. That must make them even less intelligent than a fish, though admittedly better paid. Steafel is thought to be on about half a million. Anyway full marks to the editor for the way he has improved on the shark.
== Post 2 ==
It is strongly rumoured that the editor has a nap in his office after News Conference, a half-hour entertainment which usually starts around 4pm (for a pale imitation see the Downfall link on the right of this page.) Apparently it is impossible to contact him for a couple of hours after that, but then he emerges refreshed for the evening onslaught on the Back Bench. His energy for yelling is prodigious. It all points to a power nap, and I for one think this is a very good idea.
== Post 1 ==
A lot of journalists aspire to work at the Daily Mail. But when they achieve their goal, most of them can’t wait to get out again. Why should this be? Maybe it’s the unique form of encouragement given by the editor. Every day he makes it his business to tell his subordinates that they can’t do their job and that they are useless in every way. He calls them ***** if they haven’t done too badly. Worse efforts are rewarded with five-minute tirades in which obscenities outnumber the ordinary words. This is the way in which he believes he will achieve good work from his staff, and I am sure he is absolutely right.