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Has CiF just published the worst piece of journalism ever?

The Guardian has let loose Michele Hanson on private equity, and must be quite proud of it, or else is having some fun at her expense, as it is a Pick of the Day. Some extracts:

"But whatever is private equity? I've looked it up and I still can't quite make it out".

"My friend Fielding saw a programme on it, and he explained. "They can just do what they want," says he. "It's a new game called I Want It So I'll Have It. To play, you borrow squillions, buy a company, keep it for a bit, strip it of its assets, sack loads of workers, tell everyone that you've made it more efficient, then sell it again at a gigantic profit, making billions in 'performance fees', on which you pay a lower tax rate than teachers and nurses".

"Meanwhile shares are zooming up, people are mumbling about insider dealing, and I'm learning a little more about private equity. I can't say I like it".

The ENTIRE article is written with the same intellectual rigour. I think I might ask the Guardian if it will commission me to write a piece on something about which I know little or nothing. High Church Slavonic, the Chadian pharmacy sector or womens' basketball perhaps. However, I would feel honour bound to do some research first, so that rules me out, I fear.

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Blogger Tony said... 12:33 pm

OH - MY - GOD!

Does she 'guest' on Terry Kelly's blog per chance? Even the Mirror would be hard pressed to publish something that bad.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 3:13 pm

Hate to tell you this C, but as *coughs* a reader of said, er, newspaper, it's a wind-up.

Not as good as Mr Mania's essais of course, but a wind-up nonetheless.

You can of course award it nil points in that category too...  

Blogger Tony said... 3:59 pm

And it is a wind-up how? Because of its style? The message is clear even if the writing is pre-pubescent.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 5:01 pm

Hmm, unconvinced. She tends to write kitchen sink / innocent abroad at the best of times.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 6:03 pm

I don't think the Guardian do wind-ups. The article's a shocker (as are some of the comments that follow it), although for sustained awfulness I'd nominate Zoe Williams from the same rag. She writes complete crap every week.  

Blogger James Higham said... 7:33 pm

Yes, I saw this earlier. Pretty dire.  

Blogger Praguetory said... 9:11 pm

Maybe we should all resolve to do a piece (wholly unresearched) on a unfamiliar topic. April 1 is coming after all. Would that be funny?  

Blogger CityUnslicker said... 11:38 pm

good idea PT - C might have to think for an awfully long time to come up with something he did not know about.

However, we can't have any prizes unless we all get one. Still have TB as Pm here after all.  

Blogger Newmania said... 1:31 am

I have been concious of an embarrassing ignorance about PE but by reading the papers a bit I came up to speed-ish.

Very funny C and I liked Praguetories snide dig as well is Nick Drew right do you think ?  

Blogger Newmania said... 1:31 am

I have been concious of an embarrassing ignorance about PE but by reading the papers a bit I came up to speed-ish.

Very funny C and I liked Praguetories snide dig as well is Nick Drew right do you think ?  

Blogger Newmania said... 1:31 am

I have been concious of an embarrassing ignorance about PE but by reading the papers a bit I came up to speed-ish.

Very funny C and I liked Praguetories snide dig as well is Nick Drew right do you think ?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:50 am

Hmm, the write an article from a position of total ignorance idea is quite a good one.

Did anyone hear the piece on Today this morning where contestants had contributed spoof text from absurdly named real books? The piece for 'How Green were the nazis' was superb, and very thoughtfully of R4, it has been posted on its website  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 5:25 pm

Yes. "How Green Were The Nazis?" was good.

But I like the idea of writing a book on a subject about which one knows nothing, and about which one has done absolutely no research.

Of course, this is done all the time by commenters on blogs who write with knowing contempt about the United States without ever having been to the trouble of actually going there.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 6:05 pm

Around Australia on Foot
It was a brisk December morning in Sydney. I could see my breath in the cold air and, as I set off on the first steps of my walk to Melbourne, I shuddered at the thick frost on the car windscreens.


It took me around an hour to clear the suburbs and, directed by a sign with an arrow reading Northern Territories, I set off at a brisk pace, my packed lunch of Outback Tucker tucked promisingly into my knapsack!

By my own reckoning, it would take me two full days of walking to reach Alice Springs, where I would look around the town and find an inexpensive hotel for the night. And thence north to Melbourne!

As I strode along, walking fast to stay warm, I encountered several Abos along the way. Abo is the Australian word for hobo. They "ride the rails" and are a friendly bunch. "Oh, good morning!" they would say in their casual Australian way as we passed on another on the road. One of them asked me whether I had passed any Sheilas on the road out of Sydney, and I had to admit that I had not had the time to make any new acquaintances.

Hearing my English accent, some of them asked if I had ever watched Australian Rules, but, at the risk of being considered rude, I had to be loyal first to my own country and responded with a smile, "No! Britannia rules!"

We parted among much good natured laughter as I set myself firmly walking south towards the Equator.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:40 pm

Very good, bravo.

I think I will 'do' lobster thermidor as my contribution.  

Blogger Praguetory said... 11:53 am

Hi C - Your contribution to a Fiona Millar fisk would be welcome. See here.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:49 pm

I have absolutely no idea how Prague Tory's fisking page works.  

Blogger Praguetory said... 2:02 pm

Add you fisk into the comments and I will add it to the main text.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 3:09 pm

Actually, PT, I just saw a picture of her over on Iain's and frankly, it would be like fisking a cow.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 3:20 pm

If you want to have a good time adding negative comments, go to today's Telegraph and read Briony Gordon's piece, which sets a new standards in vapid pointlessness. Many readers, including this one, were motivated to make mean comments.  

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