Marmite, not Vanilla

The Bishop of Willesden has stepped down following his remarks about Prince William’s wedding. Among other things, he said the Royal Family was “full of philanderers” and that the wedding would cost the public “an arm and a leg”. He reckons the marriage will last seven years.

Uncharitable, certainly, but the first two remarks are hard to disprove and the third is a statistical average.

Last week Lord Young resigned from the Government after saying many mortgage payers had never had it so good, due to record low interest rates. Again, he was spot on, but a little tactless given the coming impact of public sector spending cuts.

I suspect this pair won’t be the last to be forced out of office after saying something some people find unpalatable. But I think a backlash is building. It is impossible to please everybody all of the time, and I don’t think a sizeable chunk of the public want bland all the time. The alternative is more people stepping down over the slightest of slights.

Flavour is good.

Video Leads News Corp’s iPad Venture

News Corp and Apple are working on a newspaper for the iPad (or other tablets). There won’t be an online version, and certainly no print. It will be called The Daily, will cost 62p/week, and could launch at the end of November. It will have a US focus and be managed out of New York.

Two bits of future-gazing make the case for The Daily. It is estimated there will be 40m iPad owners by 2011, a 5% penetration would mean 2m sales. Also, research suggests iPad users spend more time ‘immersed’ in an App, rather than the scatty surfing of internet browsers (though this may be because iPads don’t yet have the same amount of distractions).

It is reported The Daily will use more video than a traditional online newspaper (as it should). I’m imagining sports clips, music, film trailers, celebrity interviews, news bulletins – all of which are readily available, waiting for an editor to come along and structure them.

This won’t be a print-killer; it will be a very different beast to print, but it may change the journalism business. More attractive voices and faces, better dress sense. More emphasis on visual stories (crashes, fires, recognisable people). But that shouldn’t mean challenging, investigative stories are doomed: they will be cheaper to distribute and benefit from a long tail.

I like video, but don’t always the time or access to view. Habits change. The iPad provides access, maybe The Daily (and its immitators) will convince users to make time.

Middling England

England are beaten at football in a friendly. Worse, they are outplayed. Fans and press go bonkers.

What’s the problem? Is the football press suggesting England should never be beaten, or that we should never be outplayed? The fact is, when England play the better teams (France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, etc) they are beaten. Style-wise, they don’t look too good either.

The assumption is that something is wrong, that there is a fault that should be fixed. It is somehow not right that England isn’t beating all-comers (though no one complains when AN English Sprinter fails to be beat Usain Bolt over 100 metres.)

Not sure why this is. Because we invented football, because we watch a lot of football, because we pay Premier League footballers a lot of money? Why should that mean the England team are world beaters?

We drink a lot of wine, that doesn’t make us good at growing grapes.