Saturday, August 18, 2007

RIP: William Deedes

The British journalist (and sometime MP and Cabinet member) Bill Deedes has died at the age of 94. He was the original for the character of William Boot in Evelyn Waugh's 1936 novel "Scoop"; Waugh had accompanied the young and apparently somewhat naive Deedes to Abyssinia to cover the Italian attack on that country the previous year. Deedes wrote for various newspapers throughout his life, beginning his career in 1932 and continuing it up until last week, when he wrote what proved to be his final weekly column for the Daily Telegraph.

For the past couple of years I'd enjoyed his work in the international version of the Telegraph, and was impressed both by his self- effacing good nature -- something that always struck me as being quintessentially English -- and by his old- fashioned civility: two qualities sadly lacking in so much political commentary nowadays.

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