Subtext at the Observer

I admit, I wasn’t really serious when I suggested that Kathryn Flett was politically motivated in her failure to name one ‘remotely famous’ Carolyn for her recent Observer Magazine column.

But take a look at p6 of Private Eye (no. 1244). Flett may well be leading a subtle Observer resistance movement, with subtext (buried in the trivial undergrowth) as its weapon!

“As Observer hacks wait to hear if Alan Rusbridger and his Scott Trust chums will kill off their title, coded messages to the underground resistance are creeping into print.

Reviewing Top Gear, the paper’s TV critic Kathryn Flett notes that “according to Clarkson, J, it only takes four people to pick up a G-Wiz and throw it into a canal, but (he reminded us, as if we need reminding) this is something one really ought not to do under any circumstances, however tempting it may be.” This is of course a reference to the G-Wiz-driving Alan Rubbisher, whose office in King’s Place overlooks the Regent’s Canal.

Mutterings of dissent can even be heard in Rubbisher’s own paper. Last week the Grauniad devoted an entire editorial, rather surprisingly, to the travails and possible closure of the Reader’s Digest, but readers who persevered to the end probably spotted a sub-text. “It would certainly be a shame,” the leader concluded, in a none-too-cryptic message to the Scott Trust, “to lose a publication which has been part of the furniture of our lives for so many years.””


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