Jason Cowley and W F Deedes
[Posted 14 February 2007]
As the creator of Longwarden, an imaginary stately home, I've done a great deal of research on historic houses.
I would much rather see the most beautiful countryside in Britain in the hands of a few conservation-minded landowners than subject to politicians' whims, and I don't agree with Jason Cowley's views on this subject.
See his article headed "A few rich people, many of them aristocrats, own 69 per cent of the land in Britain. As a result, house prices are so high, millions can't afford to buy a home."
However I have enjoyed some of his other articles and look forward to reading more. For example, in July 2004 in the New Statesman, he wrote -
"A couple of years ago, when I was editing these pages, I telephoned W F Deedes at the Daily Telegraph to ask if he would review Nicholas Bagnall's memoir of a life in journalism. I had once been scornful of Deedes, whom I imagined to be the personification of Conservative Man, but of late I had begun to read his journalism--columns, despatches from sub-Saharan Africa, countryside diaries--with intensifying respect and admiration. Deedes agreed to review the book without hesitation, and delivered his neatly typed copy on time and at the agreed length. He never once asked how much he would be paid. His review, like most of this book's 18 character studies of influential figures he has met during a long dual career in politics and newspapers, was concise, wise and compassionate.
To read Deedes, especially in the company of those who, like him, are regular contributors to the op-ed pages of the Telegraph--the pious Charles Moore, the strident and bellicose Barbara Amiel, the inane Mark Steyn--is to encounter an unexpectedly liberal voice amid so much complacency."
At Cowley's website [see first link] we read that he is "a journalist, cultural critic and editor. His interests include literature, music, politics, foreign affairs and sport. He is a senior editor and writer on the Observer, with overall responsibility for the award-winning Observer Sport Monthly magazine, and contributing editor of the New Statesman.
His essays, reviews, profiles and reports have been published in most major publications in Britain and the United States. He is a former literary editor of the New Statesman and staff writer on the Times. He was a judge of the Whitbread Book of the Year awards in 1995, the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997, The London Writers’ Awards in 2001, the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2001 and 2002, and the British Press Awards in 2004. His novel, Unknown Pleasures, was published by Faber and Faber in 2000."
Earlier I wrote, "There being no photo on his site, I've been scouring the Net – well, checking 100 Google links – for a picture of him. Without success."
However, thanks to advice from reader Helen, [see her comment] you can now see what Mr Cowley looks like.