This afternoon I've been writing a piece for Private Eye about the man who was booted out as boss of the Mirror and Independent ten years ago this week.
He was the subject of the very first thing I ever wrote for the Eye way back on work experience in October 1997. And, by the magic of our in-house archive, here it is:
David 'Rommel' Montgomery might want to rethink his plans for the Mirror Group's 'Academy of Excellence', which include the proposal to do away with sub editors and allow writers full control over their blatherings that appear on the page.
Presumably this would allow more stories like the 'Benn Video Turns Nasty' piece that appeared in the Mirror on 30 September. It concerned Tony Benn's video diary of the Labour conference which was shown on the BBC's Newsnight. And according to the Mirror hack, this kind of work is entirely unacceptable 'in traditional circles.' In fact the piece found 'one reporter' who claimed that Benn's readiness with a camcorder was 'a disgrace to trade unionism... Multi skilling is the source of our industry, leading to unemployment right across journalism.'
Presumably, judging by Montgomery's recent form, the anonymous hack will be the first to join those statistics.
Plus ca change... we were all confidently predicting the Indy would be closed by Christmas then, too.