And Blincoe has added the following comment to his own article:
A little earlier this afternoon, my attention was drawn to an article by Nicholas Blincoe on the Comment is Free website. I have not met Nicholas before and he is not a part of the Nick Clegg Campaign Team. I understand that he has been one of a number of people to advise Nick on speeches previously, hence his self-description.
The contents of the article are a personal viewpoint and in no way associated with this campaign. I have therefore contacted Nicholas to request that he makes this clear in a posting on the Guardian site. He has agreed to do this and I hope that a clarification will appear in short order.
I should point out that I am wholly detached from his campaign team: pressure of work, finishing a book, has meant that I have been unable to participate in his stirring leadership campaign. I have been wishing him well from the sidelines. And occasionally, firing off acerbic missives as a commentator.On that basis my occasional contributions to leaders' speeches entitle me to style myself a "former volunteer adviser to Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy". I might find it easier to get commissioned by the Guardian if I did.
As we are all meant to be on the same side, let's play nicely and make no more fuss about this article.
But Blincoe is an interesting figure. As an Independent profile explains, he contributed to All Hail the New Puritans. This was a collection of short stories "written to a series of rules that banned authorial asides, poetic sentences, flashbacks and ornate punctuation".
That is a style he could have adopted with profit in his Guardian piece.
And it is hard to disagree with Blincoe when he says:
novelists are very, very bad at being involved in politics, because they always want to do and say their own thing. I very much admire Edward Said, but he was absolutely useless as a politician because he just wouldn't work with other people.But it's hard to be too critical of someone who has written for Waking the Dead.