The subject of his chiding was our decision to rate The Times' revelation about Edwina Currie's affair with John Major as the best scoop of last year. Not much of a scoop, since it involved no investigative digging by the paper's journos, harrumphed the Scottish curmudgeon. Instead, the story was handed to it on a plate as the result of a book serialisation deal.
A semantic point, but fair enough. What a shame, though, that on the very next page, the Standard should rather whip the carpet out from under Neil by printing a story that, on closer inspection, suggests it knows more about journalism than advertising.
Either that, or the digest item recording the demise of Rapley Smith & Jones is truly revelatory. "One-time advertising wunderkind Martin Smith, a founder and former boss of the trendy Grey agency in London, has fallen on hard times," it announced.
Smith a "wunderkind"? Grey "trendy"? Does the Standard know something we don't? And since Grey was founded in 1922, perhaps Smith might like to let us know what brand of anti-ageing cream he uses.