Without prejudice

Without prejudice

Roy Greenslade

I approached this book with trepidation because of a personal prejudice against the author which, like so many prejudices, was born of ignorance and then nurtured by intransigence. I first took against Bernard Donoughue in 1974 when I was a sub-editor on the Labour party’s organ, Labour Weekly, and he was identified by a Transport House colleague as “a dangerous rightwinger”. Almost a decade later, friends at The Timestold me that Donoughue was the kind of newspaper executive who had gained his position without the trouble of learning the trade. Us hacks who toiled on locals and regionals have an inbuilt bias against chaps who haven’t risen from the ranks. To cap it all, in the aftermath of Robert Maxwell’s death in 1991, Donoughue was revealed to be a director of a couple of the fraudster’s companies that were involved in the plunder of the Daily Mirror’spension funds. Moreover, Donoughue was a close friend of Joe Haines, Maxwell’s confidant and biographer, with whom I endured a difficult relationship during my Mirroreditorship. So it was hardly a promising start to reviewing the autobiography of a man, I must also frankly admit, I had never actually met

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