One of Arcati's new best friends, David, writes wonderfully on why the Observer has become such a terrible newspaper; one so untrue to itself. The staff and new editor of the paper should read David's comments and remember that without readers' trust you may as well start thinking of working for Richard Desmond:
Alton may have been an All-Round-Nice-Guy, but my response is as a reader. He has ushered in some of the most facile journalism the paper's ever seen. Sense of humour? Don't make me (not) laugh. Ever laughed at Barbara Ellen? Lucy Siegle raises a cackle, does she? Jasper has you rolling in the aisles? Nick Cohen creases you up, does he? Do you howl with joy at a women's magazine that has rolled by the notion of feminism by 30 years? Really?
Such a dreary, grinding lack of ambition and scope. Such a tiny demographic it purports to speak on behalf. Somewhere along the way it forgot to be honest and just became aspirational. And what pathetic aspirations ('10 Things to Look for in a Nanny' '20 reasons to be seen at the Ivy'. 'How you can save the planet AND wear a mini skirt in this not at all fatuous guide' 'Is plastic surgery the new football?'). It is a DIRE newspaper and as the standard bearer for liberal journalism on a Sunday, it is a perennial crushing disappointment.
Alton might have been nice to his staff but he was clearly intellectually barren.