Stephen Newton, with a Ph, is seriously concerned about Steven Kingston, with a Vee, who is the editor of a defunct, nay bankrupt local magazine and ongoing webzine aka blog. That's the Salford Star and Stephen's robust critique is here.
Back in the 1980s, 25 years ago, soon after we started City Life Magazine in Manchester - cf Time Out - Steven edited a free what's on paper, name of Uptown. And when all three founders and other committed crusaders had left our beloved Worker's Co-op (TU) and some clever clogs decided to sell the title Steven bid for it. But he lost out to Guardian Media Group.
This was a great shame really. City Life had been set up specifically to counter the bland news "offer" of the Manchester Evening News - which was actually relatively hard-hitting and occasionally even investigative back then - and their desperately ill-informed and pedestrian arts coverage.
Clearly Steven was more likely to carry on that City Life alternative tradition and intent than ... the incumbent Evening News themselves!
The ring leader of the sell outs was not bound to take the highest bid. There was no bankruptcy or liquidation involved in the decision to sell the title. But other factors kicked in. And quite coincidentally that ring leader was the only one who got a proper job with the new owners!
A dozen other workers and at least as many part time contributors were not written in to the new script. Uptown went down too, soon enough. City Life (lite) - under the old enemy - lasted another 17 years. Hurrah! Indeed the brand is still alive in locally targeted weekly pull outs in the MEN and all the local papers. And in programming on Channel M. Hurrah! again.
Although I continued to buy it and advertise my stuff in City Life, and although I found myself eyeball to eyeball with bean counter Mark Doodson of GMG in defending it to the death, it must be said that City Life had been "dead mag walking" since the takeover/buy out.
Taking part in the wake at BBC Radio Manchester with former columnist John Robb we both found ourselves shrugging. Not caring that much at our so called loss.
And then along came the Salford Star. Chippy on both shoulders. Glossy. Yet very very shabby where it mattered.
A lesson in miserable miserabalism. An epitome of unchecked unfair stories and rampant bad manners. And, what's more, horrendously over-produced.
Relying for sustainability on building an advertising base. Yet refusing to even provide rate cards to enquirers they had some (personal) issue or other with.
For any thinking trot, or indeed even any unthinking trot, the la di da format and the infrequent frequency and the even, to be fair, the unrelenting negativity were just plain wrong, wrong, wrong.
The Hazel Blears cheque waving has set Steve Kingston off on a new run. Salford Star was bankrupt in every sense. SK has been employed to produce a non-political glossy a couple of miles down the road. A chance to consolidate. And relax. But Hazel's waved cheque was like a red rag to a bull. And he was off again.
PREDICTION: If Steven Kingston puts himself up as the independent candidate to unseat Hazel Blears, as seems possible if we believe Stephen Newton, he will either get a trivial number of votes and have no great effect. Or he will get a trivial number of votes and will hand one of the most Labour seats under the sun to the Libs or the Tories or even the BNP. No good can come of this.