Editorial Intelligence uses “intelligence” more in the sense of “things we have on the editorial” than “the intelligence of the editorial”. It’s a sort of introductions bureau, brokering relationships between the “commentariat” and corporate clients – so when it comes to their Comment Awards nominations, the selection criteria veer towards writers who are prominent enough to be useful, rather than writers who are particularly insightful and brilliant. The few good commentators on there (Chris Dillow and Peter Preston are among the obviously exceptional, and there are a couple of others I rate besides) feel almost accidental, surrounded as they are by thought-shy ranters (Guido and Littlejohn) and flapping purveyors of illogic (Aaro and Hari). Many of the nominees are the sort of supremely hobbyhorsical writers whose “controversial” offerings supposedly spark “debate” – when actually, the sound of fact-free opinion knocking into fact-free opinion is less “worlds meeting”, and more “two bollocks colliding in a soggy ballsack”.
Text © Sarah Ditum, 2009