In Australia, News Limited’s paywall has only just been put up (and leaks like a sieve), but in London it’s coming down. The Times has gone to The Wall Street Journal model, keeping news behind the wall, while offering a selection of opinion on a separate page (in this case, a Tumblr). The move has come after insistent lobbying by some of The Times‘ regular columnists for the simple reason that they have been utterly irrelevant ever since the wall went up.
Amazingly, no one really wants to pay to read the boring centre-right ramblings of ex-Brezhnevite Communist David Aaronovitch (son of one of the titans of British Communism, Sam Aaronovitch — that’s the UK, where even the Red aristocracy has idiot sons who must be found a parish), midget neo-con Oliver Kamm, lucky sperm Hugo Rifkind, or Danny Finkelstein, a columnist created in News’ lightning-lit mountain laboratory, sewn together out of the parts of other centre-right columnists.
It’s a damn shame since the paywall gave one the excuse to forgo millions of inches of boring Atlanticist boosterism. Now we have to read the buggers. — Guy Rundle